Gamesmanship & coming home

On Saturday, I was called on to pinch-hit in the ninth. I hadn’t played, but like I’ve mentioned before, staying sharp and approaching things the right way from an attitude standpoint is huge. It could be a situation where any one of us who isn’t playing can sit back and be upset about not playing and sit back and pout about the things they’re not doing, but if you approach things the right way and get your work in the cage and do all the things you need to do — like today we took extra hitting on the field — good things happen. They might not happen right away, but it’ll benefit not only you as a player but help the team win ballgames. It’ll get you in the lineup a lot more, and that’s what I’ve taken pride in is approach my workouts on and off the field as an everyday player and it really keeps you ready for those type of situations so when you’re standing at the plate, you’re not panicking. You’re relaxed and feel confident that you’re going to put the ball in play somewhere.

I think that was a first for me on Saturday — I’ve never been pinch-run for in my life. If you think about it, you get a guy like Joey on first base and the catcher might be a little more worried about having a runner in scoring position. Having the pitcher slide step might have caused him to leave a changeup up in the zone. When a pitcher has one more thing to worry about with the running game, that’s something that a lot of people don’t realize can have a big effect on what the hitter does at the plate.

I’ve never raced Joey. I have a pretty good feeling that he’s faster than I am. He’s probably jumped over a lot more cars than I have. I was thinking of putting something on YouTube of Reed Johnson jumping over a car and it may be a Matchbox type car or a Tonka truck. I’m sure people would get a kick out of that. That’s the extent of the cars I’ll jump over.

I think we’re excited to get home. Most of us have wives or girlfiends or somebody back in Chicago getting things set up, like the furniture situation or getting into the apartment, getting your cable set up and electricity set-up, and all that type of stuff that you have to take care of when you’re moving into your place.

It’ll definitely be nice to be home. I think you almost have an exhibition game/Spring Training kind of mentality because we haven’t been home yet. I think the atmosphere in Houston and the atmosphere here in Milwaukee, obviously being Opening Day week, you get to see a lot of enthusiasm from the fans. Like I mentioned last time, it leaks into both clubhouses and the teams look at it as a do or die situation or almost a playoff atmosphere. Once we get home and we’re able to sleep in our own beds and enjoy the same restaurants we’ve enjoyed for however many years that guys have been playing in the city of Chicago, once we get into that regular routine, it’ll be a lot easier for everybody.

We haven’t gotten to wear the pinstripes yet. That’s always a good sign. Being able to see the electricity and the way the fans appreciate the team is always exciting for everybody as well. Guys love Opening Day but you want to get on with the grind of playing every day and try to win ballgames and get in that regular routine.

— Reed

 

71 comments

  1. cubbiegirls

    Great hit last night, although I think a lot of us were going “Whaaa?” on the pinch runner coming in!

    Can’t wait to see the team come home! WOOOOt!

  2. martisnow

    Love the Matchbox idea! See, now you get to be the pinch runner. BTW, I wonder if a Blackberry or an I Phone is the appropriate thing to use when updating your blog during a game?

  3. cubbiegirls

    Great hit last night, although I think a lot of us were going “Whaaa?” on the pinch runner coming in!

    Can’t wait to see the team come home! WOOOOt!

  4. martisnow

    Love the Matchbox idea! See, now you get to be the pinch runner. BTW, I wonder if a Blackberry or an I Phone is the appropriate thing to use when updating your blog during a game?

  5. cubbiegirls

    OH MY GOD. That was a FILTHY catch! Way to rob Fielder!! (Although, last year’s against the Nats still has the title of awesomest.)

  6. vickio

    OH MY GOD WHAT A CATCH!!! MILTON BRADLEY WOULD NEVER HAVE DONE THAT!!! You are now my favorite player!!!! Pinella better play you more often!!!!!! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! You saved this game! Dempster better give you a big…ummmm… pat on the back! šŸ™‚
    Vicki
    vlo.830@sbcglobal.net

  7. vickio

    OH MY GOD WHAT A CATCH!!! MILTON BRADLEY WOULD NEVER HAVE DONE THAT!!! You are now my favorite player!!!! Pinella better play you more often!!!!!! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! You saved this game! Dempster better give you a big…ummmm… pat on the back! šŸ™‚
    Vicki
    vlo.830@sbcglobal.net

  8. vickio

    OH MY GOD WHAT A CATCH!!! MILTON BRADLEY WOULD NEVER HAVE DONE THAT!!! You are now my favorite player!!!! Pinella better play you more often!!!!!! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! You saved this game! Dempster better give you a big…ummmm… pat on the back! šŸ™‚
    Vicki
    vlo.830@sbcglobal.net

  9. believeinblue

    Hey Reed, just wanted to be the first to say, TREMENDOUS CATCH TO ROB THE GRAND SLAM! Even Prince tipped his cap to you, and congratulations it looks like you may win catch of the year again!

    Go Cubs Go! from Montreal.

  10. vickio

    OH MY GOD WHAT A CATCH!!! MILTON BRADLEY WOULD NEVER HAVE DONE THAT!!! You are now my favorite player!!!! Pinella better play you more often!!!!!! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! You saved this game! Dempster better give you a big…ummmm… pat on the back! šŸ™‚
    Vicki
    vlo.830@sbcglobal.net

  11. vickio

    OH MY GOD WHAT A CATCH!!! MILTON BRADLEY WOULD NEVER HAVE DONE THAT!!! You are now my favorite player!!!! Pinella better play you more often!!!!!! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! You saved this game! Dempster better give you a big…ummmm… pat on the back! šŸ™‚
    Vicki
    vlo.830@sbcglobal.net

  12. emihkm@yahoo.com

    AMAZING catch in the 5th! Can’t wait till opening day tomorrow at Wrigley. Hope to see you play much more this summer!

  13. vickio

    OH MY GOD WHAT A CATCH!!! MILTON BRADLEY WOULD NEVER HAVE DONE THAT!!! You are now my favorite player!!!! Pinella better play you more often!!!!!! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! You saved this game! Dempster better give you a big…ummmm… pat on the back! šŸ™‚
    Vicki
    vlo.830@sbcglobal.net

  14. emihkm@yahoo.com

    AMAZING CATCH! WOW, now I can’t believe you just got hit! Can’t wait until the home opener tomorrow. Hope to see you play MUCH more this summer!

  15. believeinblue

    Hey Reed, just wanted to be the first to say, TREMENDOUS CATCH TO ROB THE GRAND SLAM! Even Prince tipped his cap to you, and congratulations it looks like you may win catch of the year again!

    Go Cubs Go! from Montreal.

  16. vickio

    OH MY GOD WHAT A CATCH!!! MILTON BRADLEY WOULD NEVER HAVE DONE THAT!!! You are now my favorite player!!!! Pinella better play you more often!!!!!! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! You saved this game! Dempster better give you a big…ummmm… pat on the back! šŸ™‚
    Vicki
    vlo.830@sbcglobal.net

  17. vickio

    OH MY GOD WHAT A CATCH!!! MILTON BRADLEY WOULD NEVER HAVE DONE THAT!!! You are now my favorite player!!!! Pinella better play you more often!!!!!! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! You saved this game! Dempster better give you a big…ummmm… pat on the back! šŸ™‚
    Vicki
    vlo.830@sbcglobal.net

  18. vickio

    OH MY GOD WHAT A CATCH!!! MILTON BRADLEY WOULD NEVER HAVE DONE THAT!!! You are now my favorite player!!!! Pinella better play you more often!!!!!! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! You saved this game! Dempster better give you a big…ummmm… pat on the back! šŸ™‚
    Vicki
    vlo.830@sbcglobal.net

  19. gracieforpresident

    Reed, you are unbelievable! It is an absolutley WAY better outfeild with you in it. Nice freakin’ catch,and way to deface the wall in right!

  20. cobinwv3@aol.com

    Great hit last night!!! But what an AWESOME catch to rob the grand slam!!! Like you have stated in your blogs your ready when called apon and you keep on proving it!!! Keep up the great work!

    Go Cubs From West Virginia!!

  21. vickio

    OH MY GOD WHAT A CATCH!!! MILTON BRADLEY WOULD NEVER HAVE DONE THAT!!! You are now my favorite player!!!! Pinella better play you more often!!!!!! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! You saved this game! Dempster better give you a big…ummmm… pat on the back! šŸ™‚
    Vicki
    vlo.830@sbcglobal.net

  22. sunset4vr@aol.com

    I am used to seeing some great catches by you from the bleachers at home…but this was fantastic!!!!
    You were already my sons favorate player but you are now my favorate too. You were a close second to Derosa as my favorate anyway and now with him gone, i will be buying your shirt ( im still missing Dero ) but thanks for doing this blog and letting us fans get some insights! Also thanks for always being ready to play!
    Pam Ziemer

  23. pgmoor@hotmail.com

    Reed, after your great catch denying Prince of a Grand Slam, what did it feel like getting plunked at the plate on your very next at bat??????

  24. eamus.catuli42@gmail.com

    Haven’t seen the catch yet, but I’m envisioning something similar to the one Matthew McConaughey made in Angels in the Outfield.

    Mr Johnson, I hope you will follow through with that car jumping video! Such a thing could only be awesome.

  25. eamus.catuli42@gmail.com

    Haven’t seen the catch yet, but I’m envisioning something akin to the one Matthew McConaughey made in Angels in the Outfield.

    Mr Johnson, I hope you will follow through with that car jumping video! Such a thing could only be awesome.

  26. reediculousskills

    REED… the kids next door were having an Easter egg hunt, and Bri and I scared the crap out of them with all the screaming! You, April, sick catches, web gems of the year!!!! We’re so proud of you.

    Mel & Bri

  27. cubschick7

    OMG! That catch was awesome. You are awesome!! I really want to see you play every day! Post Lou’s home address! Let the Cubbie fans talk to him! Man, that was fun to watch and Prince was classy to tip his hat to you. Great job, Reed.

  28. abutterflyloves@msn.com

    Reed,

    Amazing, yet predicable play! You are so talented, I was kinda mad ESPN played your catch over and over. That’s typical REED JOHNSON!!!!

    So glad you are a part of this Chicago Team!

  29. abutterflyloves@msn.com

    Reed,

    Amazing, yet predicable play! You are so talented, I was kinda mad ESPN played your catch over and over. That’s typical REED JOHNSON!!!!

    So glad you are a part of this Chicago Team!

  30. cubbies73

    OMFG Reed, that catch was just sick!!!! I loved seeing it over and over. Your made of awesome Reed! I loved PF tipping his cap to you. Classy move. šŸ˜€

  31. cubbies73

    OMFG Reed, that catch was just sick!!!! I loved seeing it over and over. Your made of awesome Reed! I loved PF tipping his cap to you. Classy move. šŸ˜€

  32. opperkerty3

    Hey Reed, WHAT AN AMAZING CATCH!!!!!!!! In all the games I’ve seen, yours was probably the best catch ever.

  33. busneswmn9

    You have been one of my favs, since you came to the Cubs! Everytime you are at the plate or making a play in the field, I FEEL Calm!! You are the one of the BEST EXAMPLES of what a GREAT PLAYER should be! Humble, polished, poised, practiced, EXCELLENT!! You should be SO PROUD of having 2 of the BEST PLAYS EVER!! Didn’t think you could top your play from last year (that has to be the #1 of ALL best plays EVER), BUT you did!! You are always confident and focused at the plate. It is very evident that you ALWAYS GIVE YOUR BEST! (those gymnastics came in handy – didn’t they) Your old team must CRY every night because they let you go. THEIR LOSS – OUR GAIN!! Is it true you had a back injury – HARD TO BELIEVE! It hasn’t held you back (no pun intended) at ALL! I am sooooo happy you took over the BLOG! LOVE AND MISS DEROSA, but YOU will stand out in the minds of many Cubs Fans for MANY, MANY YEARS TO COME! Welcome to Chicago, THANKS for being here and I am sure WE ALL HOPE you are here FOREVER! YOU ARE THE BEST!!!

  34. eribecca@yahoo.com

    Reed-that catch was AWESOME! My son & I were screaming so loud, I’m surprised the neighbors didn’t call the cops. The funny thing is, Miller & Morgan were going on & on about how Fielder has never hit a GS. When the announcers do that, you think, oh no, here we go…but you kept Fielder’s streak alive & saved the game. THANK YOU!

  35. ryans311

    Reed! That catch, had to be the most epic clutch defensive play i’ve seen as long as I’ve been a Cubs fan. Insanely awesome play! I’d love to hear your thoughts on last night’s game. Keep up the great work!

  36. millirose

    ~Reed~
    I was so amazed at the catch you made of Fielder’s ball! It was the most incredible thing because when I saw that, I thought grandslam all the way. You really boosted a team that has struggled this series and came out off the bench to say even if you aren’t in the everyday line-up you are here to win.
    Keep up the awesome plays, hope to see you in more games. šŸ™‚ Thank you!
    ~Milli~

  37. dagroove

    I posted on another blog in spring training, “the key’s to the Cubs getting to the World Series- Hoffpauir, Marshall, and REED JOHNSON!” Both Milwaukee wins would not have been possible without YOU! Soriano’s homer would of only tied the game without your base hit, and stealing a grand slam… are you kidding me??? ROCK ON!!! That’s the stuff dreams are made of! Keep up the excellent work!

  38. joann@caffreywholesale.com

    What a leap, awesome hang time!!! I have been a fan of yours from the start. Can’t wait to come watch live in July/August.
    GO CUBBIES!!!

  39. joann@caffreywholesale.com

    What a leap, awesome hang time!!! I have been a fan of yours from the start. Can’t wait to come watch live in July/August.
    GO CUBBIES!!!

  40. k8ecee

    I wonder how many of us have replayed that catch over and over and over and over again? It was truly ridiculous!! Your athleticism was amazing – an art form – dancin’ up the wall!

    I am glad Fielder acknowledged it. Welcome home finally – we are getting there early!

  41. rnv1228@msn.com

    What an amazing catch Reed! Nice to see Fielder show some class and tip his hat to you…hope you saw it! And then to nailed the next time at bat…….

    Welcome home! Hope you get to play today!!!

  42. mike.bonser@yahoo.com

    Mr.Johnson the catch you made on 4/12 that robed fielder was great! keep up the good/great work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    mike.b.

  43. mike.bonser@yahoo.com

    Mr.Johnson the catch you made on 4/12 that robed fielding was great! keep up the good/great work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    mike.b.

  44. yeldogt

    Amazing catch yet again. Keep up the hardwork. You will be an everyday player pretty soon. I’m dissapointed, no Fontenot references this time.

  45. melmcmurdie

    REEDiculous catch my friend! 5’10 catching a ball over an 8′ fence… skill and hardwork – CUBS STYLE!!!

  46. bestcub23

    BALLS OUT BASEBALL . . . . THE ONLY WAY YOU PLAY! WHAT AN AMAZING CATCH. LOVED IT LOVED IT LOVED IT !!! YOU’VE HAD MY VOTE EVEN BEFORE THIS GREAT CATCH FOR STARTING cf/of. GIVE ME LOU’s NUMBER, I’LL CONVINCE HIM. KEEP ROCKIN’ LIKE ONLY REED CAN.

  47. hmyerdavis@gmail.com

    Hey, Reed! We were surprised when the put Joey in, too! The kids were incredulous- “He’s faster than Reed?!”

    Awesome catch last night! I could watch that over and over again. And a tip of the helmet from Prince. : ) Nice work!!!

    GO CUBBIES!!!

  48. fivepin

    Hi Reed. I was one of your biggest fans in Toronto and continue to cheer for you as a Cub. Like most of your new fans though, I am still dazzled by the lack of playing time you get in Chicago. I know there are good players in front of you but your effort makes you better than most and your team is always a better team with you in the line up! In Toronto, the press that put you down here, especially Mike Wilner of the fan 590, was and is always defending the decision of management to limit your playing time by saying that you “absolutely can’t hit right handed pitching. I was at the inter league game in Toronto last season when you took Roy Haladay, possibly the best rightie in the game over the left field wall for a 3 run homer. I just don’t get what your managers always see in your numbers that restrict your playing time. Your “splits” are no worse than most. In Toronto, in the only year you where given a chance to play regularly, you only hit about 15 points lower against righties. Maybe the problem is you hit lefties too well and that makes your righty average appear too low. Anyway, I just wanted you to know that many of your old fans up here continue to follow your career. The “web gems” you keep putting up don’t surprise me because I got to watch them for years. Keep up the good work Reed. I know you will get your chance someday!

    Dan from Elmvale Ontario, Canada

  49. edelweiss

    You must have stretched so much making that spectacular catch, that you grew several inches. When you were standing next to Fontenot, during the introductions, he didn’t even come up to your nose, and Miles only came up to your eyebrows.

  50. theresa@proclaimplus.com

    What a catch, Reed! Thanks for making things exciting so early in the season. Good thing Font wasn’t in center field when Prince Fielder attempted that grand slam. I didn’t see any ladders against the wall.

  51. nickbuchmiller

    what happened to Fontenot, i was looking forward to reading about him….didn’t see it in this post.

  52. gdwgo88@aol.com

    THATS why you are an everyday player!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    You should make an instructional video on how a ball player SHOULD play……
    I’m sick of no hustling fools.

  53. greyfox070@gmail.com

    Reed…ridiculous grab, man! The defensive play of the year in Major League Baseball two years in a ROW in APRIL!!! I’ve watched the video about 50 times…SURREAL! =) Congratulations and keep up the great effort! Go Cubs Go!

  54. bizzie094

    Great job on the blog so far Reed, it’s great to hear the players’ POV. FANTASTIC catch of robbing Fielder… I wonder if you saw him tip his hat to you before you were beaned in the back… Don’t forget to keep giving it to Font!! We need him on top of his game… haha. Tell Gregg I know how he feels with the knee situation and I know from experience that one day it will just all come back and feel great again. Keep up the great work and Go Cubs!!

  55. lopezja09

    Reed, there is some chatter on the Cubs site about Monday’s opener and whether the cold, blustery conditions favored the pitchers or hitters? from the comments that you made it seems that the pitchers would have the advantage ( you know the pine tar, ice build up on the bat, etc). Either way Lily pitched a great game and the Cubs got the victory. Great catch to rob Fielder. Cubs fans knew that you were a good player right after signing. Jeez, great vertical leap. I was surprised, I have seen Soriano in photos, but man, I think that it is one aspect that highlights a baseball players athletic ability. Go Cubs!

  56. art101@bc-gallery.com

    Way to Go, Reed You surly helped make the game a whole lot more fun. Hats off to all the cubs, after all it is a team out there. Hope Lou keeps you in the game a lot more, he needs you so keep working hard don’t let him forget it!
    It was a fantastic catch.

  57. Jenna (Thunder)

    you didnt make fun of Fontenot this week! I love the little puns about Fontenot. Gotta love the Font. It’s pretty funny that I’m a 16 year old girl who is as tall as him. Oh yeah, I LOVED that rockin’ catch you made against the Brews to save the game. That was the HIGHLIGHT of my week. Keep playing hard Reed! GO CUBS

    — Jenna (Thunder)
    http://bleedcubbieblue2.mlblogs.com/

  58. fran361ace

    RJ
    WOW!!!!!! The catch was amazing. My husband is slowly becoming a CUBS fan thanks to your amazing plays. Thanks
    for that and for the great work you are doing in the outfield.
    GO CUBS GO!!!!!!!
    Fran

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