Thursday, March 22, 2012

walk 'em off

I clearly recall opening day of the 2010 season; "Jason Heyward with Bomb into the Braves bull pen!!!" was the call. The air was electric around the Ted that afternoon, I felt it through the radio in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. It seemed that team was destine for a great season .We knew that Heyward was going to have a record breaking rookie season. We knew Billy Wagner was going to be a shut down closer. And,we knew going into spring training that it was the last season Bobby would manage our club.

That season was indeed magic, even in defeat we went out with class and dignity. Along the way there was the Conrad walk off grand slam against the Reds. There was Derick Lowe's slider that carried us through September. There was game 162 win over the Phillies that put us in the post season. Then the Giants stopped their celebration to give Bobby Cox a standing ovation after his last game.

Turn the page to today. We know a good deal less about the 2012 team than we knew about the 2010 team. However, now we can say for sure that it will be the final campaign for Old Number 10. All day I have been searching for some perspective on Chipper's retirement, and I all hope for is a repeat of 2010. After putting hall of fame numbers and becoming one of the best switch hitters in the history of the sport he is entitled to a season filled with magic.

In my mind's eye I see a Kurt Gibson type of moment. Imagine a cool October night at Turner Field. Bottom 9 of game 7;  2 out and 2 on; and crowd erupts when "Crazy Train" blares. Chipper Jones, age 40, injured and beat to hell, is on to pinch hit. The count is 3-2 against a pin striped clad pitcher wearing the number 42. Chipper turns the cutter, around scoring 3 and walks them off. That's how he should go out. I know its a but romantic, but we are talking about Old Number 10.

This is why we chop

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