Results tagged ‘ Chipper Jones ’

The Chipper Jones Interview (Part 1)

Photo courtesy of Pouya Dianat

Chipper Jones will go down as one of the greatest third basemen to ever play the game of Major League Baseball, if not the greatest. His time in the game has been highly publicized, but nothing has been as crazy as his final season in the big leagues as the future Hall-of-Famer prepares to exit the only profession he has ever known. The stats don’t lie for Jones, however it is Chipper the man that has been lovingly embraced by the Atlanta Braves family over two decades of brilliance.

“I’m very proud that for 23 years, I’ve donned one uniform — the red, white and blue of the Atlanta Braves,” said Jones.

For his career, the eight-time All-Star has seen his share of change within the organization. As a new crop of young Braves begin their respective MLB journey’s, Jones is there for guidance and wisdom. He understands the ups and downs of the business and has been around it long enough to help out the newcomers in Atlanta each season, such as Craig Kimbrel, Jason Heyward, Tommy Hanson and Freddie Freeman to name a few.  Chipper helped create Braves Country and is the face of a franchise that won 14 straight division titles in the 90’s and early 2000’s.

“I often admired, when I was coming up, guys like Cal Ripken and Tony Gwynn, who were able to work with their organization so that they could stay in one place,” Jones said. “They knew how important it was to stay in one place and be the face of the franchise. While I don’t consider myself to be in their realm, I’m awfully proud to say I’ve been a part of this organization for so long.”

Jones has a career batting average of .304, alongside 2,695 hits, 464 career home runs, 1,610 RBI, 1,603 runs scored, 544 doubles, 150 stolen bases and an extrordinary 1,489 walks to just 1,390 walks. Not to mention, countless all-star appearances, 14 straight playoff appearances, two Silver Sluggers (99-00), the 1999 National League MVP award and a World Series Title in 1995.

Photo courtesy of Pouya Dianat

“I look at the numbers as me just going out to do my job,” said Jones. “That’s the way I’ve always approached it. I’ve never really thought about my place or anything like that. But when you grew up hearing about Mickey the way I did and with the reverence that I did from my father, to pass him in career RBIs is quite a feat.”

Chipper Jones was the No. 1 overall selection the 1990 MLB Amateur Draft by the Braves and was ranked the No. 1 prospect in minor league baseball during the 1993 season before he spent all of his time with the Triple-A affiliate of the Braves in Richmond. In 93, Jones hit .325 for the R-Braves, alongside 97 runs scored, 174 hits, 31 doubles, 12 triples, 13 home runs, 89 RBI, 23 stolen bases and 57 walks earned in the International League. His time in Triple-A was short-lived, but the numbers and memories that he registered that season will never be forgotten. Following his dominant 1993 season in the IL, Jones was promoted to Atlanta where he spent his 1994 Rookie year.

Obviously, most players begin to slow down near the end of their career, especially in their final season. Jones has made a mockery of that notion, seemingly getting better with age like fine wine. Chipper was already named a 2012 all-star, alongside being the captain and unquestioned leader of a potential playoff contending Braves team (66-49).

Stay glued to The G-Blog in the coming days for the second part of The Chipper Jones Interview.

By: Tony Piraro

Yankees Looking for Season Sweep vs G-Braves

Photo courtesy of Karl Moore

7.23.12 GBraves Game Notes

The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees took their third game in a row from the Gwinnett Braves, winning 4-3 on Sunday at Coolray Field. Corban Joseph’s ninth inning solo home run off Andy Russell gave the Yankees the lead for good as they improved to 7-0 against Gwinnett in 2012.

For the third time in three games, the Yankees scored the first run of the ballgame in their first at-bat. Chris Dickerson led off the game with a single against left-hander Yohan Flande, then stole second base and came around to score on a Kevin Russo RBI single.

Gwinnett finally answered back in the seventh inning as Ernesto Mejia led off the inning with a single. Following a two-out Ruben Gotay single, Jose Yepez came through with a clutch two-run double down the right field line, cutting the G-Braves deficit to 3-2. Yepez finished the game 2-for-4 with two RBIs, raising his batting average to .272 on the season.

The G-Braves tied the game 3-3 in the eighth when Jose Constanza began the rally with a leadoff single, then advanced to third base on an errant pickoff throw by left-hander Justin Thomas. The same at-bat, speedster Luis Durango singled up the middle for his 36th RBI of the season. Durango would later steal his second base of the game, raising his International League leading total to 35 on the season.

Walks to Mejia and Stefan Gartrell loaded the bases as Gwinnett threatened to take their first lead of the night in the eighth, but Ryota Igarashi struck out Josh Wilson and Gotay swinging to end the threat. Scranton wasted little time recapturing the lead in the ninth as Joseph capped his big night with a two-out solo home run to right field. With the game-winning blast, Joseph finished 2-for-5 with a team-high two RBIs.

Russell (L, 0-1) gave up the winning run on one hit over 1.0 inning of work.

Photo courtesy of Karl Moore

Monday, July 23rd G-Braves Starting Line-up from Coolray Field:

The Gwinnett Braves (46-57) and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees (57-45) play their series and season finale on Monday night at Coolray Field, first pitch scheduled for 7:05 PM. The G-Braves will have right-hander Eric Junge (5-8, 4.62) on the mound, while the Yankees counter with left-hander Mike O’Connor (2-3, 3.39). Listen to the broadcast on WDUN 550 AM and 102.9 FM in Gainesville, GA with Tony Schiavone calling the play-by-play.

Scranton Yankees (2nd IL North) vs Gwinnett (3rd IL South) 

All kids 12 and under will receive a voucher for a free hot dog, bag of chips and a small soda on Kids Eat Free Monday. Tickets for all Gwinnett Braves home games are on sale now at the Coolray Field Box Office. Call (678) 277-0340 or visit gwinnettbraves.com for more information.

Photo courtesy of Chris Roughgarden

Empire State Yankees Batting Order:

1) Chris Dickerson, CF

2) Kevin Russo, LF

3) Corban Joseph, 2B

4) Jack Cust, DH

5) Brandon Laird, 3B

6) Kosuke Fukudome, LF

7) Cole Garner, RF

8) Gustavo Molina, C

9) Ramiro Pena, SS

G-Braves Batting Order:

1) Luis Durango, CF

2) Jack Wilson, DH

3) Felix Pie, RF

4) Ernesto Mejia, 1B

5) Stefan Gartrell, LF

6) Josh Wilson, SS

7) Jose Yepez, C

8) Ruben Gotay, 3B

9) Lance Zawadzki, 2B

By: Tony Piraro

Breaking: Jose Constanza Promoted to Atlanta Braves

Photo courtesy of Kyle Hess

The man, Jose Constanzawho just broke Gwinnett’s franchise record hit-streak at 22 total games, surpassing both Barbaro Canizares and Felix Pie, is now on his way to the Atlanta Braves….again. This is nothing new for the Braves left fielder, as this is the third time this season Constanza will drop by Atlanta. With the recent injury to Matt Diazan opening has arisen and Atlanta is in desperate need of a bat. Who better than the Gwinnett all-time hit-streak leader himself?

This season Constanza has been the catalyst to the Gwinnett Braves offense, as he leads the International League in hitting with a .324 batting average. The speedster has registered 91 hits, 43 runs scored, nine doubles, four triples, one home run, 23 RBI, 111 total bases, 29 walks and 11 stolen bases, alongside his team-leading .386 on-base percentage.

Photo courtesy of Kyle Hess

Constanza is batting .250 with the Atlanta Braves this season, including eight hits and four runs scored in 32 at-bats. The value of Constanza is not only recognized in the batters box, but he is an exceptional defender that has saved his pitching staff countless runs this season.

The Braves players are making a play to win it all this season, the future is important, but so too is winning a World Series this season, in the final year of arguably the greatest third baseman of all-time in the form of Chipper Jones. Constanza will provide a much-needed spark to the offense and pitching staff, but his contributions will not be measured by his stats, but by the Braves win-loss record with him in the line-up.

By: Tony Piraro

G-Braves Begin Final Series of First Half Tonight

Photo courtesy of Kyle Hess

7.6.12 GBraves Game Notes

The G-Braves have won four of their last five games following their franchise record 15-straight losses. However, in the month of July Gwinnett possesses a sterling record of 4-1 heading toward the break. Tonight the G-Braves begin a three-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays Triple-A affiliate and reigning International League South Division Champions. Currently, the Bulls are just one game ahead of Gwinnett in the standings, as the G-Braves trail first-place Charlotte by eight games after taking four of six from them in the previous six days.

The G-Braves and Knights split a Thursday night doubleheader at Knights’ Stadium. In game one, the G-Braves ran their winning streak to four with a come-from-behind 4-3 win as part of the July 3 postponed game from Coolray Field. However, the Knights ended the four-game streak in game two with an 8-0 shutout of Gwinnett.

Jose Constanza currently owns a 12-game hit streak, which is good enough to be the third longest streak of the season for a Gwinnett hitter. However, his teammate Felix Pie tied for the longest hit-streak in Gwinnett franchise history at 14 games, tying former G-Brave Barbaro Canizares, but Pie had it snapped the other night against Charlotte when he went 0-for-5. Ernesto Mejia registered the second longest hit-streak of the season with a 12-game tally. The All-Star also had a streak to start the season, as he reached base safely in his first 17 games of the 2012 campaign, which has been seconded by none of his teammates thus far.

Photo courtesy of Karl Moore

Tuesday, July 3rd G-Braves Starting Line-up from Coolray Field:

The Gwinnett Braves (41-48) return to Coolray Field Friday night for game one of a three-game series against the Durham Bulls (42-47) to conclude the first half of the season prior to the 2012 All-Star break. Right-hander Todd Redmond (6-5, 3.23) is scheduled for the G-Braves against the Bulls right-hander Matt Torra (7-6, 4.43) with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 PM. The game will be broadcast on WDUN 550 AM and 102.9 FM in Gainesville, GA with Tony Schiavone calling the play-by-play.

Durham Bulls (3rd IL South) vs Gwinnett (4th IL South) 

Stick around after the game for our Independence Day Show following the Bulls and G-Braves contest. It will be the biggest and longest Fox 5 Friday Fireworks spectacular of the year! Celebrate Fourth of July with the G-Braves, as every fan in the stands will receive Free Thundersticks presented by 12 Stone.

Photo courtesy of Kyle Hess

Durham Bulls Batting Order:

1) Rich Thompson, CF

2) Jesus Feliciano, RF

3) Henry Wrigley, 1B

4) Brandon Allen, LF

5) Leslie Anderson, DH

6) Chris Gimenez, C

7) Reid Brignac, SS

8) Matt Mangini, 3B

9) Cole Figueroa, 2B

G-Braves Batting Order:

1) Jose Constanza, LF

2) Luis Durango, CF

3) Felix Pie, RF

4) Ernesto Mejia, DH

5) Christian Marrero, 1B

6) Ruben Gotay, 3B

7) Josh Wilson, SS

8) J.C. Boscan, C

9) Lance Zawadzki, 2B

By: Tony Piraro

Ben Sheets off and running for the M-Braves

Photo courtesy of Karl Moore

The four-time Major League Baseball All-Star and 2004 Cy Young runner-up Ben Sheets is on his way to making a comeback to the big leagues. How long will it take is anyone’s guess, but the promising sign is that the right-hander is out there on the mound, competing against hitters. Atlanta signed him for a reason, but it may take some patience as Sheets shakes off the rust.

Coming off two years of rehab following Tommy John surgery, Sheets took the long route back to baseball. The last time he appeared in a game was in 2010 for the Oakland Athletics. That season he went 4-9 with a 4.53 ERA in 119.1 innings of work, where he struck out 84 and walked 43 batters.

The 33-year-old made his first professional baseball start in two years on Wednesday, the Fourth of July, for the Double-A Mississippi Braves. Sheets completed 5.0 innings and surrendered four earned runs on five hits and struck out six, while walking just one en route to the loss against the Jacksonville Suns. The right-hander’s ERA currently rests at 7.20 for the year.

Sheets has been around baseball, seemingly for ages. However, at 33 years old, he is still relatively young and well within in his limits to make a positive return. We saw Pedro Martinez dominate for the Phillies a couple years ago in the second half of the season, after people clamored that Martinez was done. If Jaime Moyer can still find a job at 49 years old, I don’t see why Sheets can’t make a difference in someone’s rotation.

The great thing for us and the Braves is that we’ll have the opportunity to witness the difference he can make in the Atlanta rotation eventually. However, for the time being, he’ll need some practice and repetition to help his confidence. After that, if he’s healthy, the man could be scary good. I’m willing to bet that Sheets is ready to prove that to a lot of people in the coming weeks.

By: Tony Piraro

Braves Sign Ben Sheets to Minor League Deal

Photo courtesy of Chris Roughgarden

Early Sunday the Atlanta Braves signed former Major League superstar pitcher Ben Sheets to minor league contract. The right-hander will be assigned to Double-A Mississippi to begin his journey toward the big leagues. Sheets hasn’t appeared in a Major League Baseball game since July 9, 2010 when he was a member of the Oakland Athletics. Since then, the hurler has undergone Tommy John reconstructive surgery nearly two years ago as he looks to regain his former strength.

Sheets possesses a 90-92 record alongside a 3.79 career ERA, 1.22 WHIP including 1547.1 innings pitched with 1,290 strikeouts to just 356 walks. He’s a four-time All-Star and earned National League Cy Young Award votes in 2004 after posting a sparkling 2.70 ERA, 0.98 WHIP and 264/32 K/BB ratio across 237 regular-season innings with the Milwaukee Brewers.

The 33-year-old will head to Double-A Mississippi on Wednesday to begin pitching in live games. Sheets may take time to get ready for Major League hitting, nearly two years after surgery. However, the right-hander has always been a bulldog. If there is any pitcher out there, prepared to make a comeback of epic proportions, it’s Ben Sheets.

Sheets threw a bullpen session at Turner Field on Sunday afternoon prior to the Braves and Washington Nationals game at 1:05 p.m. His next stop will be Mississippi, and then it’s anybody’s guess after that. I know one thing, the Braves have a legitimate competitor who is going to be able to teach the Braves pitching prospects how it’s done and how to be successful at the Major League level.

By: Tony Piraro

G-Braves Face “Mr. Perfect Game” Phil Humber

Photo courtesy of Karl Moore

7.1.12 GBraves Game Notes

It was more heartbreak for the struggling Gwinnett Braves in the opener of a four-game series against the Charlotte Knights on Saturday night at Coolray Field. The Knights broke a 1-1 tie on a passed ball charged to catcher J.C. Boscan in the eighth, then added three more runs in the frame against Cory Gearrin to capture a 5-3 win over the G-Braves. Boscan atoned with a two-run double in the ninth, but couldn’t prevent Gwinnett from extending their franchise-record losing streak to 15 games.

This year’s G-Braves have lost 27 of their last 32 games dating back to May 30, including 25 of 30 contests this month. It was the first game of a seven-game homestand in the next nine days, including six of the next nine against Charlotte. The loss move the G-Braves to a season-high 11 games in back of Charlotte for first place in the International League South standings.

Some lone bright-spots for the G-Braves this season was Ernesto Mejia and Cory Gearrin both being named to the Triple-A All-Star team for the game on July 10, in Buffalo, New York at 7:05 p.m. ET. Luis Durango currently leads the IL in stolen bases (28) and is one shy of leading all of Triple-A baseball in swipes with 29. Felix Pie is currently on a 13-game hit streak, which is good enough for the tie of best mark this season by a G-Braves. Mejia tied the longest with a 13-game streak, which was one hit shy of the franchise record 14-game streak by Barbaro Canizares. Also, Jose Constanza currently possesses a seven-game hit streak for Gwinnett since rejoining the team from Atlanta.

Photo courtesy of Chris Roughgarden

Saturday, June 30 G-Braves Starting Line-up from Coolray Field:

The Gwinnett Braves (37-47) play game two of the four-game series against the Charlotte Knights (48-36) tomorrow night at Coolray Field, first pitch scheduled for 5:05 PM. Right-hander Todd Redmond (6-5, 3.13) is scheduled to start for the G-Braves against right-hander Matt Zaleski (3-2, 4.48) of the Knights. The game will be broadcast on WDUN 550 AM and 102.9 FM in Gainesville, GA with Tony Schiavone calling the play-by-play.

Charlotte Knights (47-36, 1st IL South) vs Gwinnett (37-46, 4th IL South) 

Sunday is night two of Braves All-Star Weekend at Coolray Field, presented by Springer Mountain Farms. Former Atlanta Braves greats Dale Murphy and Ryan Kleskowill be on hand for special meet-and-greets and autograph opportunities. The first 1,000 fans will receive Gwinnett Braves pennants courtesy of Springer Mountain Farms. It’s also a Family Day at the ballpark including pre-game catch on the field and post-game base run for kids 12 and under. Tickets for all Gwinnett Braves home games are on sale now at the Coolray Field Box Office. Call (678) 277-0340 or visit gwinnettbraves.com for more information.

Photo courtesy of Karl Moore

Charlotte Knights Batting Order:

1) Tyler Kuhn, LF

2) Ray Olmedo, 2B

3) Dan Johnson, 1B

4) Hector Gimenez, DH

5) Dallas McPherson, 3B

6) Josh Phegley, C

7) Justin Greene, CF

8) Ozzie Martinez, SS

9) Kyle Shelton, RF

G-Braves Batting Order:

1) Jose Constanza, LF

2) Tyler Pastornicky, SS

3) Felix Pie, RF

4) Ernesto Mejia, DH

5) Stefan Gartrell, LF

6) Christian Marrero, 1B

7) Ruben Gotay, 3B

8) Lance Zawadzki, 2B

9) J.C. Boscan, C

By: Tony Piraro

G-Braves Look to Stop Losing Skid at 10 Straight

Photo courtesy of Karl Moore

The Gwinnett Braves have gone from first place to last place in the International League South Division in a matter of days. For the first 55 days of the season, the G-Braves were in first place and at times had the best record in the league. On June 26, those same G-Braves are now tied for last place with the Durham Bulls with 37 wins and 42 losses.

Gwinnett is not only currently on a 10-game losing skid, but the G-Braves have dropped 22 of their last 27 contests. They are 1-9 in their last 10 games and the last time they won a game was three series’ ago against the Columbus Clippers. Gwinnett was then swept by Indianapolis at Coolray Field, then they were swept by Syracuse in New York and now the G-Braves make their way to the Empire State with a four-game series set against the Yankees affiliate.

Tuesday will begin the final four games of Gwinnett’s current eight-game road trip. After the conclusion of the last game on Friday, the G-Braves will head back to Georgia for some much-needed home cooking. Gwinnett will host seven of their next nine games at home, with a break in the middle for a home-and-home series with the first place Charlotte Knights of the IL South.

Photo courtesy of Leslie Watts

The Gwinnett Braves (37-42) move to Rochester, New York tonight for a four-game series against the Empire State Yankees. The G-Braves will have right-hander Todd Redmond (6-3, 3.40) on the mound, as he opposes the Yankees right-hander D.J. Mitchell (5-4, 5.74). The first game of the series is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. first pitch at Frontier Field on Tuesday evening. Listen to the broadcast on WDUN AM 550 in Gainesville, Georgia with Tony Schiavone calling the play by play.

Tickets for all Gwinnett Braves home games are on sale now at the Coolray Field Box Office. Call (678) 277-0340 or visit gwinnettbraves.com for more information.

By: Tony Piraro

Todd Redmond Receives Call to Atlanta Braves

Photo courtesy of Daniel Hamby

For the first time in his professional career, Todd Redmond has finally received his call-up to the big leagues as the Atlanta Braves purchased the right-handers contract on Sunday prior to their game against the Baltimore Orioles. After playing for the Gwinnett Braves the previous four seasons, including the 2012 campaign, the 27-year-old paid his dues indeed. For the season in Triple-A Gwinnett, Redmond was 6-4 with a 3.20 ERA alongside being the most consistent pitcher in the G-Braves starting rotation.

Redmond, 27, joins Atlanta’s 25-man roster for the first time in his career and will make his Major League debut when he first pitches for the Braves. In 13 Triple-A starts this season, the right-hander went 6-4 with a 3.20 ERA (27 ER in 76.0 IP), walked 19 and struck out 67. He had gone 4-1 with a 3.11 ERA (13 ER in 37.2 IP) over his last six starts with Gwinnett including a seven-inning complete-game shutout in his last start, game one of a doubleheader against Columbus on June 15.

The 2012 season was Redmond’s fourth-straight as a member of the G-Braves. In 2011, he went 10-8 and ranked among International League leaders in innings pitched (1st, 169.2), WHIP (2nd, 1.17), ERA (3rd, 2.92) and strikeouts (5th, 142). The prior year, he went 9-10 with a 4.26 ERA in a career-high 28 starts for Gwinnett. His 2010 campaign included the first and only no-hitter in G-Braves history, thrown on May 28, 2010 at Louisville. Redmond, while never an IL All-Star, is one of just four pitchers to ever win IL Pitcher of the Week four times in league history. He last won it on May 21 of this season.

Originally the 39th round selection of the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 2004 June draft out of St. Petersburg College (St. Petersburg, FL), Redmond was acquired by Atlanta in exchange for right-hander Tyler Yates on March 26, 2008. He’s a career 69-54 with a 3.54 ERA in 194 games, 188 starts in his minor league career.

Photo courtesy of Karl Moore

Atlanta’s corresponding move was promoting right-hander Billy Bullock from Double-A Mississippi. Bullock, 24, arrives from Mississippi where he went 0-2 with a 3.60 ERA (12 ER in 30.0 IP) and one save in 18 relief appearances. The right-hander had allowed just one unearned run over his last five outings for the M-Braves, totaling 6.1 innings. Ranked the No. 24 prospect in the Braves system according to Baseball America entering this season, Bullock joins Gwinnett for the second time in his career. He pitched once in relief last season, going 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA (0 ER in 1.0 IP).

He was originally the second round selection of the Minnesota Twins in the 2009 June draft out of the University of Florida, Bullock was acquired by Atlanta in exchange for left-hander Scott Diamond on March 28, 2011. He’s a career 10-11 with a 3.58 ERA and 50 saves in 160 minor league appearances, all in relief. With the current moves, the Gwinnett active roster stands at 24 players out of a possible 25 maximum.

By: Tony Piraro

Chipper Jones Father’s Day Package’s Available

Sunday is Father’s Day at Coolray Field, featuring plenty of family-friendly activities including pre-game catch on the field and a post-game base run for kids 12 and under. The Non-Profit Partnership Series also continues Sunday with the “Heart Month” theme. The G-Braves will recognize organizations that bring awareness and/or raise funds for heart related diseases and illnesses or promote a healthy diet and fitness programs for children.

The Chipper Jones Father’s Day Package remains on sale at the Coolray Field Box Office. For just $150, the package includes four Infield Box tickets for Saturday, June 17 at Coolray Field (Father’s Day) and six additional Infield Box Anytime Tickets for the remainder of the 2012 season. It also includes one Upper Box ticket for Chipper Jones’s final game at Turner Field, September 30 vs. the New York Mets. An option to add up to three additional Upper Box tickets at a discounted rate is an added bonus.The Non-Profit Partnership Series also continues Sunday with the “Heart Month” theme. The G-Braves will recognize organizations that bring awareness and/or raise funds for heart related diseases and illnesses or promote a healthy diet and fitness programs for children.

The Gwinnett Braves (37-33) wrap up the five-game series against the Columbus Clippers (32-37) on Sunday at Coolray Field, first pitch scheduled for 2:05 PM. Left-hander Yohan Flande (3-4, 3.90) will start for the G-Braves, while the Clippers counter with right-hander Zach McAllister (4-2, 2.98). The game will be broadcast on WDUN 550 AM and 102.9 FM in Gainesville, GA with Tony Schiavone calling the play-by-play.

Tickets for all Gwinnett Braves home games are on sale now at the Coolray Field Box Office. Call (678) 277-0340 or visit gwinnettbraves.com for more information.

By: Tony Piraro

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