Smell You Later, Larry. Smell You Later Forever.
September 7th, 2012 by slangon

As most people know by now, Chipper Jones has announced his impending retirement from baseball after the end of the 2012 season. As most people also know, Chipper Jones has brutally abused the Mets over the course of his career. Over the course of 19 seasons, Larry has faced the Mets in 239 games, and put up a .314/.410/.553 line against them. He’s hit 49 home runs and driven in 158 runs against them.

As bad as those numbers are for the Mets and their fans, I feel as though every one of those homers and RBI’s came in a huge point of the game. Of course I don’t know that for certain, but that’s just the way that I remember it.

Tonight the Mets start a 3 game series against the Braves, making it the last time that they’ll be visiting Citi Field this season. Obviously, that makes this the final series that old Chipper will be gracing us with his presence, unless of course he ends up pulling a Brett Favre.

Like any good Mets fan, I’ve developed a deep, dark pocket of hatred for Mr. Jones over the years. I’ve also developed a begrudging admiration and respect for the man. As much as he’s driven me nut over the years and single handedly broken my heart, he’s also really embraced the role of villain and made the Mets/Braves rivalry a whole heck of a lot of fun. After all, who would want to watch a movie without a villain? As much as I hate to admit this, a little part of me is going to miss Mr. Larry Wayne Jones. A very little part.

Since the beginning of the season, the Mets have said that they will be doing something special for Chipper in honor of his retirement, as have a lot of teams. Some of the gifts he’s received so far have included a custom surf board from the Padres, an autographed Stan Musial jersey from the Cardinals, a cowboy hat from the Astros and a couple of third base bags from the Reds, Yankees and Nationals. The Nats also gave him the bat that he used to hit the first home run in Nationals Stadium history. I guess they had it in their museum and returned it to him. So far, my favorite of his swag was the Atlanta Braves banner from Wrigley Field that the Cubs gave him. I always thought that the flags showing the current standings was such a cool thing and I would be super stoked to get that if I were him.

That’s a pretty nice haul so far, but considering their history, I feel like the Mets really need to step up and give him something special. Somehow, I don’t think a gold watch is going to cut it. The whole third base bag thing is pretty cool, but it’s been done to death already. I’ve been wracking my brains trying to come up with something appropriate, like making all the current Mets name their next child Turner Field, or at least something that would be a wicked burn, like a compilation video of all of his lowlights against the Mets (which, admittedly, would probably be a very short video) or a sleep machine that just plays a crowd chanting “Laaaarrrry” rather than ocean waves. I’ve got bupkis. I’m really dying to see what the team is going to do.

By the way, in light of the significance of this series, there has been a boatload of reminiscences of Chipper’s career on pretty much every Mets site out there. I really loved one particular story that I read involving Mike Piazza. He apparently would always call him Larry, even before Mets fans adopted it as a derogatory chant. When asked why, he just said “Because I refuse to call a grown man ‘Chipper’.”

Nice one, Mike.

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