Here is what I knew about Josh Johnson before the trade:
- he’s been with the Marlins for a while, right?
- he might have been their Opening Day starter
- he is NOT Jim Johnson
(That last one shows remarkable improvement from my early days as a baseball fan, when I couldn’t tell the difference between Carlos Beltran and Carlos Febles.)
Here is what I learned immediately following the trade:
- he was hurt at some point
- he has one year left on his contract
I didn’t, and don’t, know any of his statistics. His pitches. His appearance. In other words I know nothing about Josh Johnson. It’s possible I have seen him pitch before, but I wouldn’t know for sure, as we have already exhausted my five Josh Johnson Facts.
I could go to his Fangraphs page and rhyme off the list of standard sabremetric reasons why he will or won’t be a useful starter for Toronto next year, but anyone can do that. In fact that appears to be 90% of Fangraphs’ written content.
All of this left me without much idea of what to say about his sudden appearance on the roster of my favourite team.
And then a friend of mine wrote this. It’s an interesting read, and not because I’m quoted in it. Well, not just because of that. Near the beginning, regarding all the games played in major junior hockey, Cam writes:
All-in-all, not counting overtime or playoffs, that’s 2084 hours of hockey over the course of a season. If I’m lucky, through various streams, television broadcasts, or even live visits to the rink, that means I’ll watch about two games a week, which is reasonable enough. Suppose that’s the case, and I’ll watch 54 Major Junior games over the course of the season, that’s 2.5% of the season to cover.
I also said, around the same time that I saw that piece, that I hadn’t written anything on the trade yet because of the “inherent difficulty in writing about former Marlins” — namely, that “nobody knows anything about the Marlins.”
And I thought, what if someone watched 100% of Josh Johnson’s starts from last year? (He had 31; that’s six facts now.)
So I did it. Through the magic of MLB.tv, I went back and tried to watch every inning he threw (191.1 of those; fact #7) and not quite every pitch he threw, but close enough.
In the spirit of Frank Costanza, I like to go in fresh, so I didn’t even look at his 2012 gamelogs, beyond the dates of his games. I simply took that list of dates and called up the video for each of those games. Every game. Every inning. (Why not, right?)
Coming soon: the results.