Fair or Foul: Cheering “Chipper”

Something from a night of Mets blogospheric readings, this one via Ted Berg’s wonderful blog TedQuarters:

Larry Wayne “Chipper” Jones is, on the one hand, is one of the greatest hitters of my generation and one of the greatest switch-hitters ever. In his 17 years in the bigs, he’s won a World Series ring, an MVP, six All-Star selections, two Silver Slugger Awards, and an NL batting title (in the twilight of his career, 2008, no less). His .307 lifetime batting average is straight-up ridiculous. And according to the venerable Wikipedia, “He is the only switch hitter in Major League Baseball history to have a .300+ career…batting average and 400 or more home runs.” All this without ever, to my knowledge, being accused of taking performance enhancing drugs in the “Steroid Era.” He is, in short, probably the second-greatest Atlanta Brave position-player of all-time next to Hank Aaron and a surefire first-ballot Hall of Famer.

But on the other hand…

…While he was a straight-up awesome hitter, with that, he was a straight-up Met killer. He was a constant thorn in the side of Met fans – hitting a ridiculous .321 lifetime against the Amazin’s, with 42 home runs and 133 RBI, grand-slamming the ire with an incredible .517 OBP (to a comparatively paltry .263 batting average) in the 1999 League Championship Series. Not only did he make Turner Field a constant House of Horrors for Mets fans, he made Braves games at Shea a living Hell, too, with 17 home runs at the ballpark (no wonder he named his third son Shea).

Which leads me to the question to you, reader, as posed by Mark Simon of the less-new but still-shiny ESPN New York: would you give Chipper Jones (and by extension, Mariano Rivera) a standing ovation in his last at-bat at Citi Field?

Now, on the subject of Rivera, I don’t even know why that’s brought up – Rivera’s last appearance against the Mets would be inevitably if the Mets were losing, and no baseball fan will cheer an opposing team’s closer – and doubly so if they are a crosstown rival. (And besides, we’ve already given him the Citi Field pitching rubber (language on that link, BTW, is more-than-slightly NSFW).)

But Jones is an interesting point – he was one of the greatest hitters of my time, let alone of all time, but he was also one of the most hated figures of Met lore, and at the time of my introduction to Metdom (I always say that the ’99 season, arguably Chipper’s best, was the year I became a Mets fan). I think a standing ovation (coupled with the familiar “La-rry!” jeer) would suffice, but what do you think, dear Met fan reader? Would you give Chipper Jones a standing ovation in his final at-bat against the Mets?

Answer in the poll, and write in the comment section just how you’d tackle the situation – or just your favorite Met-Brave moments.

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