Baltimore Orioles: Fan Reactions to the Jim Johnson Trade

Sep 28, 2013 Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

Almost predictably, the fan reaction to the Baltimore Orioles trade of Jim Johnson to the Oakland Athletics for Jemile Weeks and a player to be named later was totally mixed. Comments ranged from the very negative, “Are you kidding that this is all the Orioles got in return for JJ?” to very affirmative expressions of “good deal and good riddance of the guy who blew up our season.”

It was pretty clear from the comments of A’s fans that they were pumped about the deal. One has to wonder where the infusion of money has come from to spend about 33 million in one day – as the A’s signed Scott Kazmir to a 22 million dollar contract earlier on Monday.

So, in looking at the message boards and Twitter comments, here is a sampling of the positive, negative, and unique perspective of Orioles fans …

Negative Reactions to the Trade …

From “Fanger,” the #1 Orioles comment board curmudgeon (whose analysis is thoughtful, and whose writing style I truly love), “Still, even though the team is probably doing the right thing, it really gets old as a fan seeing bad news after bad news. Watching good value free agents come off the board elsewhere combined with lousy trades even when we do something really makes the local peanut gallery depressed, and who can blame them? … Maybe Opening Day should be Prozac Day at the ballpark. Free mood elevators to everyone who attends.”

From Jim Paskewitz - So who closes for us now? Duquette wasn’t exactly my favorite exec when he came aboard and I haven’t seen anything that impresses me. Andy McPhail’s deals built the team.

From WannaBeHocker ‏@wannabehocker2m — Is there any logical reason why a team trades away a league-leading closer for some no-name 2nd baseman? #Orioles

From John R Lewis ‏@JohnniLewCrew14m — Unless the “player to be named later” is Billy Beane himself, this might just be his biggest heist yet. #Athletics  #Orioles #Weeks  #Johnson

From Tom Lathroum ‏@TL8throum17m — I used to collect baseball cards. Dan Duquette collects Triple A second basemen. #orioles #illtradeyoumyjohnsonforyourweeks

From Alex Wolf ‏@AWOLFNATION10m — I appreciate all that Jim Johnson did for the #Orioles. $10 million was too much for the O’s to pay for him, but they only got Jemile Weeks?

Positive Reactions to the Trade …

From Dan Tozzi – Glad to see him go; he blew so many saves last season I’ll take weeks and a minor pick for him all day ….. Great move Baltimore … Great move

From Jason Forrest ‏@jasonforrest895m — I liked Weeks when he first came up with the A’s. He brings speed that the #Orioles didn’t have. It will be interesting to see what happens.

From Walt ‏@Worlzzz27m — Jemile Weeks is a legit pickup. #relaxbaltimore #calmdown #masnOrioles #Orioles

From Craig Mulholland ♪ ‏@Mulholland__DR45m — So long double J.. Here’s to you giving a new fan base high blood pressure and anger management issues. #Orioles

From Kody Hartlaub ‏@kangarookody2m — I think the Birds are going to get the better end of this deal. #Orioles

Balanced Views about the Trade …

From Ben Graver ‏@bengraver16m — Hard to judge this #Orioles move without seeing how the rest of the winter plays out. Would like to see the extra money put to good use.

From Jason Forrest ‏@jasonforrest8912m — #Orioles fans complained about Jim Johnson a lot last year and now they complain that they got nothing for him. You can’t have it both ways.

The Most Unique View about the Trade …

From Jordan Ellenberg ‏@JSEllenberg6m — #Orioles now have Jemile Weeks and Chris Davis while #Brewers have Rickie Weeks and Khris Davis, so there’s that.

Summary – The main phrase that is being used to quote Dan Duquette on this move is “resource allocation.”  In other words, it was necessary for the Orioles to unload this salary to use it in other places. A big salary in Brian Roberts is now off the books as well. We’re talking about 20 million dollars, or roughly 20% of the payroll set free. How these “resources are allocated” will ultimately clarify the value of this trade. Beyond that, this Weeks fellow may just turn out to be better than anticipated. He is still young, and if he hit .300 not long ago, why can’t he do that again?

Twitter:  @OSayOrioles / @BaltimoreWireFS

Topics: Baltimore Orioles, Jim Johnson

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4 Comments on Baltimore Orioles: Fan Reactions to the Jim Johnson Trade

  1. Aaron B. Hopkins says:

    So what’s your take on the trade?

  2. Randy Buchman says:

    I will comment on it myself in future articles, but I think it had to be done. The crazy dollars involved are a sad feature of the sport – someone had to be moved. If those “resource allocations” can be put to productive use, then, yes, it looks like a better trade than it does today.

  3. Clearly Jim Johnson was viewed by the players and a leader on the team. He was a career Oriole through the minors and then the majors. It would appear that while the Duquette O’s are willing to pay for certain position players, there is no apparent intention to pay or reward for pitching, and I don’t think this will be lost on any of the pitchers on the major on minor league rosters. Time will tell.

    • Randy Buchman says:

      Yes, these rising reports of clubhouse reaction to the trade are the stuff of concern. But even the players (employees) have to understand that the employer can only pay them if the business can afford it. If Johnson was a back-to-back 20-game winner as a starter, I think the situation would have been different. This may be a sad truth about Orioles success on the field – that they can’t afford to sustain it with a payroll. That is a frustrating contemplation. Chuck – thanks for reading and interacting!

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