July 19, 2012 at 10:59 am by Ben Duronio under Atlanta Braves
Melky’s now infamous crotch chop will likely lead to one of the Braves pitchers throwing at him this afternoon, and a subsequent mound charge is also rather likely.
My quarrel with all of this is that I have a really hard time understanding why Melky dislikes the Braves so much. The Braves didn’t toy with his playing time, he played in 147 games. They even batted him leadoff opening day and he hit him fifth in the second game of the playoff series against the Giants, though that was his only start of the series.
There is seemingly no legitimate reason that Melky would have a gripe with the Braves, though there are many reasons for the Braves having a gripe with him. He came to the Braves out of shape and did not perform to the slight expectations that the team had for him. He was worth -1 WAR in his lone season in Atlanta. Any team would have cut him. He should be thankful that the Braves cut him rather than keep him as a fourth outfielder, which would not have allowed for his consecutive big seasons. Melky can be mad at the Braves for him having an awful year in his lone season in Atlanta, but he had nobody to blame but himself. The Braves gave him every opportunity, and probably too many opportunities at that, to succeed.
With that said, even with his awful gesture, I do not advocate throwing at hitters. It is silly and immature, but the Braves are going to do it anyway. At least Kelly Johnson, who was wrongfully non-tendered, has a real gripe to pick with the Braves, and he never disrespected the franchise as Melky has. Chipper’s quote seemed to hit the nail on the head. As good as Melky has been, it is hard to respect him after this. Even so, the Braves should let it go and move on. Avoid any suspensions and potential injuries, be the bigger men and avoid the confrontation.