Goodbye, Javy

Javy Lopez to retire, ending Braves comeback attempt |

Let the record show that Javy Lopez is eighth in career homers as a Brave, and sixth among Atlanta Braves; that he is in the top twenty in more areas than I can conveniently list right now; that he’s one of the twenty best offensive catchers of all-time. I think that it was worth a try, and I’d like to see him get a job in the organization.

44 Greatest Atlanta Braves — No. 9: Javy Lopez

Also sent down, unsurprisingly, were Joseph Reyes, who was pretty terrible; Jordan Schafer, who showed promise but probably would have hit .500 to make the team; Brandon Jones, who will be back, probably before the break; and filler pitchers Ryan Drese, Francisely Bueno and Jorge Campillo. Schafer (eventually I will remember how to spell his name; it only took me several years to get “Schuerholz” and “Ligtenberg” right) was sent to Mississippi, everyone else to Richmond.

The Great Backup Catcher Derby continues for a couple more days with three candidates, none of whom are hitting at all. Given the Braves’ apparent desire for a no-hit, all-glove backup, Clint Sammons would seem the frontrunner, but there’s the Pena options situation to consider.

58 thoughts on “Goodbye, Javy”

  1. Can’t wish anything but the best for Javy. He was one of my favorites “back in the day” (“the day” being when he was on the team). That had a lot to do with a shared hobby (RC Airplanes), but he wasn’t a bad ballplayer either.

  2. And if none of the catchers can hit, then they might as well keep the one who’s good on defense.

    Though I still like Pena and his versatility.

  3. And Chuck James was very good again (though against minor leaguers). James threw four scoreless innings today; giving up one hit, one walk and striking out five.

  4. Actually, Pena is now hitting .316. It’s .316 with no extra base hits or walks and an OBP below his batting average, but he’s not hitting not at all.

  5. I thank Javy for his past performance and what he used to mean to the team.

    Good for him for trying again. And probably good for the Braves for not keeping him on the roster.

  6. Best of luck Javy, I remember watching him in Richmond when he, a skinny Chipper, Wohlers and Klesko were prospects. Can’t believe I have seen his entire career arc.
    I’ll never forget that pickoff throw in 95 WS. Cheers Senoir Lopez!

  7. Farewell, Javy. Your defense was underrated, mostly because you and Greg Maddux didn’t get along for whatever reason, but you seemed perfectly solid when you were out there, and your willingness to ride the pine every fifth day probably extended your career.

    I was skeptical of the comeback attempt, but given our other catchers, why not? Maybe he could have summoned one more streak like 2003, when he hit 11 home runs in 12 games played (May 22- June 11).

  8. Feh, whatever. I haven’t been paying attention to the spring stats. I hope Pena makes the team over Sammons. I was just saying if none of them hit, then it would make sense to at least pick the one that can play defense.

  9. I looked at Pena’s spring stats and wasn’t particularly impressed. 6 singles in 20 ABs, no walks, no power. I do like his potential better than Sammons, though.

  10. The “criticisms” for Billy Wagner were pretty ridiculous. I agree, Dan.

    And I, too, am going to miss Javy. It’s probably good he didn’t make the team. So who’s everyone’s money on to win the back-up job?

  11. I went to the Braves v Nats today. Jurrjens disappointed me. I wanted to see him dominate the Nats, but he gave up 10 hits. Soriano looked really,really good, as did Peter Moylan.
    Our offense did not look good.. we had many innings where we went 3-and-out on 8 pitches or fewer…their pitching was not great – we were just swinging at everything and hitting it right to where theie defense was positioned. Looked like 2005 Frenchy batting in every position 1-9!!!
    Despite today’s result – I think we have a better team than the Mets or the Phils, and if we stay healthy (overall), we should be right in the thick of things for the playoffs. The Mets are old and injuries will certainly take their toll, and the Phils do not have the pitching depth that we do – in the starting rotation or their bullpen.
    Here’s to the beginnings of another streak of division championships……and hopefully, a World Series championship!!!!!!!

  12. braves14 // Mar 22, 2008 at 3:46 pm

    I looked at Pena’s spring stats and wasn’t particularly impressed. 6 singles in 20 ABs, no walks, no power. I do like his potential better than Sammons, though.

    Not to be rude, but IMO, Brayan Pena has no potential.

  13. RIP Vandy. What the heck happened? I thought Sienna was a dangerous opponent but to lose by 21?

    Anyway, long live Vandy baseball.

    From a couple of threads ago – Mac, if Ned Yost is the first manager fired, it would be a convenient time to bring him back into the organization. Wishful thinking?

  14. Well, 3 of my Final 4 are alive…

    Vandy had a million turnovers & they couldn’t handle that little Siena guard. Plus, Siena shot lights-out. Pretty easy to figure.

    That Duke game was amusing. It’s gotta be especially tough for them to lose to a used-car dealer like Bob Huggins. That guy’s right out of central casting.

    Kinda looking forward to that UNC-Arkansas track meet. I don’t expect the Hogs to win, of course, but Sonny Weems is fun to watch when he’s going off.

  15. Mac,
    Nice homage to a great Atlanta Brave. I didn’t think that Javy had much of a chance to make the team but I am glad he tried and retired a Brave.

  16. its Spring Training but still,

    Kelly Johnson – 1 extra base hit
    46AB 10H .217AVG .294OBP .239SLG%

    Yunel Escobar –
    46AB 20H .435AVG .458OBP .630SLG%

  17. Yunel Escobar is a stud. The grand slam he hit against the Phils this spring was an absolute bomb. Don’t worry about Kelly though; he’ll definitely hit.

  18. I’m relieved that Cox saw the light and didn’t get Javy to stick around for a memory tarnishing year. That would have been too much to take.

  19. 5 Favorite Javy Moments:

    1) The one-out, 9th-inning HR vs Chicago in Game 2 of the ’98 NLDS.

    Kevin Tapani was tantalizing the Braves & going for the 1-0 shutout until Javy tied it with a bomb. Cubs fell apart in the 10th & Chipper won it with a single.

    2) A game-winner he delivered during a ’99 IL game in Boston.

    Down a run with 2 outs & 2 on in the top of the ninth at Fenway, Javy cracked a screaming two-run double over the 3rd base bag off Tom Gordon. It was my first visit to Fenway Park & that moment (and a few others) helped make it memorable.

    3) The aforementioned pickoff of Manny Ramirez in Game 2 of the ’95 WS.

    It was the first WS game I ever attended and it was an electrifying moment—even from the left-field upper deck.

    4) His destruction of the Cardinals in the ’96 NLCS.

    He went 13 for 24 with 2 HR, 5 2B, 6 RBI & 8 R—and 1 SB! For 7 games, that’s your basic 542/607/1.000. Wow.

    5) The moment he embraced Mark Wohlers on 10/28/95.

    Thanks for the memories, Javy.

  20. I hated to see Javy go the first time…I am glad that he retired before the season started; it is sad to watch an older player deny the evidence of spring, play terribly in April and then retire.

    I know that I am glad that I did not see the Vandy game. It made my day when Duke got knocked off by WVU….

  21. ding dong the K is dead, the K is dead…

    ding dong the wicked K is dead.

    he blames in on the flu
    but you and me, we know they’re pooh

    ding dong the wicked K is dead.

    oh, and UCLA almost lost….jesus, does ANYONE want to destroy teams anymore?

    Wisconsin is looking GOOD.

  22. Javy used to be one of my favorite players. It’s too bad his career flamed out like this, but I guess he didn’t show enough of his old hitting form to make up for his mediocre defense and terrible throwing. I would be surprised if Pena isn’t the backup simply because he can play other positions and gives Bobby a switch hitting pinch hitter. Plus he’s out of options.

  23. AAR,

    I love that Cabrera contract. He is what, 3 years younger than Tex? Plays a more difficult defensive position, AND is a better hitter. That would square Tex’s value away at 18-19 per, tops…but I highly doubt it stays that low if he hits free agency. 8/144 seems reasonable, or 7/126…but didnt he turn down 8/140 from Texas last year?

  24. anybody know where javy ranks on the HRs by catchers list? i know bench, berra, fisk and piazza have more………are there others ahead of him?

  25. (Parrish, Trammell, and Whitaker probably all should be in the Hall, but it’s very possible that none will make it. The real irony is that Jack Morris appears to have a more popular case than any of them, even though he was a much worse player, relative to his position, than any of them.)

  26. By the way, and sorry for the triple post, but I hadn’t realized quite how well Tex and Cabrera’s stats match up. It’s interesting to look at.

    Mark Teixeira, career: 747 games, 170 HR, 555 RBI, .286/.371/.539, 131 OPS+, turns 28 on April 11.

    Miguel Cabrera, career: 720 games, 138 HR, 523 RBI, .313/.388/.542, 143 OPS+, turns 25 on April 18.

  27. Of the four, I’d vote only for Whitaker. He did everything well for a long time at a position where not many players can say that. Trammell had more HOF-worthy peak seasons, but every few years would have a genuinely poor season, and was done as a regular at age 32. The only thing Parrish did worthy of being a HOFer was hit more home runs than other catchers. Morris was overrated, but very good.

  28. Morris gets points for winning the most games in a decade (’80s), being the best pitcher on one of the era’s best teams (’84 Tigers), and being an outstanding post-season pitcher (’92 notwithstanding).

    I don’t think a lot of voters want to put in a guy with a 3.90 era, though.

  29. thanks for posting those AAR.

    as i said, i think the age and OPS+ differences should dictate that Teixeira will get less…but i doubt Boras sees it that way

  30. You know, I’m rooting for Tennessee in this game, because I always root for the SEC, but if they lose I get to make fun of Tennessee for a giant choke job. It’s really a win-win situation.

  31. That Curry kid is amazing.

    I was pulling for Tennessee, too, but it was easy to root for Butler.

    I’d love to see more SEC wins, but I think Tennessee will be the only one left after today. Hard to imagine the Maroons & the Hogs winning.

  32. Whitaker and Trammel should be in easily. If they had played in New York or Boston, they would be. The ease with which Whitaker fell off the ballot should be in the first paragraph of any argument of why the HOF voters don’t know what the hell they are doing.

  33. can someone answer this….why can’t kenny lofton find a job? i know he’s old, but his production has been above average for a center fielder for years. i dont want him to be a brave but someone should take him. he’s turning 41 in a couple of months yet he can still swipe 40-50 bases per year with a good walk rate. since 2002, he’s played on 9 different teams. he must not be a very likeable guy.;_ylt=Ah_Y8UVO.m1ZtTk6oeL8wHKFCLcF

  34. He’ll find a job somewhere once some team’s plan A and B fail. He must be fairly likeable or teams wouldn’t bother with him anymore. I don’t think he’s much of a centerfielder anymore though.

  35. Going back to the Cabrera/Teixeira comparisons: What is the consensus on Teixeira’s ability to play third base? From my recollection, he would be a better third baseman than Cabrera.

  36. My understanding is that the timing of the placement, if it’s even going to happen, means that it’s just going to be for one turn.

  37. I think Kenny Lofton is on a select list of people that couldn’t play for Bobby Cox. That should tell part of the reason why he’s still unemployed. I also read where he doesn’t want to take a pay cut from last year. No tears shed for Kenny Lofton’s unemployment, at least for me.

  38. Kenny Lofton is and always has been a punk. You know how some players are the kind of guys you hate to have to play against but love having on your team? He’s the guy you hate to have to play against AND hate having on your team.

  39. I left a nice little tribute to Javy on my site at

    The real reason Braves fans wanted to see him play this year was nostalgia. And it would’ve been neat to have him back after the heartbreak of losing him to Baltimore after 2004.

    He just couldn’t throw runners out….not even one.

    Oh well. We still love ya, Javy.

    I know there’s trade bait talk with Bryan Pena but I kinda like him for the backup job. He has speed off the bench (for a catcher) which gives him a little more stock and he’s been throwing guys out from behind the plate.

    JB in ATL

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