Touch 'Em All: Braves' Johnson needed to take a time-out

Posted: May 25, 2014

It was a sadly familiar occurrence at Atlanta's Turner Field on Friday night when Braves third baseman Chris Johnson decided to make his feelings known to all and sundry after a second-inning strikeout against Colorado righthander Jordan Lyles.

We've all seen it: A grown man reminding us that he plays a children's game for a living by throwing a tantrum that would embarrass your average 2-year-old, let alone a Little Leaguer, destroying whatever equipment or beverage container is within reach - because, hey, it's just not fair.

In Johnson's case, his bat took the brunt of his ire - he went down the tunnel and shattered the maple implement of his discontent. Unfortunately, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, he didn't go far enough and pieces of the bat hit his manager Fredi Gonzalez and catcher Gerald Laird, who were standing on the dugout steps with their backs to Johnson.

That got Johnson tossed. Not by the umpire - by Gonzalez, who sent Ramiro Pena out to third and, presumably, sent Johnson to time-out.

According to the Journal-Constitution, it's not the first time Johnson has made the dugout into a romper room. Last September, in a 5-4 loss to the Phillies, Johnson threw his helmet and hit first-base coach Terry Pendleton - who responded by throwing Johnson.

After Friday's game, Johnson seemed to have figured it out. "That's one of the biggest parts of my game that I've got to try to work on," he said. "And yeah, hurting myself would be bad. One of the worst things I could probably ever do would be hurt a teammate or something like that, and both of those would really hurt the ball club. So I think that was Skip's reasoning for taking me out of the game."

(Wow, you can almost smell the smoke from those gears turning.)

Jeter passes Aparicio

On Saturday, the New York Yankees' Derek Jeter played his 2,584th game at shortstop, passing Chicago White Sox great Luis Aparicio to move into second place all-time.

Omar Vizquel tops the list with 2,709 games at the position. The retiring Jeter won't catch him, but the Yankees star now has played more games at one position without appearing at another spot than anyone in baseball history. Vizquel played other positions.

Classic tie

They played the Hall of Fame Classic at Doubleday Field on a rainy day in Cooperstown, N.Y., and a soccer game broke out.

Ivan Rodriguez hit a two-run homer to knot it in the top of the sixth inning, and Phil Niekro's Knucksies and Ozzie Smith's Wizards played to a 4-4 tie in a game that featured six Hall of Famers and 30 former major-leaguers.

(We blame Bud Selig - he started it with that tie in the 2002 All-Star Game.)

Tribe's Tinseltown title

Hard to believe, but Major League is 25 years old. To mark the anniversary, the Lake County Captains, the Class A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians, who figured in the flick, on Aug. 1 will hand out bobbleheads of Jobu, the voodoo mascot who helped fictional slugger Pedro Cerrano hit the curveball.

"Every year, we figure out what moment in Cleveland sports history we're going to celebrate," said a Captains official. (They do know it was just a movie, right?)


mharrington@phillynews.com

This article contains information from the AP.

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