Notes: Things clearing up for Johnson
After surgery, Meyer feeling good; Haren dons new number
PHOENIX -- The A's have something of a history when it comes to strange Spring Training ailments; Rich Harden's alarm-clock shoulder issue of two years ago jumps immediately to mind.Last year, it was first baseman Dan Johnson's turn. A bottle of suntan lotion essentially turned his sophomore season into a nightmare. Late in the spring, Johnson was trying to protect himself from another day in the Arizona sun when a crusty nozzle set in motion a series of events that led to a midseason demotion and an offseason consulting with vision experts. "You know how when you have an old bottle of hairspray, the nozzle gets clogged and you get a stream shooting out instead of the spray [of mist]?" Johnson said Friday at Oakland's Papago Park complex. "That's what happened, and it shot straight into my eye." From that point on, Johnson's right eye was never quite right. It was dry and blurry, requiring him to frequently blink in an effort to reset his focus. He was given drops, but they provided only temporary relief. So after the 2006 season came to an end, he went in search of more answers. What he found out was that his own answers -- the ones he'd been giving doctors -- were part of the problem. What he thought was blurred vision was eventually diagnosed as double vision. "It's like going to the doctor and telling him my arm hurts when it's actually my leg," Johnson said. Once the proper diagnosis was made, Johnson started a therapy routine that typically takes 10 months to complete. Only he had to cram it into two weeks. "It's like running a marathon with your eyes," he said. "It's hard to explain, but it really makes your eyes tired." Johnson isn't ready to say the problem is entirely solved yet, but he remains encouraged by his progress. "It's a process," he said. "So far, so good." Meyer on the mend: Since coming to Oakland in the 2004 Tim Hudson trade with Atlanta, lefty Dan Meyer hasn't looked anything like the top prospect he was hyped as.
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Mychael Urban is a national writer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.