Cris Sykes: Jason, thanks for taking the time to sit down with me. That Yankee game was a tough one last night. You seemed to be rolling along fairly well before the wheels fell off. What did you think of your performance?
Jason Johnson: Well, that is a tough lineup, especially when they stack it with 7 left-handed hitters. I had my game plan to pitch inside to keep guys honest and I thought that went well. Of course, those are some good hitters and eventually they figured out my plan and jumped all over me.
CS: Isn’t there an adjustment you should then make once they recognize your plan?
JJ: I did. I figured if I started to fall behind hitters, they would continue to look inside and then I could get them with my sneaky quick 88 MPH fastball down the middle, waist high. Unfortunately, they seemed ready for that too and I was pretty much finished at that point.
CS: Could you assess your performance thus far in the season?
JJ: Well, I was pitching just fine before everyone started getting all crazy with me and expecting me to pitch effectively into the 6th inning all year long. If the fans would just be patient, I believe I can turn this around and keep my ERA under 6 for the season.
CS: What is the mood like in the locker room these days?
JJ: Pretty relaxed. It is no time to panic. We are still within striking distance of the third wild card spot.
CS: There is only one wild card Jason.
JJ: Here you go again, criticizing everything I do. Why can’t you people just get off my back?
CS: What kind of expectations did you have coming into this year?
JJ: I was kind of hoping to go out to the mound every 5 days, throw 4 or 5 innings and go relax in the hot tub, letting the offense pick me up. Then, every couple of weeks I get on the computer, check my online bank statement and do cartwheels because they are still paying me no matter what my stats look like.
CS: Do you talk to any of your old teammates in Detroit.
JJ: Yes. I just talked to Pudge the other day. He needed my new address. I guess the guys are pitching in to buy me a bubble suit. They want to make sure I stay healthy all year. Those guys are the best!
CS: Think that has anything to do with them wanting to face you 4 more times?
JJ: No, they are just very good friends that want the best for me.
CS: What do you think of manager Eric Wedge so far?
CS: You know, the guy that comes out and takes the ball from you about an hour into every game?
JJ: Oh, that guy. He is great to play for. He is so calm and relaxed. I was a little worried about him during that last White Sox series. Here we where in the middle of our biggest series of the year so far, and it was so loud in Chicago you couldn’t hear yourself think, and there is Wedgie, almost catatonic. I really thought he might have been dead during the stretch where the Sox brought up 7 straight left-handed hitters and he never even considered bringing in a left-hander to face them. My favorite thing about Eric is when we win, he buys us all ice cream. When I start and we win, everyone gets a double scoop, chocolate covered sugar cone!
CS: How would you feel about moving to the bullpen and letting one of the kids take a few turns in the rotation?
JJ: I would love it. That long relief role is the place to be. Instead of every fifth day, you would probably only have to pitch every tenth day, and it pays the same. Plus, you are probably already way behind when you called upon, so the pressure is completely non-existent.
CS: Has anyone approached you with the possibility of this happening?
JJ: No. They seem to like the calming presence I give to the team. I mean, when I am on the mound, nobody really expects us to win. It just lets everyone else relax and not worry about the outcome of the game.
CS: Thanks for the time Jason.
JJ: No worries. Go Tig, er Indians! ** At no time was Jason Johnson contacted during this interview. This was completely fabricated, and never took place. The way he's been pitching, Johnson just may be angry enough to sue us, so we want to be clear that this interview actually never happened.**