When I read this story, I was literally laughing out loud. Here’s Chipper Jones, high royalty in the baseball universe, and he’s telling a tale of being snubbed by a singer who made a name for herself on a TV reality show. As he told Kenny Mayne in the latest Outtakes interview from ESPN the Mag:
KM: Do you get recognized everywhere you go by now?
CJ: Funny story about that. Last year I was at the Daytona 500 with a friend and Richard Childress. Kelly Clarkson, who had sung before the race, came into the room. She walked my way, looking at me like she knew who I was, so I started to put out my hand. Then she pulls out a camera and asks me to take a photo of her and her friends. My buddy lost it. I’m from Daytona, so everybody knows me there. I was so embarrassed that I just wanted to go get a beer. Boy, was I put out.
Wow, that is just too funny. I knew his luck was going bad but I didn’t think it was that horrible. Honestly, a dude approaching .400 who’s one of the top players in the last 15 years and he’s getting hung out to dry by a reality TV star? Kenny Mayne stepping up to the plate and doing a solid job filling in for Dan Patrick on the Outtakes. Good thing SI has Patrick’s page because I enjoy his humor and the interviews they transcribe into the mag as well. Quick thing about this particular issue of ESPN the Mag with the Rays on the cover.
I think I get the diversity angle they’re taking by putting the Japanese infielder (Iwamura), the white infielder (Longoria), the black outfielder (Crawford), and the veteran closer (Percival) on the cover, but they really screwed up. How can you possibly have a cover shot of the Rays and not include one of their starters? It’s the quality innings from the pitching staff — guys like Kazmir, Garza, and Shields most notably — that has led to their success as much as anything else. But a real cover should include a team photo including the coaches and front office, because the turnaround has been on all fronts.