I have nothing but negative thoughts for Randy Johnson, a brilliant pitcher but a pathetic human being. I covered baseball for a good chunk of time. I had direct access to such unpleasant men as Will Clark, John Rocker, Barry Bonds, Arthur Rhodes. But nobody--and I mean absolutely nobody--possessed the pure dismissive cruelty of Randy Johnson.
I’ve heard it a million times--no one cares how athletes treat the media. Well, I care. And Johnson was a punk. He bullied reporters, he snarled at reporters, he occasionally threatened reporters. He is one of the far-too-many professional athletes who believes the ability to throw a round piece of animal skin 100 mph grants you the right to treat other human beings as dog excrement. Just ask anyone who covered Johnson during his days in Montreal, Seattle, Houston, Arizona, New York and, lastly, San Francisco. He was a first-class pitcher and a first-class creep.
There’s nothing wrong with being critical. Heck, in my view, sports writers should be more critical than they currently are, not less. But there’s a difference between being critical and getting personal, and getting personal to the extent Pearlman does, especially at a time -- an athlete’s retirement -- when perhaps a bit of restraint along those lines might be in order is a totally bush league move.