Trade catches elder Johnson by surprise

Trade catches elder Johnson by surprise

BALTIMORE -- Dave Johnson was working on the Orioles postgame radio show Thursday, discussing with co-host Tom Davis the team's win over the Royals and how it looked like the Orioles might have just made a trade.

Moments later, Davis confirmed that the Orioles appeared to have sealed a deal with the Dodgers that sent closer George Sherrill to Los Angeles in exchange for two prospects -- one of which was Johnson's son, Steve, a 21-year old pitcher.

Dave Johnson hasn't often experienced trouble giving his opinions on the air. The former Baltimore pitcher will give you his thoughts, good or bad, and doesn't sugarcoat much. But this time, he couldn't get the right words out after finding out his former team had just traded for his son.

Because he was crying.

The moment clearly affected Davis also, a long-time Baltimore sportscaster. He tried several times to get Johnson to say something, but no dice. Davis was struggling to say something himself, also clearly affected. Most times, they talk about batting averages and ERAs. But this was different.

The moment just meant too much.

"Imagine that, grown men crying," Johnson finally said, laughing.

The Orioles got Johnson and third baseman Josh Bell from the Dodgers, both of whom have been at Double-A Chattanooga. Johnson was 9-5 with a 3.61 ERA this season in Class A and Double-A this year, just having moved up. The trade will be even more fun for Johnson's family, which still lives in this area, since the Orioles placed both prospects at Double-A Bowie, which is about 30 minutes from Oriole Park.

"It's a great day for him," Dave Johnson told The Associated Press. "It's a great day for me, my family and everybody who knows Steve."

Jeff Seidel is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.