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Chris Johnson was removed from Friday’s game after throwing a tantrum

May 24, 2014, 10:17 AM EDT

Chris Johnson Getty Getty Images

Braves third baseman Chris Johnson was removed from last night’s game against the Rockies after he threw a tantrum in the tunnel leading to the clubhouse following a strikeout in the second inning.

Mark Bowman of MLB.com writes that pieces of a bat Johnson shattered hit both Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez and Gerald Laird, who were standing near the dugout steps. Gonzalez had “a few choice words” for Johnson and immediately replaced him with Ramiro Pena at third base.

Johnson said after the game that he apologized to his teammates and understands that he needs to keep his emotions in check.

“I play with a lot of passion,” Johnson said. “Every single pitch and every single at-bat, I hold in high regard. When things don’t go well, that is kind of my downfall. That is one of the biggest parts of my game I need to work on. One of the worst things I could ever do is hurt a teammate or something like that.

“This has to be it for me. I think it will get a point where people won’t think I’m truly sorry for doing it. It just looks selfish.”

Of course, this isn’t the first time that Johnson has displayed reckless behavior around his teammates. He got into a confrontation with first base coach Terry Pendleton last September after he threw his helmet in frustration and hit Pendleton with it. Johnson was also benched for two games last month after went on a rampage in the dugout.

  1. bmadormo - May 24, 2014 at 10:25 AM

    Anger management classes

    • Old Gator - May 24, 2014 at 1:49 PM

      Lobotomy.

    • thisdamnbox - May 25, 2014 at 12:17 AM

      Manager ‘angerment’ classes…

  2. wpjohnson - May 24, 2014 at 10:44 AM

    Pena scored the winning run. Fredi made a good move strictly by accident.

  3. bostonfrogs - May 24, 2014 at 11:07 AM

    Even in the midst of a tantrum, you’d think a third baseman playing at the major league level would be a lot more accurate when hurling bats and helmets at the wall.

    • jerze2387 - May 24, 2014 at 11:38 AM

      I’d expect inaccurate throwing from Ryan Zimmerman but not Chris johnson

  4. dan1111 - May 24, 2014 at 11:25 AM

    I wish players would lose the “I have a lot of passion” excuse for immature behavior. Lots of people care a lot about things, and that is never an excuse for losing it. But tantrums seem semi-accepted in sports, unfortunately.

    That said, I think Johnson’s statement was actually pretty good once he got beyond the cliche. It sounds like he is taking his behavior seriously and wants to change.

    • infieldhit - May 24, 2014 at 6:40 PM

      “What would you say are your weaknesses?”
      “I’m a perfectionist! I care TOO much!”

  5. Old Gator - May 24, 2014 at 11:30 AM

    His mommy should definitely not take him to see Godzilla this weekend. Watching what the big guy does to Honolulu and San Francisco might give him ideas.

    • dan1111 - May 24, 2014 at 11:33 AM

      Unless he sees what happens after Mothra gets hit by a splinter of the Empire State Building.

      • Old Gator - May 24, 2014 at 12:21 PM

        I dread awakening Mothra. Listening to those two singing elves is worse than listening to my grandson’s “Best of Alvin and the Chipmunks” CD.

  6. thomas844 - May 24, 2014 at 2:39 PM

    Seriously, if you’re going to throw a tantrum, at least do it when nobody else is near. Just like when David Ortiz shattered that phone with a bat last year, someone could have been seriously injured. I’m all for playing with passion, but at least be able to control it. Too bad for Johnson he didn’t have an umpire to hide behind when Gonzalez was yelling at him.

  7. Bob - May 24, 2014 at 4:41 PM

    Hollow words. Johnson did this in Houston and Arizona, too. Sure he means well with the apology, but he hasn’t learned enough to stop doing this completely. Maybe a team suspension would cement it.

  8. yahmule - May 24, 2014 at 9:58 PM

    Reggie Jackson nearly skulled Bob Lemon with a bat recklessly flung against the dugout wall following a strikeout once. I believe Jackson’s only punishment was a good cussing out.

  9. yahmule - May 24, 2014 at 10:05 PM

    I think Johnson is manager material.

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