An interesting thought occurred to me last night when John Jason went first-to-third on Ben Zobrist’s sac-fly behind third base: if Charles G. LaMar was still running the front office, we would never know John Jaso.
Chuck LaMar was a scout, a good scout, before he built the Braves’ farm system as its farm director. LaMar knows how to identify potential. That was his biggest weakness as a GM.
The scout in LaMar was always trying to catch lightning in a bottle. LaMar wanted game changers. Guys that could beat you when you were at your best.
That is why he always defended his development program because, in his scout’s heart, he just knew that “the Matt Whites and the Bobby Seays” were going to finally harness their incredible potential and prove LaMar a genius.
Which brings us back to Jaso.
Jaso doesn’t do anything particularly well. He is just, for lack of a better term, a ballplayer.
Jaso is never going to beat you. The key to his success, in my opinion, is that he knows that. Jaso rarely, if ever, tries to do too much. He just waits for you to make a mistake, and then capitalizes.
The play in the 2nd inning is a perfect example of that phenomenon. BJ Upton made a great play capitalizing on Erik Aybar’s decision to drift back on Zobrist’s popper. Jason dutifully moved from first to second when he saw Aybar’s throw go home. Then he realized that no one was covering third, and helped himself to that base as well.
He remains vigilant because he knows that he can only succeed if he takes advantage of every mistake an opponent makes.
As a baseball fan, I love that. But the scout in Chuck LaMar just couldn’t appreciate that quality in a player.