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A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News


Randy Johnson announces retirement

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Jan 05, 2010 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

From tonight’s Randy Johnson conference call:

• “I would like to officially announce my retirement. I’ve taken this long because I definitely wanted to kind of relax from the season being over and make sure I had a clear head when I made this decision, and that I would be making it wholeheartedly, and that I would stick with it. Without a doubt, 100 percent, I will be retiring at this time.”

• Johnson said he wanted to go out on his terms. He had a herniated disk in his last season with the Yankees, then had two back surgeries within a year, and ultimately decided he didn’t want to go out that way. So he came back to pitch again, and had an 11-win season with the Diamondbacks.

• “I feel that it’s all just part of something that comes with a long career. Eventually you have to say that it’s time. Could I play another year? I believe I could. But I also realize over the past three or four years, my skills obviously were diminishing.”

• Johnson just listed some of the great pitchers he came to know in his time. Koufax. Spahn. Gibson. Etc. “My peers that I looked up to, in certain categories, I was amongst them. That really says a lot about, I guess, my longevity.”

• Asked what cap he’ll wear in Cooperstown, Johnson said that’s not up to him. “I will wait down the road and consult with whoever I have to consult with, if I’m elected to the Hall of Fame.”

• “One thing I’ve always tried to tell some of the younger pitchers I’ve played with is how hard your preparation has to be.”

• Johnson doesn’t remember who his first strikeout was against. He does, however, remember his first game as a September call-up with the Expos in 1988. It was against the Pirates and he remembers that Glenn Wilson hit two home runs off him. One of the writers on the conference call looked it up during the call: Johnson’s first K was against Orestes Destrade.

• Johnson on his reputation for being fiery and ornery: “I don’t regret being that way. I only regret that that’s kind of the way I was portrayed, but I got the most out of myself being that way.”

• Johnson said he would like to coach some day, but not right away. He said he really enjoyed talking to and working with Matt Cain and Jonathan Sanchez in San Francisco. Johnson said Sanchez reminds him of himself as a young pitcher. “The one thing I’ve really enjoyed doing the past few years, for anybody who wants to listen, is just helping people.”

• What would Johnson like his legacy to be? “That I gave everything that I had. I was maximum effort from day one.”

• “I would have to say the pinnacle of my career was doing my part to get my team to the World Series and then doing my part in the World Series.”

• “I will miss having an outlet to be that competitive. Every fifth day, it was a process and I enjoyed and I relished that process. I enjoyed preparing and knowing who I was going to be pitching against… There’s not a golf game that I can play that will ever match how competative I was in baseball.”

• About Edgar Martinez as a Hall of Fame candidate: “I’m hoping he gets a lot of consideration. I know it’s been debated whether a DH is worthy of that, but in my time I’ve never seen a better pure hitter than him.”

• At 7:43, Johnson’s conference call ended with a very kind thank you to the writers who covered Johnson during his career. “I will see you down the road,” Johnson said.

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