TORONTO — I understand that the Toronto fan base loves Reed Johnson. He’s the type of player fans tend to love and, that being the case, I’m all for giving the guy a warm welcome this weekend in his first trip north since being released by the Jays and signed by the Cubs.

All that being said, the timing of his standing ovation by the Jays’ fans at Rogers Centre on Friday night was a little unsettling. With Toronto leading 3-2 in the ninth, Johnson came on as a pinch hitter and received a loud, prolonged standing o. In that situation, why were the fans cheering so loudly for a visiting player?

“You don’t see that too often,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. “But hey, I’m happy for him, man. He did a great job here for this organization and was a fan favorite.”

Still, root for the man in a situation like this afternoon, when he’ll lead off the game for the Cubs. I’m not saying the fans should’ve booed him on Friday, but shouldn’t the cheers be reserved for the home team in that critical situation, especially when closer B.J. Ryan had been struggling some of late?

“I think we all think that he deserves it. No question,” said A.J. Burnett, downplaying the crowd’s ill-timed cheers.

But what if Johnson had homered to tie the game instead of groudning out to second? Would the crowd have gone nuts for Johnson then?

“That would be different,” Burnett said with a grin. “Good thing he hit it hard. Better for us he hit it right at somebody.”

On another note, talked to second baseman Aaron Hill this morning and he’s still fighting symptoms from the concussion he suffered on May 29. That being the case, a Minor League rehab stint this week seems unlikely. Hill said he’s still running into issues after light drills — not good. You can read the full story when it’s up on

Today’s lineups:

CHICAGO (43-25) at TORONTO (35-34)
at 1:07 p.m. ET at the Rogers Centre

Reed Johnson, LF
Kosuke Fukudome, RF
Derrek Lee, 1B
Aramis Ramirez, DH
Jim Edmonds, CF
Mark DeRosa, 3B
Mike Fontenot, 2B
Henry Blanco, C
Ronny Cedeno, SS

PITCHING: RHP Jason Marquis (4-3, 4.54)

Alex Rios, RF
Matt Stairs, DH
Scott Rolen, 3B
Vernon Wells, CF
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Rod Barajas, C
Brad Wilkerson, LF
David Eckstein, SS
Joe Inglett, 2B

PITCHING: RHP Roy Halladay (8-5, 3.07)


I’ll tell you what’s Reediculous it’s this offense. Bases loaded with nobody out and they can’t get a run in with a hit. Pathetic.
Anyway Jordan, in defense of the fans they don’t know what the line-up will look like the next day so how would they know whether or not Reed will play the next day ? Some of them too, might only attend the one game of the series and thus never see Reed live again this year. The Jays have no lefty in the starting rotation so their is no ideal day that Reed would get the start against them. Thus, they cheered the first opportunity they got.

Good for the Jays fans to give the standing O that Johnson deserves. A bad move by J.P. to get rid of Johnson and go with the aging Stewart. If you get rid of Johnson at least go with a younger player not a player like Stewart. Stewart’s best years are way behind him.

I totally agree with Enigma, the Jays offense is Reediculous. Also again I agree with Enigma, some fans might have been just going to 1 game during this series. Johnson was obviously a fan favorite and he should be. If I owned a team, I would love to have a guy like Reed Johnson. He brings it every game, those are the kind of players you keep, you don’t get rid of. Also great too see Johnson go deep yesterday.

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