There’s nothing quite as annoying as an ingrate. Add “surly” to the personality of the ingrate along with $43 million in salary over two years to win 34 games playing — not working — baseball and you have the nasty Randy Johnson.
Randy Johnson never fit into Yankee pinstripes. 

He arrived in The City obviously angry at having to shave his face and cut his hair in order to abide
Yankees owner George Steinbrenner’s want for a clean-cut look across
all his players. 

We knew Johnson was in trouble the first day he arrived in New York.

news reporter with a video camera was asking him questions about
playing for the Yankees and Johnson snarled at the camera — looking
directly at us as viewers — and appeared to shove the guy, and told
him to leave him alone.
Watching Johnson bully us was the first stake in his dark heart when it
came to being accepted by Yankee fans.

We run into that sort of surly
jerk all the time in the streets and we refuse to admire them or even
give them a break when we are expected to support and idolize them on
the ballfield.

Fans want to root for good guys like Piazza, Damon
and Jeter who at least pretend to like their jobs and the city that
adores them. Randy Johnson was finished in New York before he ever
started game one and we can finally celebrate in his name as he’s
shipped back to Arizona.


  1. Most teams have one player they love to hate – this guy looks as though he fitted the bill well.
    Baseball salaries seem even worse than the ridiculous sums of money paid to out football players!

  2. Right, Nicola!
    These guys are paid SO MUCH money to have fun and yet they act as if it’s a burden on them to perform a few times a week. It’s silly!
    Randy was a great pitcher in Arizona and he was the “Yankee Killer” so there was great buzz and hope that he’d come here and get us back to the World Series and kill the other teams in the process but a 43-year-old pitcher just doesn’t have the same juice as a 38-year-old pitcher. I think he’s pretty much done. He can go and retire in the Arizona sun.
    We wanted to love him and cheer him on but he hated us the moment he touched down in the city.

  3. I think you’re right, Nicola.
    Or… perhaps like A-Rod, Johnson crumbled under the tremendous pressure of the New York media. Not all players do well in New York. You’re expected to perform and if you don’t, you’re buried alive in the media.
    Is soccer/football the big money sport in the UK? How much do players earn? Are they provided undue adoration?

  4. David- Generally one to side with the underdog and see another side, i can see Randy Johnson as an underdog here. Sort of goes to prove my point the closest thing to something is it’s opposite. Here’s an obviously macho guy asked to don high knee socks, wear a uniform and further uniform himself by shaving his beard which was placed on his face by nature, God, or whatever you want to call it. i know when a cowboy said to me in ’67 at a rodeo in Colorado “Well if it ain’t Jesus H. fu**kin’ Christ hisself, if you aid out of here in 10 minutes, I’m gonna cut your hair.” These were the same type guys hired by cointelpro to disrupt peace marches, and generally beat up hippies. Now they mostly have long hair. Does the hippie vote count anymore because they were in the right 40 years ago? No- they’re still scapegoats, like the original hippie was 2,000 years ago. Anything which stretches the arm like fastball pitchers has to be counted as work to me. Anyone who asks a professional wrestler if it’s fake, sort of deserves what he gets. (Getting back to yesterdays discussion.) i didn’t see the interview but one should give some people some slack and respect.

  5. fred —
    When one accepts $34 million dollars to shoulder a team back to the World Series and does not perform, he earns no slack and no respect.
    Johnson knew shaving and hair-cutting was part of his Devil’s Deal — and if you sell your soul to the highest bidder then you deserve the flames of the Devil’s only friend.

  6. David- Seems like whoever hired him is equally to blame. The thing that more concerns me is who is holding this guys millions and what are they doing with it. If everyone in the world asked for their money being “held” tomorrow, they would find it wasn’t there, and what was there was basically invested in war. Randy Johnson should be one of the least of our concerns- He’s just a sideshow distraction from the real games. The people milking him deserve more Devil’s flames, they get more reward for less work and presumably have more “intelligence” and “privilege.”

  7. You’re right about money and privilege ruining the world, fred, but — in American at least — if you take the money as a performer you are expected to not only show up but to perform and do tricks and sit up and beg if asked.

  8. David- Johnny Damon named new Yankees scapegoat by Steinbrenner.
    Can’t the team do without a scapegoat?
    i can see the performing part David, but the tricks and beg part is a bit much to ask from a guy with a nickname such as he had. If there is a scapegoat it should be Steinbrenner himself. i’m sure he’s the last one on his own list. i say- play ball and leave the shenanigans to the fake wrestlers and their counterparts, the fake politicians.

  9. David- i just wanted to prove something, once and for all, and finally did. LOL.
    Now that i’ve been marginalized, let the wars continue. LOL.
    Did you pick baseball because i know virtually nothing about it? LOL.

  10. Everything I do is a conspiracy against you fred!
    That new knife I carry is because of you.
    What’s that lurking there behind you?
    Is it me or the rest of the world?
    I love baseball because the whole idea is to get the ball away from the other team. There is strategy and heartache and drama in that goal. There’s nothing better than working on a hot afternoon and having a game playing on the radio while you toil.

  11. David- i was a big Yankees fan when i was a kid. Then i found out they were racist and won 5 straight world series because they had big bucks behind them and could afford to hire the best players, as long as they weren’t too darkly complected. It seems many good players of color were in the National league then. Can’t make me paranoid David, i’m solipsistic.

  12. David- While Willie Mays and Jackie Robinson, Ernestes Minosa, Junior Gilliam, and many others were playing there were no black, or hispanics on the Yankees until they were pressured and finally hired Elston Howard as a concession. They were probably the last team to hire a black player long after Jackie Robinson played for the Dodgers, whose team was largely minorities when the Yankees had none, unless you count Rizzuto and DiMaggio, was about as dark as they got.

  13. But despite his sporadic linguistic excesses, Lally does have his moments, the best of which is “Blackballed,” a concise indictment of the refusal of Yankee management to bring black baseball players to the club, ignoring Ernie Banks, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and others to sign Artie Wilson, Luis Marquez, and Frank Austin (i.e., ignore future Hall of Famers to go after lesser talent that would not last longer than a season in the minor leagues but give the team window-dressing regarding possible integration). This is one of Lally’s longest pieces and it introduces one of the longest testimonies, from Vic Power. Reading about what the Yankee management did just infuriated me and just proved once again that racism makes people stupid.

  14. Breaking barriers is a difficult task for any organization, fred. The Yankees have always been cautious and star-hungry and they rarely gave/give chances to unknown and unproven talents and that makes it hard to break in no matter your color.

  15. David- Interesting that the only team that had more money than the Yankees at that time was the Red Sox and they integrated after the Yankees. Would be interesting to see the correlation between wealth of all the teams and racism.

  16. fred —
    I agree! The two perennial baseball powerhouses — the Yankees and the Red Sox — were the last to welcome those of color. It’s a shameful history that can never be escaped. It’s right there. On the record. Forever. And ever.
    I would love to know if success and riches influenced the reluctance to race-integrate in baseball.

  17. War is a terrorist activity. Innocent children are the most often killed. The euphemism for this racist terrorism is “collateral damage.”

  18. Hi David,
    You can’t ask a man to give up his mullet and wild beard and expect him to be happy about it — especially moving from a western state to New York City. 😉
    Anyone would snap under those conditions!

  19. Chris!
    I completely agree! Randy should’ve turned down the “Damn Yankees” and continued to go his own way. He’d’ve been the better man in the matter!

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