Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Josh Johnson is not helping any my blood pressure … or any fan’s, for that matter.
After every Johnson start, I have to remind myself to take a deep breath and not let my frustration get the better of me. I have to remind myself that Johnson is a human being, and the spirited words I use when yelling at the television are not the same words I would use if Johnson and I were face to face. I am positive that no one feels worse about this season’s performance than Johnson himself.
Since the All-Star Break, Johnson has thrown 10 innings. In those 10 innings, Johnson has given up 24 hits, 18 earned runs, five home runs and issued five walks while striking out 11 times. While the strike out to walk ratio has been good, 50 percent of the fly balls hit against Johnson in Rogers Centre end up as home runs.
With these stats, Johnson’s name should be on the next DFA list. Over and over again this season, the pitching staff has laid rotten eggs and fans have had to sit and watch in the hopes that talent will turn this team around. With Johnson as the ringleader of this tragic circus, the pitching staff has been the prime reason why the Blue Jays have stunk this season.
As frustration builds to into a frenzy, fans have to take a step back and remember that these guys are not commodities. They are people, and people have bad days.
Unfortunately in the case of professional athletes, bad days can become bad seasons. The vitriol I read and hear online and on the radio is sad because I am positive that no one wants to play up to their expectations more than the players on the team.
I would like to think of this season as a bump in the road, that Johnson would come back next season and have a great year for the Blue Jays. It is also possible that his skills may have declined to a point where they will never return. Should this be the case, I will say thank you for your time and enjoy retirement.
Fans could spend the time cursing his name because he performed so poorly for the team, but I don’t think dragging Johnson’s name through the mud will do anything constructive.
Yes, 2013 has been supremely frustrating for Blue Jays fans who have watched the team play so poorly. However, it is more constructive for the supporters to let the Blue Jays players know that they are with them all the way — even if that way is not to the playoffs.