A Letter to Jim Johnson

Dear Jim Johnson,

On behalf of all the Athletics fans that support you and want to see you do well, I apologize for the shameful, disgraceful, rude and childish behavior that was displayed towards your wife this weekend.  When I saw Susan Slusser’s report that your wife was harassed and booed at a charity event over the weekend, I was ashamed to be associated with the so called “fans” that would do such a hurtful thing.

You have done nothing for the Athletics except go out and try to do your best.  You have excused the boos you received on opening night and have handled the situation, which I imagine is still hurtful no matter how long you’ve been a pro, with maturity and have given A’s fans no reason to dislike you on a personal level.  For fans to turn around and treat your family in such a shameful manner is appalling.

I didn’t appreciate that, and she wouldn’t even tell me everything that was said.” Jim Johnson to Susan Slusser of the Chronicle 

A’s fans are the greatest fans in baseball.  We don’t leave games early when we’re winning and don’t lose hope when we’re losing.  We support our players when they are peaking and wish the best for our players when they are slumping.  You, Mr. Johnson, had the unfortunate timing of having a bad game on your first outing with the team in front of a sold out house.  If you were a veteran Athletic with 100+ saves in two years and you blew a save on a Tuesday night in April in front of the die hards, we wouldn’t have booed.  I’m not excusing the treatment you’ve received, just trying to illustrate that, like politics, the loudest 5% seem to be representing the masses in a negative way.

I want you to succeed.  I want you to help my favorite baseball team reach a level they haven’t seen since 1990.  I want you to be a name that we chant for in the right field bleachers.  I fear, though, that the treatment we have given you and, now, your wife will forever tarnish the relationship you’ll have with the best fans in baseball.  I fear that the anxiety of being booed is taking your mind out of the game.  I fear that the embarrassment of constant ridicule is as demoralizing as we all hope it would be when we boo our opponents.  You deserve better.  A’s fans should do better.

You have not been perfect this year but you’ve done nothing to deserve this treatment and your wife should never be treated in such a disgusting fashion.  She is not a pro athlete who can get “used” to the name calling and the booing.  She hasn’t blown a save, she isn’t batting .125, she didn’t speak ill of the fans, she didn’t drop a crucial ball, she didn’t do anything except represent her family at a charity event.  If fans can boo a woman for charitable acts, I’m not sure I want to go to games any more.

Mr. Johnson, I hope that your perception of the A’s fanbase can be repaired and that you will enjoy playing here as much as your team mates claim to.  No slump lasts forever and a little support from the fans might be the best way to overcome what has, I’m sure, been a frustrating and painful three months.  Please pass my words on to your wife; the majority of A’s fans are glad you’re here and happy to see you doing good work with the rest of the A’s family.  Please do not let the behavior of some idiots keep you from visiting our park and participating in future events like this weekend’s.

Good luck,

Tony Frye

*I encourage anybody that agrees with my sentiment to include comments to Johnson in the comments below.  Let’s show this family what being an A’s fan is really about.

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