Johnson to take time on decision
SAN FRANCISCO -- Randy Johnson will take his time deciding whether to pitch next year.
The 303-game winner said Thursday there's no rush and said health and his ability to start again could play a role. The Big Unit, who turned 46 last month, has been relegated to relief late this season for the San Francisco Giants following two-plus months on the disabled list with a shoulder injury.
"There's no real sense of urgency," Johnson said. "I'm going to go home and do what everybody else does."
Johnson, who has 4,873 strikeouts, is 8-6 with a 4.98 ERA in 17 starts and three relief outings -- and he'd like to pitch one more time before the season ends. Johnson got his wish in front of the home fans in the ninth inning of Thursday's 7-3 victory over his former club, Arizona.
Johnson allowed a leadoff single to Mark Reynolds, then got a double play before Chad Tracy's game-ending groundout.
On June 4 at Washington, the 6-foot-10 left-hander became the 24th player in major league history with 300 wins.
He joined the Giants in his native Bay Area this season to try to help the team reach the playoffs, but San Francisco will miss the postseason for the sixth straight year after making a run at the NL wild card before recently falling out of contention.
Johnson spent July 6-Sept. 16 on the disabled list with a strained left shoulder that also had a tear in the rotator cuff. As he was working his way back, the five-time Cy Young Award winner acknowledged that pitching more than five innings and being effective as a starter would be tough at this stage.
He came out of a game July 5 against the Houston Astros with the injury, his first serious shoulder problem during his career. He felt something in his arm on a swing during that start but initially tried to pitch through it. He then left the game after committing a throwing error in the top of the fourth.
This marked the 10th DL stint of Johnson's career. He has had four knee operations and three back surgeries and worked his way back.
Johnson has repeatedly acknowledged this could be his final season and said he'll make his decision known -- probably in Arizona. He lives in the Phoenix area after spending eight of his previous 10 seasons with the Diamondbacks, interrupted by a rocky two-year stint with the New York Yankees in 2005 and '06.
"You'll read about it," he said.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press
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