Let me start this piece by saying this is my own opinion, and I’m sure there are plenty of fans out there that disagree with me. But the boo birds in Oakland are a topic of much discussion, so let’s discuss.
Jim Johnson has been hearing the boos in Oakland. Granted, he has performed poorly in front of the home crowd, but maybe being serenaded with boos every time he pitches has something to do with this.
On the road, Jim Johnson has been the closer the A’s thought they acquired in the offseason, posting a 2.00 ERA. In front of the home crowd where he is openly booed at just the sight of him, his ERA soars to 7.36.
The way I see it, Johnson was nervous in his first appearance with a new team in the opening series of the season. He performed poorly, and the A’s fans starting booing him, and haven’t stopped. When he enters a game, Twitter explodes in a round of boos as well.
In Monday’s game, Jim Johnson was pulled quickly after allowing a couple of hits. I think that Bob Melvin was trying to save Jim Johnson from the fans, more than he was trying to save the win. JJ inherited a runner, and then Josh Reddick dove for a ball that he had no business diving for, advancing the runners to 2nd and 3rd with nobody out. Johnson gave up another single, and that was it for him. He didn’t even get the benefit of starting with a clean inning
If he was placed into the game after Jesse Chavez instead of Fernando Abad, Reddick doesn’t dive for that ball. There would have been a runner at 1st, and the following single would have had them at 1st and 2nd, and no runs allowed. Would Jim Johnson still get booed then? Maybe, but I doubt it. He also may have been allowed to stay in the game and induce a double play, which would have won the fans over.
Jim Johnson is on OUR team. He wants US to win. If we keep discouraging him at home, as shown, he can be very ineffective. When he is “on” however, he can be a great addition to the club and could take the A’s deep into the playoffs. Let’s give the guy a fair shot, ok?
My proposition is simple. Let’s not boo Jim Johnson for 3 games. 3. If he is still terrible, then have at it. But if he responds well, then cheer the living hell out of him because he is one of our own, and we’re stuck with him for the rest of the season.