So what must it be like to hear your son may be traded to the Orioles while you are on the air on the Orioles radio network?
That’s the afternoon Dave Johnson had as he was working today’s postgame show with Tom Davis when reports began to surface that his son, pitching currently for the Dodgers Double-A team, may be headed to the O’s organization.
I should mention that as Dave agreed to be interviewed the trade was still not official, but he heard from Steve that he was told not to dress for tonight’s game.
“We knew something was going to happen because of the trade deadline. I was checking the websites at 3 and 4 in the morning and didn’t get much sleep. I haven’t seen Steve’s name in any reports,” Dave Johnson said.
“I was talking to Roy Firestone who is a big O’s fan. He called me last night and said he had heard Steve mentioned in some reports. If everything looks like it is, he will soon get his Oriole career started.
“I was talking with Tom and I was crying. It’s kind of like the day he got drafted. This legitimizes all he has worked for. I got a chance to live it. I kind of know what he may get an opportunity to do. I’m sitting here today because I got a chance to pitch for the Orioles.
“This is a great day for me and my family. Steve is getting all kinds of text messages and phone calls from his friends as well as I am as we await official confirmation.
“I would assume they didn’t just trade for him because he looks good in a uniform or because he is my son. The Orioles have some local guys. They’ve got Brandon Erbe and Chorye Spoone and Steve. Maybe one of those guys if not all of them pitch out here at Camden Yards one day and get the same chance I got.”
Dave talked about why Steve Johnson was not drafted by the Orioles out of high school.
“I talked to Joe Jordan about this recently. Joe said something like ‘we kind of messed up there’ (in not drafting Johnson). It was Joe’s first year as scouting director. It was Steven’s senior year and he got a bad staph infection. He lost 15 pounds and he went from 90-92 when he pitched against Brandon Erbe on opening day to losing 5-6 miles per hour off his fastball. That scared some teams off. When you are a first year scouting director do you take a chance on that kid?
“The Dodgers had seen Steven the previous summer. John Barr, the East Coast crosschecker saw Steven the previous summer when he was at his best. They knew about the infection and it was not a concern for them. Even though they took him in the 13th round we were able to get the fifth-round package we wanted.
“Even though the O’s didn’t take him I understood because of that health situation. But it legitimizes him because someone else drafted him. He wasn’t taken just because he’s Dave’s son. He earned everything he got.
“I hope the O’s send to him Bowie since he was just promoted to Double-A by the Dodgers.”