Thursday, January 8, 2015

Randy Johnson: I have "no remorse" about coming to Yankees

He might not have left such an impression on the locals when he was with them, but retired major-league pitcher Randy Johnson enjoyed his time with the Yankees.

Johnson said so during a press conference Wednesday, one in which this year's newest members of the Hall of Fame were announced. Johnson, the only player in the class who ever played in the Bronx, was elected to Cooperstown Tuesday with appearances on 97.2 percent of the writers' ballots, the highest total of the four inductees. 

But it's unlikely many of those votes came due to his performance with the Yankees, a rather short period which lasted from 2005-2006. 

"I had no remorse about coming [to the Yankees]," Johnson told The Bergen Record's Pete Caldera. "I know it might be hard for a lot of people to believe that. [But] I came to New York because I wanted to. I love New York."

Johnson was traded from the Diamondbacks to the Yankees in exchange for Javier Vasquez, Dioner Navarro and the late Brad Halsey in January of 2005, ending a six-year stint with Arizona. He went 5-0 against the Red Sox that season and 17-8 overall, seemingly setting himself up for a nice run with the club.

But his ERA skyrocketed to 5.00 in 2006 while he threw 20 2/3 fewer innings, causing the Yankees to deal him back to the Diamondbacks the following winter. 

"I still managed to win 34 games in two years," Johnson said, preferring to look at his stats positively. "It wasn't the exciting Randy that people had witnessed against the Yankees, but I still gave everything I had."

Johnson was selected to the Hall this week in his first time up for the honor, joining two others in accomplishing the feat. Former Brave John Smoltz and former Met Pedro Martinez made up that duo, and longtime Astros OF Craig Biggio completed the entire group.

It is yet to be revealed which team's cap Johnson will wear on his plaque, but it's a safe bet the one with the interlocked "NY" won't be it. 

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)