Surely, I jest? And jest I do.
Since 1888, when Pud Galvin of the Pittsburgh Alleghenys beat the Indianapolis Hoosiers 5-4 to became the major leagues' first 300 game winner only twenty-two others have reached that lofty milestone. Of the twenty-three pitchers in the hallowed 300 Wins Club, only five were southpaws. That perspective alone should have us all aghast, awed and a twitter, as the San Francisco Giants lefty Randy Johnson makes his bid for entry into one of major league baseball's most exclusive clubs.
So what gives? I'll tell you what gives.
Johnson is a red ass. That's right, I said it. He's a red ass. And I'm not just making the term up. Nor am I the first to apply it to the Big Unit.
At www.urbandictionary.com a "red ass" in sports is defined as: "A player who is always pissed off. Usually said of an outstanding player when anything short of perfection isn't good enough. If Randy Johnson gets a win, he should have struck out 15, or have thrown a shut-out, or a no hitter. Basically, a red ass is never pleased with his or his teammates performance on most occasions."
Numerous sports talk show hosts, including nationally syndicated Jim Rome of The Jim Rome Show, have often referred to Johnson as a red ass.
In 2001, while working as a security officer in the player parking lot at then Bank One Ballpark in Phoenix, I had the distinct displeasure of making Johnson's acquaintance, one night after he'd just pitched the Diamondbacks to another win in that most magical of World Series seasons. As Johnson exited the clubhouse and headed to his Hummer, I said, "Good night Mr. Johnson. Helluva game tonight." To which Johnson said not a word. Nor did he even acknowledge my presence. Quintessential red ass in my book.
The bottom line is nobody cares whether or not Johnson gets 300 wins, because he has never given us any reason to care about him as a person. Nobody cares if he retires tomorrow while stuck on 299 wins or if he pitches until he's fifty-five and amasses 400 wins.
Johnson has made a career of striking out batters and winning games for his teams, when he should have been more concerned with striking up conversations and winning over his fans.