I think we can finally put the “Would Jim Johnson make a good starting pitcher?” questions to bed for good.
Johnson, who set an Orioles record with 51 saves last season, has been quoted in the past as saying he would like to be a starter. It’s been a topic of discussion for several years, with even the great Jim Palmer endorsing J.J. as a starter on several occasions.
However, it appears as if it’s time to accept that “Nails” is going to be comfortably occupying the closer’s role in Baltimore, and is no longer staring longingly at the starting rotation.
Johnson was on 105.7 The Fan this afternoon with Bob Haynie and Mark Zinno, and was none too happy when Zinno began a question with “You’ve said – on this show and elsewhere – that you’d like to be a starter…”
J.J. was immediately heard mumbling something. When Zinno stopped his question to ask Jim what he said, J.J. replied with a gruff “I thought we were done with these questions.”
Things got awkward for just a split second, as Zinno quickly moved on to his next question.
However, the interview only got worse.
Later on, after Haynie asked J.J. about the Toronto Blue Jays’ blockbuster trade (Johnson admitted that he wasn’t 100% sure which players changed teams), Zinno asked Johnson about the Orioles’ record in one-run and extra inning games in 2012. The O’s, of course, were phenomenal in those types of games, and Zinno’s question revolved around how the team could “bridge the gap” and reach the postseason again without having to win a historical amount of games by the skin of their teeth.
J.J.’s reply? (And I’m paraphrasing)
“Man, you guys are really catching me off guard here. I didn’t know [the interview] was going to be like this.”
After the interview wrapped up, Zinno stood by his questions. Personally, I see nothing wrong with either question.
However, be warned radio and podcast hosts – stop asking Jim Johnson about starting.
Here’s the link to listen to the interview: http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2012/11/29/orioles-closer-jim-johnson-gets-mad/