I am pretty sure that Lopez catches every day except when Maddux pitches and except if he plays a night game and there's a day game the next day and Maddux doesn't pitch either of those games. However, he is also constantly nagged by minor injuries so can be a little unpredictable and miss extra games because of that.
If Javy calls such a horrible game, how have the Braves led the
NL in pitching for so many years(except this year) ? Last year
Millwood and Glavine, plus the Braves relievers did fine with
Javy. In fact, Cox calls the pitches and Javy simply gives them
to the pitcher.
Maddux is just a big baby. The pitcher calls the game. He can shake off his catcher a hundred times until he gets the exact pitch and location he wants to throw. Maybe a younger pitcher needs more help from the catcher, but not Greg freakin' Maddux. Mr. Cy Young. Call your own pitches and do what's best for the team, instead of crying about Javy Lopez.
Why on Earth would you want to take a bat like Lopez's out of the lineup (this year, and in the mid-90s when he was hitting well) when you're pitching? A catcher of Lopez's calibre (again, now, and in the past) shouldn't be getting more than 1 day off a week. The dropoff in offensive production from Lopez to Henry Blanco, Eddie Perez, or whoever isn't worth their game calling ability.
As a Braves fan from the days when Murphy, Horner, Chambliss was the meat of the lineup, I can tell you what I know of the Lopez situation. The official line is that the Braves want to keep their every day catcher fresh. To do this, Maddux (being such a professional pitcher) is the one designated in the rotation to pitch to whomever the secondary catcher is (there have been a few). Every year the Braves make the playoffs and almost always struggle with their offense. And quite often, since Maddux is either the #1 or #2 pitcher, Braves fans have to endure a lesser hitting catcher when they really need offensive help. The issue always comes up and the Braves always stick to the company line. I think it's as simple as this: early on Maddux got it in his head that Javy's not a good catcher to pitch to. First impressions are hard to shake. Here's an old article from 2000 that speaks to it: