Johnson one tired new papa

Johnson one tired new papa

ST. PETERSBURG -- While speaking to reporters on Thursday, Jim Johnson stole a glance at the clock on the wall facing him. He quickly tried to calculate how many hours he has slept in the past two days.

"A couple," Johnson admitted. "I'll be all right -- just another cup of coffee, no big deal."

Johnson's fatigue is understandable. Early Tuesday morning, shortly after arriving in St. Petersburg, he flew back home to Baltimore to be with his wife, who gave birth to a girl that evening.

On Thursday morning, Johnson returned to St. Petersburg to rejoin the Orioles for the final game of their three-game series against the Rays. The weary, brand-new father was all smiles, though, flipping open his iPhone to display a photo of his newborn daughter, Abigail, and recounting his frequent flier miles back and forth along the East Coast this week.

"It was pretty much [on Tuesday], I got off the plane and she was at the doctor's [office]," Johnson said. "I got to the hotel and she called me and said the doctor said I should probably come back home."

Johnson barely set his things down in his hotel room before returning to the airport.

"I was able to turn around and get back on another flight and go back," Johnson said. "It was long, but it was worth it."

Johnson, Baltimore's closer, threw in the bullpen before Thursday's game and was ready to pitch if called upon. Danys Baez served as the Orioles' closer in the interim, though he did not appear in either of the two games Johnson missed.

Johnson is 3-4 with a 2.93 ERA and four saves this season. After a brief -- and hectic -- respite, he's ready to pitch again, this time as a family man.

"I'm pretty tired, but it's all right," Johnson said with a smile. "It's just like playing a day game."

Zach Schonbrun is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.