I guess you can go with "Expect the Unexpected." This has been a crazy summer for the Johnson family.
Of course, most of you know my oldest son, Steve, was with the Dodgers organization. He had a goal to get to AA this season--he just had no idea that would be in Bowie, Maryland.
He was having a good season at Inland Empire, the High-A team for the Dodgers. After the minor league All-Star break, he got the idea that it was possible that he might be moved to Chattanooga, the Double-A team for the Dodgers. When he finally got the call, he went there and pitched great.
Then that crazy day with the postgame show with Tom Davis at Camden Yards came along. When the trade for George Sherrill went down, I could not believe it. I was very happy, but concerned as well.
Steve had spent the better part of five seasons making a name for himself with the Dodgers. I was hoping he wouldn't put so much pressure on himself that he would try to do too much in first couple of games with Bowie.
In his second start, he pitched in Fenway Park on TV. I was doing the Orioles pregame show while watching Steve pitch on the Internet during the breaks. He pitched well in Fenway Park.
When Steve finally got home, everyone was saying "I'll see you at Steve's game." - I had to keep telling them that Tera would be there, but I would be working on the pre- and post-game shows. It was strange having Steve so close and still not being able to go see him pitch. Hey, I'm not complaining. I'm very fortunate to have the best job I've ever had in my life.
It was great for Steve to live at home and be able to catch up with his high school buddies. They got to go see him pitch and then hangout with him after the games back at home.
It's still kind of odd realizing that my son actually has a chance to pitch for the Orioles one day. Wow!! Can you imagine that? I'm still trying to take it all in. I didn't expect this at all.
Finally, in case you're interested in how Steve has been progressing...
-He capped off his 2009 season by being named the Eastern League's Pitcher of the Week.
-Steve's goal this season was to get to AA by the end of the year. Mission accomplished and more. He not only had a solid campaign at Inland Empire for the Dodgers' High-A affiliate, but he was promoted to Chattanooga in the AA Southern League.
-While at Chattanooga, Steve pitched 2 games before he was traded to the Orioles with teammate Josh Bell for George Sherrill. They were both assigned to Bowie of the Double-A Eastern League. Both players adapted well and performed admirably for Bowie down the stretch. Josh hit .289 with 9 home runs for Bowie and combined with his .296 and 11 home runs at Chattanooga, he finished his first Double-A season at .295 with 20 HRs. Way to go Josh!
Steve finished strong as well. After 2 games in Chattanooga, he was 1-1 with a 1.69 ERA. After the trade he pitched 7 games for Bowie where he compiled a 3-2 record with a 2.84 ERA. He won his last 3 starts and was named Pitcher of the Week for the Eastern League, and he won 12 games for the 2nd consecutive year.
-This was Steve's fifth year of professional baseball, as he signed out of high school at 17. He must be protected on the Major League roster or be subject to the Rule 5 Draft in December. Here is hoping he did enough to be promoted to the 40 man roster and go to camp with the Major League Club next spring.
Obviously, I am very proud of how he has handled himself as a professional baseball player. There are many people who have helped in many ways. I thank you for your help and hope you share a little pride in Steve's success to this point in his career.
Thank you for your support,