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In other blog news, Peter Gammons has a post up his ESPN.com blog about why things are looking up for the Big Unit in 2006
"I did win 17 games, but I know I didn't have the kind of year I expected," says Johnson. "I have heard a lot of comparisons to Roger Clemens' first year as a Yankee; he was 34, I started the year at 41. But my season had nothing whatsoever to do with age. It was entirely mechanics, and they got better in the second half (8-2, 3.31, compared to 9-6, 4.16 in the first half). I have worked hard to get things right, and I will have a better season.
"What I realize is that with the Yankees, there are two seasons, and you'd better excel in both of them. I did not in the playoffs, and I regret it. I just didn't pitch well, but I will again.
"This game can humble you at any time. Do you think it's fun giving up four home runs to the White Sox? Do you think it's fun giving up six runs in an inning to the Devil Rays?"
Johnson insists he "enjoys" the pressures of expecting to win as a Yankee, "because that's what I'm in the game to do." He says he never anticipated "the pressure that exists when the Yankees play the Red Sox," but says that his Sept. 11, 1-0 win over Tim Wakefield was one of his two most enjoyable starts all season, along with his 2-0 win against Seattle wunderkind Felix Hernandez.
If anything, Johnson this spring looks refreshed. Understand, he is a man who loves the game. He knows its history, he enjoys sitting and talking about situations and mechanics and other players. "I will have a better year," he says. "I'm certain of that."