Wednesday, January 7, 2009
In light of Joe Girardi's laughable statement that Jason Johnson would be in the mix for the 5th starter spot, lets just pretend for a moment that the Yankees didn't just sign Johnson as minor league filler.
The first step would be to check out Johnson's player page on the indispensable baseball-reference.com. Jason Johnson's career ERA+ of 89 certainly isn't impressive, but what sticks out is that his career record is.... wait for it... 59-100 (.359 win %).
There is a hilarious thread over on the Pinstripes Plus message boards "discussing" the signing. A long-time contributor on the forums raised the question of where Jason Johnson's bad record stands among bad pitching records in the expansion era of baseball. The results are as follows (thanks to Pinstripes Plus member KSoch for doing the digging on this):
According to baseball-reference's play index Kaiser Wilhelm (not to EVER be confused with Hall of Famer, Hoyt) compiled a 56-105 (.348) record from 1903 to 1921, to take the cake for the lowest W% with 150+ decisions.
For the expansion era (post-1961) the lowest win % with 100+ decisions belongs to a fellow named Jesse Jefferson, 39-81 (.325) from 1973 to 1981.
Jason Johnson's .359 win % is the lowest for all expansion era pitchers with more decisions than Jefferson's 110. Research shows if your initials are J.J, you are bound to have a historically bad pitching record.
In fairness to Johnson, he has played for some pretty terrible teams over his career (Tampa, Baltimore, Detroit). This signing can certainly be filed in the inconsequential player transactions column, but it was nice of the Yankees to throw the rest of baseball a bone and sign one of the sport's worst players for a change.
Talk about it in the NYYSI Forums!
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