Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Retirement

(Baseball post; non-fans can skip)

Randy Johnson has announced his retirement, ending a career of the pitcher who, in my opinion, was the most entertaining to watch over the past 22 years. I lived up in Washington state when the Mariners first acquired the young Johnson (from the Expos), and the first time I saw him pitch, my reaction was "Oh, my...if this guy learns to throw strikes, he'll be one of the greatest. If he doesn't, he's gonna kill somebody." He learned (although he did kill a bird with a pitch).
For those unfamiliar with "RJ" or "the big unit" as he was nicknamed, he was simply intimidating as a pitcher. A 6'11" lefthander with a 100mph fastball and a menacing stare, he overpowered batters. Baseball statistics are a matter of near religious reverence amongst fans, and Johnson's numbers put him in the all-time greats: 303 wins (24th), 4,875 strikeouts (2nd all-time, 1,700 ahead of #3), 5 Cy Young awards, 10 all-star appearances, 2 no-hitters (1 a perfect game) and a world series co-MVP. Automatic 'Hall-of-Fame" in 5 years.
In 2001, Johnson lead the Arizona Diamondbacks to a World Series championship, blowing away the hated Yankees. He ended his career by pitching last season for my beloved San Francisco Giants.
I've been a Baseball fan my whole life, and I've seen some of the greatest pitchers in the history of the game. Johnson was among them, and the game will miss him.

Oh, yeah...a couple of Senators are also retiring. But neither Dodd nor Dorgan ever won a Cy Young or a World Series. I suppose they both threw a few curve balls in their careers, though.

1 comment:

Demeur said...

Oh boy! Now maybe the Mariners can pick him up for a song. We're famous for getting players at the end of their careers. Although that would be like getting Pay Rod back here. Hey we could do 1995 all over again. But alas we're just the farm club for the Yankees you know.