Matt Williams was a teammate of newly-elected Hall of Fame pitcher Randy Johnson when both men played for the Arizona Diamondbacks from 1999-2003. After a 22-year career which saw him win 303 games while striking out 10.61 batters per nine innings pitched for the Montreal Expos who drafted him, Seattle Mariners, D-Backs and New York Yankees, Johnson was one of four players, along with Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz and Craig Biggio who was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on Tuesday.
"For my money, for our generation of player," Williams told MLB Network Radio hosts Casey Stern and Jim Bowden in an interview on Tuesday, "Randy [Johnson] was certainly the guy that everybody looked to. He changed lineups. Which is really difficult to do. Every left-hander in the opposing lineup seemed to get a day off when Randy pitched. And arguably, those were the best hitters in their lineup. So he changed the way other managers thought about their game and how they would try to win that particular one against him."
"He often times put us to sleep on the infield," Williams joked as he discussed playing behind the 6'10'' power left-hander.
"There wasn't a whole lot of contact being made. So it was easy to get ready for that particular pitch and have it sail by a hitter whether it was a taken strike, or swinging strike. It almost surprised the rest of us when somebody would make contact."
"To have that guy be your ace and to know every time he takes the mound that you've got an opportunity to win that game and the other team is going to be hard-pressed to score even one run against him is a pretty good feeling."
"I was happy to be his teammate," Williams said. "He was certainly the most dominant pitcher that I've ever seen. I'm happy for him."
Hall of Fame stories:
• "It must’ve been hell standing in the left-handed batter’s box, staring out at 6-feet-10 of arms and legs and mullet, trying not so much to get a hit as to protect yourself..." - "Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson brought batters discomfort in different ways" - Barry Svrluga, The Washington Post
• "Nationals manager Matt Williams wasn't surprised that Randy Johnson was voted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Tuesday." - "Nats' Williams happy for former teammate Johnson" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com
Les anciens des Expos Pedro Martinez et Randy Johnson élus au Temple de la renommée du baseball. pic.twitter.com/bEbpHTKEoQ— Montreal Expos (@Montreal_Expos) January 6, 2015
• "Everyone complains about how voters make their choices on steroids users, with one side aghast that writers would turn themselves into the 'morality police'..." - "Mark Zuckerman reveals his 2015 Hall of Fame ballot" - Nats Insider
• "Tim Raines had a chance to join former Expos teammates Gary Carter and Andre Dawson in the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Tuesday, but the longtime switch-hitting outfielder fell short of election." - "Raines' vote total rises, but former Expo misses HOF" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com
• "Without question, Martinez was blown away by the honor of being selected on ballots from 500 of the 549 voters (91.1 percent) from the Baseball Writers' Association of America..." - "Pedro elected as first-ballot Hall of Famer" - Ian Browne, nationals.com
Nationals' prospect chatter:
• "Minorleagueball.com’s Top 20 Nats Prospects" - Luke Erickson, NationalsProspects.com
• "Baseball America editor-in-chief John Manuel had a comparison for Difo, a former Nationals player who hit very well early in the team's D.C. tenure." - "Baseball America No. 8 Nats prospect: Wilmer Difo" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com
Byron Kerr: Baseball America No. 8 Nats prospect: Wilmer Difo http://t.co/Fn0YRtcsux— Byron Kerr (@masnKerr) January 6, 2015
• "The question now is whether Solis can stay healthy long enough to showcase the talent that has led scouts to believe he could one day be a middle to top-of-the-rotation big league starter." - "Nationals Pastime: A big year upcoming for Solis" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com
Nats' 2B Search Updates:
yankees will have deal with stephen drew. deal expected to come in at about $5M plus incentives to bring it to $6-7M.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) January 7, 2015
• "The Nationals entered the offseason three months ago with one glaring roster hole: second base." - "Where do things stand at second base for the Washington Nationals?" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider
• "Pitchers and catchers are set to arrive in Viera in mid-February as the Nats will face the Mets, Astros and Braves five times each; and the Marlins and Cardinals four times." - "Nationals Release 2015 Spring Training Schedule" - Space Coast Daily
• "Riggleman was last in the majors in 2011 when he infamously resigned mid-season as Washington Nationals manager over a contract dispute." - "Former Louisville Bats manager Jim Riggleman 'feels good to be back' in MLB" - Michael Grant, Courier Journal
• "The lead-up to the wedding of Nationals slugger Bryce Harper and fiancee Kayla Varner has been the stuff of social media dreaminess." - "Bryce Harper’s nuptials go under the radar" - Emily Heil and Helena Andrews, The Washington Post
NL EAST UPDATES: Utley HOF-worthy? Mets' 'pen; Haren to SF? Smoltz in!
• Braves: "Smoltz will be inducted with Craig Biggio and two of the other most dominant pitchers of his generation -- Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez." - "Glavine, Cox welcome Smoltz to the Hall" - Mark Bowman, braves.com
• Marlins: "Before re-signing starter Jake Peavy in late December, the Giants talked to the Marlins about acquiring veteran starter Dan Haren, according to Fox Sports." - "Report: Giants 'inquired' to Marlins about Haren" - CSN Bay Area
• Phillies: "I realized that the numbers say Chase Utley is Nomar Garciaparra with one more World Series ring." - "Chase Utley, Nomar Garciaparra, Potter Stewart, and the Hall of Fame" - David Murphy, Philly.com
#Mets no longer as rigid on finding a second lefty for the pen. Cuddyer, Mayberry may be the only MLB deals they give out this winter.— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) January 6, 2015