Randy Johnson To Announce Retirement

Agent Barry Meister won't give confirmation, but according to Ken Rosenthal:

Randy Johnnson to retire. Conference call moved to tonight to avoid conflict with Hall of Fame announcement tomorrow.

Johnson, who turned 46 in September, will close out his 4135.1-inning career with the highest strikeout rate in baseball history, a figure he accumulated despite seldom facing a same-handed hitter.

Being that I've never lived in Seattle and didn't get to start watching the Mariners regularly until 2004, I'll leave the farewell speech to someone else. I don't think I'm qualified. But I will say that, for however much good has been done by Edgar Martinez, Alex Rodriguez, and Ken Griffey Jr., Randy was always my favorite. On the rare occasion that I was able to watch him on TV or hear him on the radio, he evoked a feeling I've never felt with any other athlete - the feeling of certainty that he will succeed, right now, and there's nothing anyone can do about it. Against Randy, batters were helpless. They weren't at a disadvantage, or up against it, or facing long odds. They were helpless.

"Dominance" is a funny thing. People talk about it all the time, but when pressed, no one can offer a definition. This is because no one's been able to put Randy into words.

One of the side benefits of going back and watching Game 5 last night is that I got to hear the ovation when Randy came in from the bullpen. Tonight, if you have the video, I recommend you do the same. Listen to the crowd in the ninth when he enters the game. Listen to the crowd in the ninth when he shuts down a rally. Listen to the crowd in the tenth when he strikes out the side. And listen to the crowd in the eleventh after he gives up a run. Listen to the crowd and then try to tell me that one man, and one man alone, was able to save baseball in Seattle.

Randy Johnson was a player, a phenomenon, and everything in between. Baseball will always have a number of stars, but today it loses one of its only true icons.

Thanks for the memories, RJ.

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