'Big Unit' retires from baseball
Advertiser News Services
Randy Johnson looked so awkward on the mound early in his career, that shaggy hair dangling down his neck as he fired a blazing fastball in every direction but the strike zone.
Now, after 22 major league seasons, The Big Unit is walking away from baseball as one of the game's greatest pitchers.
The 6-foot-10 Johnson announced his retirement on a conference call yesterday, a decision that had been expected from the overpowering left-hander who reached 300 wins last June.
"I really wanted to go out on my terms," Johnson said. "I just feel like there's not a lot more for me to do in this game. I just think it's a natural progression when you play this long. Eventually you have to say it's time."
A five-time Cy Young Award winner, the 46-year-old Johnson accomplished just about everything in his remarkable career that a player hopes for.
He owns a World Series ring and co-MVP honors, and was a 10-time All-Star. He threw two no-hitters, including a perfect game, and ranks second on the career strikeout list.
Johnson finishes with a record of 303-166 and 4,875 strikeouts in 4,135[0xb0] innings for Montreal, Seattle, Houston, Arizona, the New York Yankees and San Francisco. His strikeouts are the most by a left-hander and second to Nolan Ryan's 5,714.
PISTONS LOSE AGAIN
Jason Terry scored 26 points, Dirk Nowitzki added 22 and the host Dallas Mavericks handed Detroit its 10th consecutive loss, beating the Pistons, 98-93, last night.
The Pistons, who last won Dec. 12, hadn't dropped 10 in a row since the end of the 1993-94 season. They lost their final 13 games that season.
"Our guys competed," Pistons coach John Kuester said. "I was very impressed. We're going through an interesting stretch. But we're going to find a way to get out of this hole."
MICHIGAN HAS NEW AD
The University of Michigan is counting on a pizza mogul to run its multimillion-dollar athletics department.
Domino's Pizza Chairman and CEO David Brandon, a former football player for the Wolverines, was announced yesterday as the school's new athletics director. The 57-year-old Brandon will take over in March with a five-year contract if university regents approve the move as expected on Jan. 21.Brandon will replace Bill Martin, who announced last year he was stepping down.
U.S. WINS JUNIOR TITLE
John Carlson scored in overtime to lift the United States to a 6-5 victory over Canada in the world junior hockey championship last night at Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
Carlson beat goaltender Martin Jones on a 3-on-1 after U.S. goalie Jack Campbell made a save at the other end. It was the second goal of the game for Carlson, on loan to the U.S. team by his American Hockey League team in Hershey, Pa.
U.S. FALLS IN HOPMAN
The United States was eliminated from winning the Hopman Cup by Australia after Americans John Isner and Melanie Oudin were beaten in singles matches yesterday at Perth, Australia.
Lleyton Hewitt defeated Isner, 6-1, 7-5, and Samantha Stosur beat Oudin, 6-2, 6-4, to clinch Australia's 2-1 win. Isner and Oudin won the mixed doubles.
The U.S. has won the Hopman Cup five times, but has an 0-2 record in group play and cannot reach the final. Australia is 1-1 in group play.
Spain remained unbeaten in its group after defeating Romania on Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez's singles win and an injury retirement by Victor Hanescu.
AND WHAT'S MORE ...
Matt Holliday is staying with the St. Louis Cardinals, agreeing yesterday to a $120 million, seven-year contract that is baseball's richest deal of the offseason. ... The New Jersey Nets reached a buyout agreement with Rafer Alston yesterday and waived the 33-year-old point guard, who was in the final year of a contract that was to pay him $5.2 million this season.