Chipper Jones had a long and illustrious career in part because he didn’t take hitting advice from guys like Boog Sciambi. The duo reminisced about the one exception to this rule during last night’s Cardinals-Braves game with David Ross seated nearby in the Ed McMahaon role.
Before a Braves-Padres game in August 2009, Sciambi asked the switch-hitting third baseman about his tendency to swing at the first pitch of an at-bat. The curiosity was driven by the fact that oftentimes the ball was out of the zone or, at the very least, not in a great hitting spot. Jones explained he did it because it could be the only fastball offered his way.
Jones opted to take the first offering during his first at-bat, a fastball on the outside corner. Then, as the archived video shows, he delivered a fierce and bewildering glare toward Sciambi in the press box.
This is a perfectly executed baseball broadcast story. The video really makes it. Though it should be pointed out that the pitch in question wasn’t exactly in the happy zone for Jones.
That’s the thing about hitters. Failing 72 or 73 times out of 100 causes them to pin their shortcomings on others, even announcers who kind of have a point.