The Big Unit got into a confrontation on a Manhattan sidewalk
with a television cameraman Monday, then apologized in a statement
released later in the day.
Johnson passed all exams Monday, but the Yankees awaited results
of blood and other tests that needed more time. Still, New York
went ahead and scheduled a news conference for Tuesday afternoon to
announce the completion of its drawn-out trade with Arizona. In a
deal agreed to on Dec. 30, the Yankees are sending the Diamondbacks
pitcher Javier Vazquez and Brad Halsey, catcher Dioner Navarro and
Johnson, a five-time Cy Young Award winner, gets a $32 million,
two-year contract extension that runs through 2007.
Vazquez passed his physical with the Diamondbacks on Monday
night. Navarro had to take two physicals Monday -- one for Arizona
and one for Los Angeles, which is acquiring him as part of a
separate deal. The Dodgers are receiving four prospects from the
Diamondbacks for outfielder Shawn Green and $10 million. Green and
Arizona reached an agreement in principle Sunday on a $32 million,
three-year contract, which would allow that trade to be finalized.
Green also passed his physical with Arizona.
Johnson got a taste Monday of how much attention star
ballplayers can attract in New York. Walking along a Manhattan
avenue, he put his long right arm up to block a camera from WCBS-TV
after he left his Manhattan hotel.
Johnson, who was accompanied by Yankees director of team
security Jerry Laveroni, made contact with the camera, station
spokeswoman Audrey Pass said.
"Get out of my face, that's all I ask," Johnson said,
according to a video of what occurred, which was posted on the
station's Web site.
"No cameras," Laveroni said.
"Don't get in my face," Johnson then said. "I don't care who
you are. Don't get in my face."
"I'm just taking a picture," said the cameraman, identified by
the station as Vinny Everett.
Responded Johnson: "Don't get in my face, and don't talk back
to me, all right."
Johnson issued a statement through agent Alan Nero that was
distributed by the Yankees.
"Regarding the unfortunate incident that happened this morning
as I was on my way to take a physical, I hope that everyone will
understand that the past few days have been a bit overwhelming and
I wish I had handled the situation differently," Johnson said. "I
am very sorry it happened."
Pass later issued a statement for the station that said "in the
regular course of CBS2's newsgathering on a midtown street, Randy
Johnson took exception to our cameraman's effort to photograph him,
attempted to block his lens and insisted that the camera be
removed. Johnson has since apologized."
Johnson is scheduled to appear Tuesday on CBS's "Late Show with