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Thursday, January 7, 2010

Randy Gone-son

The Big Unit is no more.

Randy Johnson has retired.

Which, I guess means, so have the emu jokes.

What a shame. I remember when Randy first came into the league. I was about to turn 2. That was a special day. Who woulda thunk that 22 years later I would be writing a post about him in some sports blog that nobody reads.

Randy Johnson is the first of the mid/late-1990s Kingdome Seattle Mariners squad to retire (not counting Russ Davis, Dan Wilson, Joey Cora, David Segui, Glennallen Hill, and everybody's favorite Jay Buhner). Lucky for us we still have Alex Roid-riguez and Ken "I Will Always Be Clean" Griffey Jr.


However, Major League Baseball lost a living legend two days ago. Wait, I'm making it sound like he just died. He didn't die. He just retired.

Randy Johnson is probably the last 300 game winner we will see for quite sometime in our nation's pasttime. His accomplishments have made him a sure ballot Hall of Famer and arguably the best pitcher of the past decade (who hasn't been caught taking illegal substances).

Randy it was a thrill watching you pitch (until you joined the NL West with the Giants and D-Backs and beat up on my Dodgers). Heck, you lead all pitchers in MLB history in strikeouts per 9 innings with 10.67. That means you averaged 10 strikeouts a game. And you rarely ever faced Ryan Howard... ZING! And of course, this stat helped project you to #2 all time on the career strikeouts list with 4,875.

I will admit, however, that I'm deeply saddened that the Dodgers didn't throw millions of dollars your way to get you to pitch at Chavez Ravine. Of course, if they did, you probably would have seen your career come to an abrupt halt (coughKEVINBROWNcough, coughJASONSCHMIDTcough, coughDARRENDREIFORTcough). Sorry, bad cough. Maybe it's better for your career that you never donned the Dodger Blue.

Randy, you were great from the start. Sure, you were what some would call off color. But you had your own style. Who cares if you were tall, lanky, and flat out goofy? Who cares if you looked like a guy who by law must tell you that he's new to the neighborhood? And who cares if you probably always get mistaken for this "Randy Johnson" that I found on Google Image Search? You threw a 100 mph untouchable fastball in your prime. And who could forget your infamous slider? Let's face it, there is only two words that could describe your pitching, and they are: NAS. TEE.

Unfortunately, not everyone will miss Randy Johnson and his illustrious career. In fact there are a couple people I can think of off the top of my head right now that will be glad to see Randy Johnson retire. And they are John Kruk...

...and planet earth's entire population of birds.



Now here's that same clip with unnecessary special effects:



But let's be honest. Neither one of those moments were the best in Johnson's career. Heck, being Co-MVP of the 2001 World Series isn't the best moment of his career. And it wasn't winning the Cy Young 5 times (second to only Roger Clemens, 7), either. You can bet it wasn't his perfect game or winning number 300. Randy Johnson's best moment in his career was, by far, his cameo role in the movie Little Big League.


Once again, Randy you were great. You pitched amazing. And whether they love you or hate you, any true baseball fan must tip their cap to you out of respect for not only how well you dominated for so many years, but for doing it all without steroids and without any off the field drama. You just did your job everyday you were asked.

I guess, now, the only question about Johnson's career that is left to be answered is, "Who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame first? Randy Johnson? Or his hair?"


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