Braves Journal, The House That Mac Built

I don’t want them forget Ruth; I just want them to remember me. -Hank Aaron

21 Jul

Inevitable

There was no chance Sosa wasn’t going to hit a home run there. I hate Shane Reynolds.

17 Responses to “Inevitable”

  1. 1
    Joshua Says:

    Geez this is pretty bad, its like watching a train wreck that you cant look away from.

  2. 2
    Ed Says:

    Hey, c’mon… he only walked two and struck out five!

    [/gallows humor]

  3. 3
    Joshua Says:

    Top of the 8th, King bases loaded. goes 0-2 against Alou and gives up 2 more runs, args. thats it, no more make it stop make it stop ….

  4. 4
    Colin Says:

    Hey, the Phils lost to the pathetic Mets, so it’s not all bad.

  5. 5
    Joshua Says:

    well, Java hits another. I sure hope, REALLY hope the braves dump him. i mean, the guy is doing great in his final year of his contract. it just pisses me off seeing the braves waste so much money on him with contract that he does good only one year. the numbers

    last year .233 avg 11hr 109 games
    2001 .267 avg 17hr 128 games
    2000 .287 avg 24hr 134 games
    1999 .317 avg 11 hr 65 games

    since 1998 he averages only 16 hr a year.

  6. 6
    Craig Calcaterra Says:

    Don’t be such a pessimist Joshua; would you rather they have gotten absolutely nothing out of him this year?

    There is a zero chance that the Braves will dump Javy this year absent a 30 game losing streak that kicks them out of contention (which would be too late for trades absent waivers anyway). No, Javy will be with us for the duration, which, with the way he’s swinging the bat, is a good thing.

    The *real* question is whether JS can show restraint and not offer him some sort of extension. I think we all would agree that this is an anomalous year for him, likely the last good one he’ll ever have. Let him leave on top, take the unexpectedly high draft pick his departure will give us (or not; he would probably take arbitration, wouldn’t he . .) and watch as someone overpays for him next season. Then:

    Estradatime!

  7. 7
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Javy is a 10/5 man and can not be traded. Also, he’s on a two-year contract, so really the only year to compare on this one is last year. You could just as easily point out that he played poorly in his last contract year. And he was great before getting hurt in 1999.

  8. 8
    Matt Davis Says:

    If they are dumb enough to pay an injury-prone 33 year old catcher coming off a career year the money they need to spend on starting pitching or keeping Sheffield etc. then I am going to inch one step closer over to Red Sox Nation. Javy is great but aging catchers are a worse bet than high-school pitchers (another annoying fetish by my favorite team).

    My heart will always be with the Braves but sometimes my head says “One day this overly traditional approach is going to bite them in the a$$.” I was sure this was the year but I didn’t count on the crazy offensive explosion.
    It’s about time the hitters all had good years at the same time but surely they realize that this sort of thing isn’t sustainable and that they need some pitching next year. At least another above-average veteran starter to go with Ortiz – they have enough young guys to fill in the back half of the rotation.
    Oh jesus I just remembered we have Hampton for like 12 more years. Maybe we can teach him a position (4th outfielder? couldn’t be worse). (I know I know, he’s been passable this year…but he makes a wad of cash (avg by year) for an OK pitcher and he walks too many guys and always makes me nervous.)

    That is my rant. I hope you enjoyed it. Back to work I go.

  9. 9
    Colin Says:

    Okay, so Javy didn’t do squat with the bat last year. How much worse off were the Braves for that? They won the regular season by 19 games, and then Javy went 333/375/800 in the NLDS. So they lost nothing for his performance last year.

    So this year he’s having a monster year, and is a key component of an offense that is carrying a mediocre pitching staff.

    If Javy had simply had to decent but not great years, the team would be worse off for it. Since he had the bad year when they didn’t need much from him, and the monster year when they’ve needed the offense, I think that works out rather well.

  10. 10
    Matt Davis Says:

    OK sure but you can’t co-mingle ex post facto analysis of what he did and when we needed it etc. with “what would be a smart way to spend X amount of money for the next few years?”

    You look at Javy’s history and the trends for catchers his age (esp. with his injury history) and you conclude this guy is likely to be average to below average, probably with a few more hot streaks left in him here and there, probably miss a good chunk of playing time, with a precipitous drop-off coming at some point soon. Oh yeah, and he can’t play every 5th game because he looked at Maddux funny one time or something.

    So you can have that for $X,000,000 a year, or you can have Estrada, likely to approximate his production over the next year if not light up the league, for $X00,000 a year AND a pitcher or 1B who makes the the difference, still several million dollars a year. Actually we should be trolling the minors for fat guys who play 1B, get on base and hit homers but don’t get called up because they are too slow or strike out a lot or something. Then we really would be able to afford another pitcher.

    I like Javy, I just don’t see how anybody short of Chuck LaMar could justify signing him at what he is going to want.

  11. 11
    Creg Says:

    I think what’s being overlooked in all this Javy talk is that with the year Castilla is having and no help waiting in the minors (Marte is at least two years away), Cox and Schuerholz will probably want to bring Vinny back next year.

    (shudder)

    Hey, don’t shoot the messenger…

  12. 12
    christian Says:

    I don’t think there’s any way Lopez gets behind the plate next year, do you? He’s already talked about wanting to extend his career by not catching any more, and the Braves have Estrada waiting at AAA, and their current 1B platoon includes a 67-year-old man.

    If the Braves re-sign Javy next year, I have to think it’ll be as a first baseman.

  13. 13
    Matt Davis Says:

    AKA the easiest position to find a good hitter for cheap.

  14. 14
    Colin Says:

    Matt – I was responding mostly to the complaint that he only gave one good year out of his contract, basically my PoV is “Yeah, so?” It would have been nice to get two good years from him, but we didn’t. At least he’s helping now, and is useful.

    And I think post facto analysis has to be a part of all contract analysis at some level. Yes, we should weigh heavily what was known at the time in judging how smart it was, but results also matter. And if the Braves get a 40-HR year out of Javy and another year in which his offense was simply mediocre, I think that makes the total $13m or so worth it for the Braves.

    That isn’t to say the post facto analysis makes a decision suddenly smart; just helps us judge if a guy was worth his contract when all is said and done.

    I wouldn’t pay too much to keep Javy next year; moreover, I think JS is going to want to play Estrada, as much to justify the Millwood deal as anything else.

  15. 15
    Joshua Says:

    I’d like to see them dump Javy for Vinny for a good 3rd baser but if i had to choose javy or sheffield, id take sheffield anyday.

  16. 16
    Matt Davis Says:

    Hey Colin,

    Hope I don’t come across like I’m angry or arrogant or anything – I tend to dash these comments off without editing or watching the tone too carefully (ever read a Bill James chat? that guy comes across as a world-class jerk but I’m sure he isn’t really).
    What I meant by the ex post facto comment was that the ONLY thing that matters in making decisions about the future is what the past tells you about the future. It’s not like Javy is choosing his spots intentionally.
    Anyway I don’t really disagree with you.

    P.S. Wouldn’t it be cool if Millwood was pitching to Estrada on the Braves next year?

  17. 17
    Colin Says:

    Matt – no, I didn’t take anything as arrogant, etc. Just wanted to clarify my point.

    Millwood to Estrada would be fun next year; depends, though, if Bowa decides to run his arm ragged in desperation of maintaining the wild card this season, though.

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