Randy Johnson's Mullet Retirement

Did you know this fel­la, prob­a­bly the best left-han­der I ever saw pitch, inspired fans because he was 'white trash?' Go damn fig­ure. Mike Seely says, give a guy a mul­let, and he's trashy. OOOOOOkaay.

With Randy Johnson's retire­ment yes­ter­day and Edgar Martinez's com­ing up well short in today's Hall-of-Fame bal­lot­ing, it appears that it will be the for­mer who will be the first play­er to have spent a crit­i­cal por­tion of his career with the Mariners to enter Coop­er­stown. Whether John­son will choose to be enshrined as a Mariner is some­what uncer­tain, but we're bet­ting the fact that he came into his own as a Mariner, won his first Cy Young Award in Seat­tle, and spent more time and earned more wins here than with any oth­er club will end up tilt­ing the wind­mills in our favor ver­sus Arizona's (where he won four more Cy Youngs and his only World Series).

John­son is gen­er­al­ly regard­ed as the best left-hand­ed pow­er pitch­er in the his­to­ry of base­ball. But what I'll remem­ber him for is his sin­gu­lar appeal to what we'll polite­ly refer to as baseball's black-and-blue-col­lar sub­set of fans, referred to in snot­ti­er cir­cles as "white trash."

Base­ball fans have long loved their chew-dip­ping, stub­bly-faced, beer-drink­ing, Char­lie Hus­tle honkies [empha­sis mine]. Look no fur­ther than Pete Rose and the John Kruk/Lenny Dyk­stra-led Phillies teams of the early-'90s for evi­dence of this. But John­son took that appeal to a deep­er, dirt­i­er lev­el, espe­cial­ly when he played for the M's. Plen­ty of guys wore mul­lets and mus­tach­es dur­ing Johnson's prime, but none com­bined the two with such extreme enthu­si­asm as John­son. His mul­let was curly, greasy, and unruly, and his 'stache seemed as though it was ripped off theMarl­boro Man's face.

Son, I want to see you broach that trashy top­ic with the man in ques­tion. I urge you to. Since he's not in the Hall yet, he'll prob­a­bly look at you like some­thing he scraped off his shoe, and for­get about, it as opposed to beat­ing on your nog­gin, just a lit­tle. Which is what I might sug­gest if I were a chew-dip­pin'  beer-slurp­ing fan.

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