“Sorry Jim, But Your Services Are No Longer Needed.”


Jun 28, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Oakland Athletics relief pitcher Jim Johnson (right) is taken out of the game by manager Bob Melvin (left) during the 14th inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

There’s a common term to explain inductive reasoning known as the Duck Test; “If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.”

The test is used to gain a common sense determination about a subject based on his/her characteristics.

This test should finally commence for A’s reliever Jim Johnson, especially after today’s outing vs. the Detroit Tigers.

In other words, he’s ineffective and a risk to the future of the Oakland A’s this season. He’s become the biggest disappointment to an A’s team since Ozzie Canseco or Jeremy Giambi – and Johnson didn’t have a MVP brother to establish a legacy.

Called in the sixth inning with two Tiger runners on base in a close 3-2 game, Johnson proceeded to pitch only a third of an inning, eventually departing with the score 8-2 after surrendering 4 hits and allowing four runs to score in addition to being responsible for a runner on second base who eventually was plated.

The only Tiger out he got was an Andrew Romine sacrifice bunt that advanced the inherited runners.

To make matters worse, the A’s got their third run their next at bat on a Brandon Moss RBI single to score Coco Crisp. Unfortunately, instead of it being a tying run, it was insignificant in what had become a blow out.

Post game, Bob Melvin said he asked Johnson to get a ground ball and he did, it just went up the middle. (Susan Slusser – Twitter on July 2 at 1:25 PDT)

The time has come to stop making excuses for Johnson’s pathetic performance. I’m tired of hearing terms of “unfortunate,” “missing his pitches,” and “struggling” along with all the other spins and basically excuses that are given for him this year.

I understand when he was obtained he had a combined 101 saves for 2012 and 2013, but this is 2014 where he only has two and lost the closer role early on in the season. This is the worst pitcher on the A’s staff who just happens to be the highest paid (by far) pulling in $10 million a season and for what?

For his 36.1 innings pitched, Johnson has allowed 51 hits and 21 walks (that’s 72 base runners for you Moneyball stat geeks) resulting in 25 runs with a towering 5.94 ERA. At home, where he suffers the most and been persistently booed by the home crowd – uncalled for or not – he’s allowed 37 runners in only 13 innings pitched and his ERA is 14.04.

Even in his June 28 win where he helped out with 2.1 innings, Johnson left with only one out in the bottom of the 14th after surrendering two hits, uncorking a wild pitch, and then walking Jeff Mathis to load the bases. The A’s and Johnson got the win, but only after a miraculous shutdown performance by Jeff Francis who came in and did what closers are supposed to do – save the game.

There’s been much controversy about the booing of Johnson, but just because a guy wears the green and gold doesn’t make him immune from fans voicing their disapproval from repeated and consistent let downs by one of their players.

As hard as it is to sacrifice an investment, it’s time that A’s GM Billy Bean and Manager Bob Melvin realize what Johnson is to the team – a big liability – and cut their losses saying good-bye to Johnson and the $10 million he’s taken the A’s for this season.