Howard Johnson to play with son for indy team

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Metsblog.com points out that the Rockland Boulders of the independent Can-Am League on Tuesday announced the signing of father-and-son pair Howard and Glen Johnson.

The duo will play alongside one another on Sept. 4-5 against the Newark Bears.

“This may be my last go ‘round so it’s a great opportunity to play in a professional game with my son,” said Howard Johnson. “How many fathers can do that?”

The 51-year-old Johnson retired in 1995 after playing 14 seasons in the majors and making two All-Star teams.  A fantasy baseball stud as a third baseman and shortstop in the late-80s, he had three 30-homer and four 30-steal seasons for the Mets.  His best year came in 1989, when he hit .287/.369/.559 with 36 homers, 101 RBI, 41 steals and an NL-leading 104 runs scored.  He also led the NL in homers (38) and RBI (117) in 1991.

The younger Johnson was a 36th-round pick of the Mets out of high school in 2007, but he opted to go to college after the draft.  This will be his professional debut, and considering that he hit .220 for Pace University in his final year in school, it’s probably nothing more than a cameo for him.

So, yeah, it’s a publicity stunt for Rockland.  But what child of the 80’s can pass up a chance to write about Ho-Jo?

Blue Jays score seven runs in ninth to come back and beat Rays 9-8

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The Blue Jays’ playoff hopes were dashed a long, long time ago, but they’re happy to play spoiler as the end of the regular season draws near. On Thursday evening, the Jays trailed the Rays 8-2 entering the bottom of the ninth inning. They proceeded to put up a seven-spot to walk off 9-8 winners, handing the Rays a devastating loss in the midst of their quest to reach the postseason.

Dwight Smith started things off with a leadoff double against Jaime Schultz. Rowdy Tellez followed up by doubling him in. Jonathan Davis was hit by a pitch and then, after Reese McGuire struck out, Danny Jansen hit a three-run homer to left field. Enter Sergio Romo. Romo struck out Richard Ureña, but then allowed a single to Kendrys Morales, a two-run homer to Lourdes Gurriel, then a walk-off solo homer to Justin Smoak.

According to FanGraphs, the Jays had a 0.4 percent chance of winning entering the bottom of the ninth inning. Their probability rose to a measly 4.8 percent after Morales singled. Gurriel’s homer made it 53.8 percent, an increase of a whopping 49 percent.

After the awful loss, the Rays fall to 6.5 games behind the Athletics — who won 21-3 over the Angels earlier — for the second Wild Card in the American League. They have 10 games remaining.