Anthony Rizzo, one of the most likable players in Major League Baseball, was mic'd up during the Cubs' spring training game against the Angels on Monday and told a great story about the first time he played against Chipper Jones after growing up heckling him. I'm assuming Rizzo is talking about Chipper and the Braves coming to play the Marlins, since he's from South Florida.
"So I make my debut in '11 and Chipper Jones gets on first base, and I was just, like, in awe. That's Chipper Jones I'm talking to. I used to heckle you as a kid, now I'm standing next to you. It was one of the coolest moments of my life."
It's just fun to be able to hear players talking about their favorite memories about baseball while actually on the field playing the game at the highest level in the world. For whatever real or perceived problems MLB might have, just doing more stuff like this would go such a long way.
Having players mic'd during regular season games is not unfeasible. Baseball is probably the only sport where you actually could have live conversations with the booth during play. Maybe you limit it to just weekday day games — managers put crappy lineups out there and phone those in anyway. But however you can figure it out, give us more content like this.
Also, I'm really looking forward to Chipper being in the booth for ESPN this season. He's always been entertaining in his appearances on the Braves' broadcasts and I think he could end up being one of the best national baseball analysts out there.
Only 24 days until Opening Day. We're almost there.