Now that he has some free time on his hands following his retirement after 22 seasons in the big leagues Randy Johnson attended Lollapalooza in Chicago last week … as a music photographer.
Here’s what the 46-year-old future Hall of Famer told Amy Sciarretto of NoiseCreep.com about his post-retirement plans:
This is my first summer available to go to shows, since I spent the last 26 years playing baseball, so my time was limited. I have four kids and usually there is a concert in Arizona I can go to. I’ve enjoyed music forever, and photography, so one plus one. I envy these photographers that shoot for the bands, taking great pictures, having total access and getting them published.
Through my professional career, I have had an opportunity to be friends with musicians, starting with Kim Thayil from Soundgarden, from when I lived in Seattle. I was up in that scene at the right time, seeing Nirvana and Pearl Jam. Now, I am living in Arizona, I’ve gone to shows and met a lot of different bands members and find out they are sports fanatics. It’s like the old adage that all rock stars want to be porn stars and all porn stars want to be rock stars; only in this case, the rockers want to be athletes and vice versa.
While you attempt to get that Randy Johnson-as-porn star image out of your head, Deadspin actually has a photo of The Big Unit snapping a picture of Soundgarden and Pearl Jam drummer Matt Cameron. He’s the 6-foot-10 guy holding a camera.
“When Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept for there were no more worlds to conquer.”
Or: “When Theo Epstein won World Series championships with the two most championship-starved franchises in baseball history, he got bored, and decided to run for the Senate or something.”
That latter bit is the premise of a Politico piece speculating that the Cubs president could go into politics one day. The story features an interview with former Obama chief strategist David Axlerod, who thinks Theo has what it takes. Mostly what he has is fame, popularity, good looks and money. No idea what his positions on issue are, but that other stuff goes a long way in politics these days.
Bonus: given what we just elected last fall, a guy who once had a little temper tantrum and dressed up in a gorilla suit is just as viable a candidate as anyone.
When you promote a player from the minors, the first and foremost consideration is whether or not he can help your ball club. But, assuming that’s taken care of, teams should really, really make it a priority to call up dudes with cool sounding names because it makes life more interesting for the rest of us.
The Pirates are doing that. The other night Dovydas Neverauskas made his big league debut. In addition to being the first Lithuanian born-and-raised player in major league history, it’s a solid, solid name. Now the Pirates are making another promotion: Gift Ngoepe.
Yep, Gift Ngoepe. He’s an infielder from South Africa, making the leap to the bigs due to David Freese‘s hamstring injury. Ngoepe, 27, was batting just .241/.308/.379 through 66 plate appearances this season with Triple-A Indianapolis, his ninth in the minors, so he’s not exactly a prospect. But man, that’s a killer name.
It’s also worth mentioning that Gift and Neverauskas were arrested together in a bar fight last August in Toledo, so there is already a good basis for some bonding here.
Good luck, Gift. Gift Ngoepe. Mr. Ngoepe. G-Ngo. Man, I could do this all day.