October 6, 2012 at 2:08 am by David Lee under Atlanta Braves
Game MVP: David Ross, .296
Least Valuable Brave: Dan Uggla, -.144
Most Valuable Cardinal: Matt Holliday, .261
Least Valuable Cardinal: Jon Jay, -.053
2nd – (ATL) David Ross two-run homer for a 2-0 Braves lead, .209
4th – (STL) Chipper Jones error puts runners on corners with no outs, .113
4th – (STL) Allen Craig RBI double for a 2-1 Braves lead, .142
6th – (STL) Matt Holliday solo homer for a 4-2 Cardinals lead, .130
First of all, the fact that Major League Baseball would even allow the Braves to be put in this situation reflects on its lack of competence. To have a baseball team play 162 games over six-plus months only to determine its fate for the entire year over a span of three hours is complete idiocy. This is compounded by the fact that a human has the ability to make one single judgment call that can make or break a team’s entire year. I’m sure MLB got its ratings. It got people talking about the sport. It grabbed the next day’s headlines. It also lost credibility, not only on the field with the umpires but in its leadership roles. Major League Baseball wanted to create a drama-filled show but got a circus.
The infield fly call was wrong. You don’t even have to fully understand the rule to know the call was missed. Pete Kozma did not reach “ordinary effort” under the ball, no matter how badly Sam Holbrook wishes that was the case. And people can talk about his feet shuffling and whether he was camped under the ball all they want. Lost in all of this is the fact that Kozma is nearly in Matt Holliday’s spot in left field. If MLB wants to get away with this being a “judgment call,” they should take a look at how far Kozma is in left field and judge that the infield fly rule is no longer a legit call that far out. MLB will say whatever is easiest in order to sweep this under the rug and move on, and that’s exactly what we got out of its leadership after the game.
The Braves messed themselves up before any infield fly call was made. Chipper’s error in the fourth gave the lead up and was perhaps the biggest mistake. They attempted a safety squeeze with runners on the corners, one out and the pitcher on deck, which is just unheard of. Dan Uggla and Andrelton Simmons committed errors in the seventh that led to a bigger hole. In the midst of all that happened in the eighth, they still had a shot to get back in the game but left the bases loaded.
It’s just about the worst way you can draw up the end of the season and Chipper’s career. Plenty of it was the Braves’ own faults, plenty of it can be put on the umpires, plenty of it can be put on MLB. Add it all up and you get a disappointing final loss for what is a solid team.
I’m going into hibernation for a while.