Newly acquired Eric Young Jr. was on the bases during the top of the ninth inning, looking to give the Mets some breathing room. Johnson called him safe when attempting to advance on a Daniel Murphy grounder, only to change his mind moments later.
Twitter was none too happy about his indecisiveness:
If you're an umpire, I shouldn't know your name. I know your name Adrian Johnson. #Mets— Michael Borkowski (@MBorkowski) June 22, 2013
Adrian Johnson needs remediation. Send him to the minors. #mets— Terynce B (@TerynceB) June 22, 2013
Why were Mets fans so harsh? Because this wasn't the first time Johnson had hurt their chances of winning a close contest.
Wait...huh? Johnson pulls in his outstretched arms to punch out Tejada on the pickoff attempt. He made the call, then instantly reversed it. Manager Terry Collins argued to no avail, wrote Mark Hale of the New York Post.
Hale discussed the incident with Johnson, who actually gave a satisfactory explanation:
As I turned on the pickoff, I saw him go for the bag. First thing I saw, I saw him reach and make contact.
I thought it was the bag and I realized it was the foot of Brignac and his other arm hadn’t touched. That’s where the initial safe call [came from] and then I saw that he had not touched and I called him out.
It's somewhat ironic that the Mets have any bitterness toward him. Justin Tasch of the New York Daily News points out that if it wasn't for Johnson, the franchise would still be waiting for its first no-hitter. He was working third base on June 2, 2012, preserving Johan Santana's glorious outing even when a Carlos Beltran line drive kicked up chalk.
Between this guy, Angel Hernandez and C.B. Bucknor, umpires receive more attention than many of baseball's fascinating players. That's not a good sign.