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December 18, 2009

Zrebiec: Jim Johnson A-OK with Gonzalez signing

Orioles reliever Jim Johnson has been busy renovating the bathroom in his Sarasota home, being a father to his baby daughter and starting his offseason throwing program. He pays little attention to any of the transactions during the Hot Stove season, and that includes ones involving his own team.

Johnson had no idea that the Orioles have agreed to terms with left-handed free-agent reliever Mike Gonzalez -- or third baseman Garrett Atkins for that matter -- until he was informed by a reporter late Thursday afternoon. The move certainly affects Johnson, whose brief tenure as the Orioles’ closer will likely end with Gonzalez on board.

"I don’t know what their plans are for him, but a left-handed guy who can throw late in the game, that’s a pretty good thing to have in any bullpen," Johnson said. "They signed him to help our team. ... If it's a move that makes our team better then, I'm happy. It's fine by me."

The Orioles won’t publicly anoint Gonzalez as their closer, preferring to make him earn the spot during spring training. However, it's considered little more than a formality as they didn't pay the former Atlanta Braves closer $12 million over two years to serve as a setup man.

Johnson, who inherited the Orioles’ closer role when George Sherrill was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in July, went 6 of 9 in save opportunities after the deal was made. He had a 10.61 ERA in 11 games in September/October, although the right-hander disputes the notion that the pressure of being a closer factored in his struggles.

"It was the whole month of September that I wanted to forget," said Johnson, who lives about 10 minutes away from the Orioles’ new spring training complex in Sarasota, and has been working out at Ed Smith Stadium. "It killed my season. That’s kind of an incentive for me to really work hard this offseason and make sure I’m ready to take the whole season on. I’m not saying that I wasn’t last year, but you can always improve yourself and get better in the offseason."

Asked if he’d be bothered if he was returned to the eighth-inning role, Johnson said, "You have to earn time to play, you have to pitch, you have to get guys out. If you’re not doing your job, you’re not going to play. That’s what it boils down to. It doesn’t bother me. It’s the fact of life.

"I wouldn’t be disappointed. I have to do what I can when I get an opportunity. Nothing is set in stone so we’ll see what happens. I’m sure in spring training, some things might change. You never know what’s going to happen. You have to be ready."

- Jeff Zrebiec

Posted by Baltimore Sun sports at 7:39 AM | | Comments (31)
Categories: Just baseball


Maybe JJ thought we signed A-Gon and was happy about that like all the fans lol

Is the Orioles front office making these signings specifically to torture us? By signing a guy that name sounds like the hottest free agent in baseball confused everyone at least for a few minutes. Also when you thought MASN couldn’t get any worse with those commercial that look like Saturday night live made them they go after Mike F!! LOL This team doesn’t have a clue!!!!!!!!

The commercials on MASN are by far not even the worst. Last season the Orioles would get beat so badly MASN would cut from actual game play for these horrible segments called rounding the bases where they would talk to totally irrelevant people like Ty Wiggy’s father I honestly don’t know what was worse those horrible segments or the Orioles play on the field. MASN is = to sleazy low budget porno.


Great post.....and so true!

Hey Pete, What's he going to say? 'Well, he's not really a closer, thus i still have a chance to win the job i was really bad at last year'

It's like when Roberts was asked about Millwood. Was he suppose to say - 'Yeah, he had a decent year last year, but prior to that he was awful and there's a reason Texas dealt him'.

And people.... FORGET ABOUT A-GON. It's not going to happen. It goes completely against AM's style and PA would ever approve it. WInning does not matter to the Angelos family. They do not care because they think enough fans will come to the park and they have their masn deal... They are done! They do not care!

A-Gon will never even sniff baltimore. And that's a good thing because the positive bloggers can keep talking about all the great youngsters through the next decade. It's what they do!

Pete, now go interview Trembly so he can tell you 'I'm excited about what we've done. Sure, I'd like to have players like A-Gon, but that's not the kind of move that's in our short term plans'......meaning 'I'm not going to make it past the all star break with this squad'.

Come on warehouse posters...... you have much positive spinning to do through the weekend. Earn your pay!

ok 2222, speaking of clueless...A Gonzalez is not a free agent. Won't be for another 2 years.The least you can do is rant with the facts.
Brutal dude.

Wayne... we are posting your picture at the gate. You are a hazard to yourself and others around you. Is misguided unintellegent paranoia a legitimate medical diagnosis?

MASN is not making as much money as expected partly bc both teams stink, therefore, WHY WOULD ANGELOS WANT TO LOSE ON PURPOSE??? IT IS COSTING HIM TICKET SALES AND AD REVENUE! Do you have any inkling of economic sense or are you that miserable you just like to complain about everything? You are like the hater sits by my relatives at Ravens games, complain ccmplain complain... then they do something good and people throw crap at him. Nobody likes the hater.

Sean: It's not your fault.
Will: [Softly, still staring off] I know...
Sean: No you don't. It's not your fault.
Will: [Serious] I know.
Sean: No. Listen to me son. It's not your fault.
Will: I know that.
Sean: It's not your fault.
[Will is silent, eyes closed]
Sean: It's not your fault.
Will: [Will's eyes open, misty already] Don't f* with me Sean! Not you.
Sean: It's not your fault.
[Will shoves Sean back, and then, hands trembling, buries his face in his hands. Will begins sobbing. Sean puts his hands on Will's shoulders, and Will grabs him and holds him close, crying]
Will: Oh my God! I'm so sorry! I'm so sorry Sean!
[Will continues sobbing in Sean's arms]

Wayne, Wayne, Wayne, OK, you got me. I am the warehouse poster. I have been posting for some time now under eleven different names.

I remember our first meeting at he warehouse, it seems like yesterday. PA said to me, "Hey you there! I've a job for you. There's a blog by some guy named Schmuck, the most influential one there is. There's a poster there, Wayne, who has me all figured out, and he's killing us. He costs us 10,000 fans a night, he's so spot on(yes, he really said that). I need you to blog continuously (I have nothing to do here in my Mom's basement except watching a continuous loop of Star Wars), and pump up The Plan."

I've been doing it ever since. Now I'm out of a job. Gotta go now. I need to turn over Mom.

dudes, how did MASN even get in this blog discussion?
somebody got a hair across their butt today about MASN? The article is about JJohnson.
Any moron could see that.
At least let's try to keep the negativity on point. Wayne, please do your best to keep the troops in line. Looking forward to a more focused discussion in the future.

jim66... what do you expect, he responded to Schmuck, but Zrebiec wrote the post. no clue what he is talking about.

For as bad as the team was last year, they showed so much promise at times, but they couldn't finish.

Wayne, I guess every commentary needs an antagonist, just like the Orioles are always in need of a big bat. Way to fill the void.


Absolutely hilarious! Now see people, that's how to be clever without sounding so damn defensive all the time.

That's how to be clever in lieu of ever having wins to back up your positive spin.

Seriously, good stuff Bruce!

wayne -

Could you also elaborate on your 64 win prediction?

64 wins leaves zero room for improvement from last season, so 64 wins means:

- Another down year from Nick Markakis

- Another down year from Jeremy Guthrie

- No improvement from Matt Wieters, Adam Jones and Nolan Reimold

- No improvement from Brian Matusz, Chris Tillman and Brad Bergesen

- No improvement by having 30+ starts from Kevin Millwood instead of the group of retreads and rookies from last season

- No improvement by having Garrett Atkins, who equaled Melvin Mora's production in 100 fewer at bats in 2009, in the lineup

I'd love to know if you actually think that all of that is going to happen. And, as it seems so important to you that people back up their arguments with stats and facts, I'd like to see some of them as well.

Any time you're ready...

In other news, the Mariners are thinking about trading Brandon Morrow for a DH. Luke Scott for Morrow sounds like a good plan to me.

Have Morrow start the year in the pen as a long reliever and if he does well, move him into the rotation and make Guthrie trade bait.

LOL, Seriously?

64 wins is in reference to 09'. Haven't predicted 2010 but it's easy to guess they won't be near 500. You know why, right?

Your throwing out names here and there is hilarious. It's the EXACT thing positive bloggers were doing last year.

And giving Atkins any props at all is beyond being knowledgeable. You know why, right?

So keep throwing out names like Millwood (see his 07 and 08 stats) and keep acting like the resident Bill James.

Me, I'll just go by pure facts.... 64 wins!

Sorry Pete, Z wrote this piece.... Hey Z, just replace your name where I put Pete's. And by the way....... please step up? I mean how's Johnson suppose to respond? Let's see something newsworthy instead of simple filler. Thanks!

Alright, wayne.

But 64 wins is in the past. So what's the point of spouting off about it over and over again?

Seriously. You ask for stats and facts, and then you give none.

I am throwing out names like Millwood, because Millwood, while he'll probably put up an ERA in the high 4.00's, is going to go out there every day, throw 30+ starts and pitch into the 7th every time. If one of the young guys tosses a four inning stinker, Millwood can come out the next day and toss eight to save the bullpen. Who was around to do that last year?

And I'm also throwing out names like Tillman, Matusz, Bergesen, Reimold, Wieters and Jones. I think that each of those guys is going to improve upon what he did last year, especially Matusz, Wieters and Jones. What do you think?

And here are two numbers for you on Atkins: .311 and .264. .311 is Atkins' career BABIP (batting average on balls in play). He put up a .264 mark last season. So even with a bounce back to something close to his career average, Atkins has the ability to easily put up a .260/20/90 season. I'm not saying he's going to, but he certainly has a better shot at bouncing back than a 38-year-old Melvin Mora.

Come on wayne. Practice what you preach. You seem to believe that 2010 isn't going to be any better than 2009, so stop ranting and raving without any substance and tell us why.

Gonzalez is a big pickup. If Koji is healthy and in the bullpen with Johnson and maybe Hendrickson, they have a pretty solid end of game committee. Albers, Hernandez and Berken for middle relief and hopefully a more stable group of starters with Guthrie, Millwood, Bergesen, Tillman and Matusz. Of course, hope is all we have for the moment .. until the young guys prove themselves.

JJ is lucky he plays for a pathetic team like the O's. Any good team would have cut his behind after last year's performance

Are we to believe that the O's are going with Wigginton at first base? Is Michael Aubrey ready?

Anonymous -

Johnson put up a 2.23 ERA in 2008.

Up until he was thrust into a role that he's clearly not suited for, his 2009 ERA was 3.18.

Heck, even before the early September meltdown when he gave up five runs to the Yanks without getting an out, saved six games in eight chances, posting a 2.93 ERA from late July to the end of August.

So, back here in reality, which you clearly left a while back, Johnson was pretty damn good up until the last 11 games of the season.

In short, it's a good thing you're not a GM.


You have no sense at all, nor any sense of humor. You are just like my parents when they threw me out of the house when they got home early one night and caught me wearing my sister's underwear. To hell with them. I don't need them or any friends either.

That last wayne post obviously wasn't me. Nice try brooksie. I mean I guess when you run out of facts and when the hyped post cease to make sense, anyone can resort to copying names.

All I ask everyone is that you demand a winner. The longer you accept losing, the longer it will continue. Demand better....have some pride!

wayne -

As I've said before, 2010 is the season that I begin to judge this team by on field results.

If the trio of pitchers and the young hitters don't pan out and nothing happens next winter, then I'll join you.

But once again, I'm choosing hope for this season. (And I'm still waiting for some actual answers from you about what you think of our young players.)


Our young pitchers? No one has any idea. Potential yes!. Potential means 'nothing' in the majors however. The one who showed the most (Bergesen) may still be dealing with his injury still.

Jones has to prove he can stay on the field. Pretty alarming so far.... Markakis is a great fielder but if you can't hit 20 hr's, you have to hit for a high average, especially from the 3 hole... Reimold, let's see a full season....Weiters is the most promising of the bunch with a ton of potential.

Other than that, poor to average at 3B, fillers at 1B, a non hitting SS, no experienced closer, and no true 4 or 5 hitter.

As for the prospects on the farm? Nothing many other teams don't have. I know, I know (players like Synder, Arrieta). Average excitement at best!

Hardly a 'team' who can predict improvement in 2010.

Sean: Wayne... It's not your fault.
Wayne: [Softly, still staring off] I know...
Sean: No you don't. Wayne, It's not your fault.
Wayne: [Serious] I know.
Sean: No. Listen to me son. Wayne, it's not your fault.
Wayne: I know that.
Sean: Wayne, It's not your fault.
[Wayne is silent, eyes closed]
Sean: It's not your fault.
Wayne: [Wayne's eyes open, misty already] Don't f* with me Sean! Not you.
Sean: Wayne, it's not your fault.
[Wayne shoves Sean back, and then, hands trembling, buries his face in his hands. Wayne begins sobbing. Sean puts his hands on Wayne's shoulders, and Wayne grabs him and holds him close, crying]
Wayne: Oh my God! I'm so sorry! I'm so sorry Sean!
[Will continues sobbing in Sean's arms]

Its only baseball big guy... Its a game, try to enjoy it. Save up that angst and negativity for something that really matters, such as America's descent into socialism.

ah...... an obama fan are ya?


Shamrock, you didn't really descend into Fox news yellow journalism as it descends into socialism? If only we could cut out Fox and head straight into socialisn........

The only socialism I see is the redistribution of wealth from those who are poor and middle class into the grubby hands of the insurance companies as the government makes sure that Corporate America hands the insurance companies thirty million new customers, paid for by the middle class and the taxpayers.

If there is anything else you would - or would not - like to see, just mention it to any Senate Democrats, who will consider it their civic duty to cave in on any and every issue that actually helps people..

Anyway, I came in to say that it is possible that Garrett Atkins may have been de-juicing last sunner, which would explain his lousy season. If he is back on track, look for thirty HRs and a .280 BA..

Regardless of Atkins, Gonzo was an outstanding bullpen pickup. And finally, forget Holliday. As with so many before him - Pavano, Teixeira, Guerrero, Thome, etc. - he is using the Orioles only to bump up his price from the team he wants, which most assuredly won't be us. .

This blog is a mess... just like the O's!

What does a last place team need with a $ 6 million closer? We're not really improving the team because all we're doing is replacing Sherill.The real need for this team was middle relief.With Baez gone all we have left is Albers and Sarfate and they can suck on any given night

Fang... you don't help people by doing everything for them. Expanded government is NOT the answer. Look at what government did for met just today, freaking dumped all the snow from my cul de sac into my driveway. Plenty of space in no one's driveway to dump snow, nope, 6 feet in my driveway. I agree with the pre-existing issues, but not government run. It simply will not work, like anything else the government does. Many people who need insurance can afford to buy it, yet they choose to spend their money in different ways. Much like people who know they have bills choose to spend their money on other things. People just want to be taken care of and blame people better off than they are, as much like th NY Yankees, they must have cheated their way to the top (see how I pulled in the baseball reference? nice)

Its not the Rich v. everybody else. They're people too, albeit more successful people. You do not strengthen a nation by reinforcing people's bad behavior and poor choices.

But what ever, continue being a sheep and line up for the slaughter. BAAAHHH!!

If potential means nothing in the majors, then basically, you're saying it doesn't matter if you have a 22-year-old with a 2.50 minor league ERA or a 22-year-old with a 7.50 minor league ERA.

Obviously, potential doesn't equal results, but come on, man...

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About Peter Schmuck
Peter Schmuck wants you to know that, contrary to popular belief, he is more than just a bon vivant, raconteur and collector of blousy flowered shirts. He is a semi-respected journalist who has covered virtually every sport -- except luge, of course – and tackled issues that transcend the mere games people play. If that isn’t enough to qualify him to provide witty, wide-ranging commentary on the sports world ... and the rest of the world, for that matter ... he is an avid reader of history, biography and the classics, as well as a charming blowhard who pops off on both sports and politics on WBAL Radio. That means you can expect a little of everything in The Schmuck Stops Here, but the major focus will be keeping you up to the minute on Baltimore’s major sports teams and themes, whether it’s throwing up the Orioles lineup the minute it’s announced or updating you on the latest sprained ankle in Owings Mills. Oh, and by the way, that’s Mr. Schmuck to you.

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