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One-game playoff utter disaster for MLB, Braves and Chipper - Through The Fence Baseball

One-game playoff utter disaster for MLB, Braves and Chipper

by Jake Mastroianni | Posted on Saturday, October 6th, 2012
| 233 baseball fanatics read this article

Chipper Jones acknowledges the crowd in his final ab-bat for the Atlanta Braves. (Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

Here is your disclaimer: I’m a Braves fan writing an article less than 24 hours after a miserable end to a season.

But, ultimately, I’m a baseball fan, and an old school one in that. I don’t even believe in wild card teams. I think you should win your division to make the playoffs, and I like that the new system puts an emphasis on doing just that.

But, I’m also about fairness. And after fighting for 162 games, the Braves’ and Rangers’ seasons ultimately came down to one game. A game where anything could happen, and it did.

Now, I must point out the Braves only hurt themselves in this game by committing three costly errors, including one by Chipper Jones that led to three runs, which was the difference in the game.

The Braves also brought the tying run to the plate in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings and couldn’t get the job done. They lost this game on their own, even though the Cardinals had a little help from the umpires.

The point is they should be down 1-0 in a series instead of going home after a one-game playoff. The new format may be exciting for casual fans and hopefully, for the sport, drew some added attention. But it’s not fair to the Braves who had the fourth-best record in baseball after a long 162-game season.

I know I’m being bitter at this point and the Braves should have manned up and won the game. But this was a good team that legitimately had a shot at winning it all, and because of this stupid rule Bud Selig put in place to make money and draw fans that don’t really love the game, the Braves’ season is over.

Baseball is meant to be played in series. As everyone said when the rule was put in place and the days leading up to Friday night, anything can happen in a baseball game. Well, the unthinkable happened, and it quickly became a nightmare for Major League Baseball.

Umpire call and fan reaction

Now to the call that was made: It was one of the worst calls I’ve ever seen in such a pivotal game. And it was made because MLB added an extra umpire in the outfield. That was the left fielders ball and it would have been a difficult catch for the shortstop. I’ve watched the replay 100 times now, and I still don’t understand how a ball halfway out in the outfield could even be considered an infield fly.

The umpire made the signal for an infield fly when the ball was five feet away from hitting the ground. It clearly was not made instantly.

There’s no need for me to further explain how bad the call was. Everyone who watched the game and every analyst, writer, etc., that I’ve heard talk about the play agrees it was the wrong call.

What upsets me at this point is the only people who didn’t own up to their mistakes and admit they were wrong were the umpires themselves.

Sam Holbrook, who won’t be allowed in the city of Atlanta anytime soon, said after the game he believed he made the right call after watching the replay. Even his fellow umpire crew agreed that he made the right call, “to the T.”

Now that is just inexcusable. You made a bad call, it happens all the time in baseball. No protest or replay is going to go back and change that, but at least own up to your mistakes.

As far as Braves fans throwing trash on the field, that is just a disgrace and embarrassment to other Braves fans. At no point should that ever happen.

Earlier in the day, my dad and I went for a walk and there happened to be a bunch of trash on the ground. My dad made a comment that only trashy people throw trash. Well Atlanta fans, consider yourself trashy.

You have every right to be upset, but show your anger in a way that’s more appropriate. Write a letter to the commissioner. Get up and leave the game. They had quit selling beer at that point in the game anyway, and you just threw your last one onto the field. So, get out of there.

Because of your trashy display of “fandom,” we weren’t able to celebrate the end of a historic career. Thanks Braves fans, you really made a difference. What a sad way to end a season.

Thanks goes out to Major League Baseball, as well. Hope the extra money earned was worth it.

Post By Jake Mastroianni (62 Posts)

Jake grew up around Birmingham, Ala. and has always been a huge Braves fan. He graduated from Auburn University in 2010 with a degree in journalism and spent one summer working for the media relations department for the Princeton Rays and now is an Assistant Editor for a business magazine called Water Technology. Jake loves the sport of baseball and hopes to continue to see it flourish.

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