UPDATE: Rosenthal confirms that Johnson is retiring. He also notes that Johnson is moving his conference call to 7 P.M. tonight so as not to interfere with the Hall of Fame announcement tomorrow.
3:49 P.M.: Several baseball writers have tweeted that Randy Johnson has announced a conference call tomorrow. My guess is that he’s not doing it to announce that he’s accepted a make-good deal with the Diamondbacks or something.
Aside from the curious timing — dude, the Hall of Fame announcements are happening tomorrow — this is probably good news. Johnson is leaving with his legacy untarnished and will no doubt be joining those Hall of Famers the very first year he is eligible to do so.
UPDATE: Jim Bowden has some advice regarding Johnson’s timing: “Randy Johnson- please don’t pull a Kanye West.”
For what it’s worth, Johnson doesn’t appear to enjoy media attention too much. In light of this It wouldn’t surprise me if his thinking was “hey, if I do this tomorrow, maybe it will get lost in the shuffle and I won’t have to answer too many questions” instead of some “hey, look at me grab the spotlight from the Hall of Famers!” Still, if I were him I’d do it Thursday.
As we noted, Bryce Harper was ejected in the Phillies-Mets game for arguing balls and strikes, punctuating the ejection with a fairly aggressive argument in which he sorta shoved his manager into the ump, had to be held back by teammates and may very well have earned himself a suspension.
We’ll see about the suspension part, but even if he didn’t anger Rob Manfred over all of that, he did annoy his teammate, Jake Arrieta, who was on the mound last night. Here were Arrieta’s comments after the game:
“Look, I mean, [Harper’s] got to understand we need him in right field,” Arrieta said. “I don’t care how bad the umpire is. He wasn’t great for either side. I’m out there trying to make pitches, and he misses some calls. So what? We need him out there. I need him in right field, I need him at the plate, and he wasn’t there. So that hurts.
“We were flat from start to finish. Two-hour delay, it doesn’t matter. We have to be ready to play. We weren’t, and it showed. The dugout was flat. The defense wasn’t good. Didn’t throw the ball well as a staff overall. We got beat. We started at 8:45. I don’t think our guys were ready to play. We’ve got to come out tomorrow ready to play.”
For Harper’s part he was contrite after the game, echoing Arrieta’s words about needing to keep a level head and about him being more useful in the game than in the clubhouse. Still, he got told by his teammate. And seems to know he got told.