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No, seriously, Randy Johnson was on the Giants

Independent research will verify this claim about the newest member of the Hall of Fame.

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Well, the headline's written. Now what? Suppose that it's time to prove it. For starters, if you want, you can buy this bobblehead on eBay:


There are iconic moments:

There are iconic moments within the iconic moments:

In which you were terrified that Johnson was going to shatter like the T-1000 sprayed with liquid nitrogen as soon as he hit the ground. Also that first baseman plays left field when the Giants get to the World Series five years later. You should check it out.

So now we have an unassailable truth: No, seriously, Randy Johnson was on the Giants. Now we have to figure out what his legacy is.

Everyone agrees that he's pretty much the best, right?

There was a time when there was no way those words would have been sent from my brain to my fingers. There was a time when praise for Johnson was unthinkable from a Giants fan. He was a lurching spectre of doom, an awful specimen of humanity. Remember when the Diamondbacks came into the league, and in their fourth freaking season, they won the World Series? That was the worst. To a Giants fan raised on Candy's sliding non-catch, Shawn's non-sliding mistake, earthquakes, Dante Powell's throw hitting the mound, and Charlie Brown sitting on the curb, it was a travesty of justice. Baseball was laughing at us. Baseball was laughing at all of us.

And it was Johnson's fault. Randy and that little friend of his. Oh, how I hated them.

This should be like Orel Hershiser, then. There should be pangs of regret that we temporarily forgot ourselves, that we cheered for that guy. Divisional rival comes over, pitches poorly, slinks off, everyone remembers just how much of a weenie that guy always was.

Except I love Randy Johnson. I don't watch highlights and think, ugh, that jerk. He's a marvel, a treasure. His highlights are outstanding. He called his slider "Mr. Snappy." He listened to crusty metal. He's from Livermore, which I can almost see from here. Also, he was 6'10", far more vertical than horizontal, and he throw a wicked, unhittable combination of pitches, making him one of the most unique pitchers in baseball.

Why? Why does he get a pass where Hershiser didn't, where Kevin Brown wouldn't have? I have theories!

I'm soft and weak

Possibly! A bad fan, too. But if so, I blame the World Serieses*. I'd like to sing and buy everyone a Coke and hold hands and hey remember Randy Johnson ha ha ha he was on the Giants team that didn't win the World Series so much fun I love all of you.

It's easier because the pain back there contributed to the happiness up here. There's no pleasure in a World Series win without the mirror image of annual pain. Now we're all friends again. Come here, Randy, you rascal. Let's sit down like Dave Mustaine and Metallica in Some Kind of Monster and talk about our feelings.

*three in five years

Special talents have special rules

As in, Hershiser was great for a while, but he was ordinary quickly. The magic sinker became an innings-eating sinker, and he wasn't anything special for a good, long while.

Johnson was a create-a-player you made when you were 12 and screwing around on a sleepover, just to see what it would look like. He was unlike any other player, and then he was better than any other player. Now he's in the Hall of Fame. Remember when he made baseball more interesting? I do. So much more interesting.

Barry Bonds hit three home runs off Randy Johnson, you know. I can't find video of one of them. Do better, Internet.

The Giants connections

Couldn't hurt. Remember this?

Great line. Delivered well. Suddenly, he's loveable. Then you remember him coming out of a brawl wearing a Giants cap. He murdered a bird when pitching against the Giants, probably because it was going to attack Stan Javier or something. You never suspect the doves.

He got the 1997 offseason started on an ominous note for the Giants, yet everything somehow worked out. For the better part of a decade, Johnson was a part of Giants baseball. He was an enemy, then he was a friend. Those were my formative years. He's embedded into those memories.

It's probably the part about me being a weenie, though. I won't apologize. I love Randy Johnson. Scream it from the rooftops. Not ashamed. Congratulations to him. It was a brilliant career. My only regret is that I wish I hated it just a little bit less while it was going on.