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Glove Story: The Best of Beltre

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  January 5, 2010 09:52 PM

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Amalie Benjamin shared this YouTube link on Twitter and it's certainly worth passing along here. It's a highlight reel of Adrian Beltre's defensive plays with the Mariners. Lots of good stuff on there, plus a little Vin Scully.

Meanwhile, Matt Holliday has signed with the Cardinals and Randy Johnson retired. Busy day in baseball.

I had the pleasure (and often the extreme discomfort) of covering Randy Johnson in 2006 when he was with the Yankees. It was a pleasure because it was a treat to watch somebody who will go down in history as one of the greatest pitchers in the game. There was only one Randy Johnson, a 6-foot-10 lefty with insane stuff.

I can remember standing behind the cage in Tampa during spring training watching him throw BP and wondering how the heck anybody put their bat on the ball. He looked like he was standing on top of the plate.

According to Yankees legend, Johnny Damon tried to pump his teammates before a game one day, walking through the clubhouse clapping his hands and saying, "Let's go get 'em." Johnson, who wanted silence on the days he pitched, glared at him and unleashed a string of expletives as long as his arm.

But Randy could be a compelling interview when he wanted to be and often was downright friendly. If he said he would make time for you, he was always there. I set up something one time with him for after a day game and he left. I was a little peeved until he unexpectedly called me at home that night and profusely apologized. We then had a pleasant talk that continued the next day.

Johnson struck me as insecure about his place in the game. He always liked making little cracks about Roger Clemens and often would say things to reporters like, "You know, I did win five Cy Youngs."

Here's hoping he enjoys his retirement. The man pitched 22 years and threw 4,135 innings. He has a rest coming.

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