Chipper Jones has received various items from opposing teams during his farewell tour around MLB. A cowboy hat here, a surfboard there. You know the deal. However, given his history of tormenting the Mets, many wondered what he would receive from the club upon arriving to Citi Field today. Perhaps something traditional like a gold watch? Maybe something a bit more sentimental like a seat from Shea Stadium? How about a one-way ticket back to Atlanta? Nope.
Via the Mets’ Twitter account, COO Jeff Wilpon presented Jones with a painting by artist Charles Fazzino during a press conference before tonight’s game:
That’s…interesting. Just in case you can’t tell, the pop piece depicts Jones back at Shea Stadium, complete with a fan yelling “Larrrry” from the stands. That’s a cool touch. According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, a mix of boos and cheers could be heard when the Mets showed a video before the game of Jones receiving his going away present. Many words were wasted on whether the Mets should pay tribute to Jones at all, but it looks like they handled this situation just about right. If only they could do that a little more often.
Yesterday it was reported that the Washington Nationals would cut the weekly stipend paid to their minor leaguers from $400 a week to $300 per week through the end of June.
For frame of reference, MLB had agreed to pay all minor leaguers $400 per week through May 31. Several teams have agreed to extend that, with the Royals and Twins agreeing to do it all the way through the end of August. The Oakland A’s decided to stop the payments in their entirety as of today. The Nationals were unique in cutting $100 off of the checks.
The A’s and the Nationals have taken a great amount of flak for what they’ve done. The Nats move was immediately countered by Nationals major league players announcing that they would cover what the organization would not.
The A’s are, apparently, still sticking to their plan. The Nats, however, have reversed course:
One can easily imagine a situation in which Nats ownership just decided, cold-heartedly, to lop that hundred bucks off of each minor league check and not worry about a moment longer. What’s harder to imagine is what seems to have actually happened: the Nats did it without realizing that anyone would take issue with it, were surprised by the blowback, and then reversed course. Like, what kind of a bubble where they living in that they did not think people would consider that a low-rent thing to do?
In any event, good move, Nats, even if I cannot even begin to comprehend your thought process.