Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Randy Ruckus

Yesterday's big baseball news story--big enough that it made the front page locally--was controversy over Randy Johnson's out-of-wedlock child, a teenaged daughter. The story, broken by The Smoking Gun website, is that Johnson is making a motion to a court in Washington to stop paying the teen's mom money for child care, $750 per month. The Smoking Gun's story, entitled "Big Unit Gets Stingy with Love Child," features extensive comments from the child's mother, and begins this way:
Sure, Randy Johnson may earn $16 million annually pitching for the New York Yankees, but that hasn't stopped the baseball star from trying to legally nickel and dime a woman with whom he had a "secret" child out of wedlock.
It doesn't look like TSG sought Johnson's comment on this story before running it, so the story contains uncontested claims by the child's mother that Johnson has only seen his daughter once, is totally uninvolved in her life, that Johnson agreed to continue paying the daycare expenses when the mother decided to stop working full-time, and that the fight started because Johnson was too cheap to pay for community college classes and a car for his daughter. As expected, Johnson's public image--already pretty dim--has taken a hit, with people saying all the usual things about out-of-touch millionaires and such.

As someone who has a bit of professional experience in this area, I find it hard to get moralistic on Johnson, based on this article. When you're talking about Family Law, there's almost always more to the story than meets the eye; given the sums in controversy between these folks, this looks like a situation where Johnson's motion is motivated by personal factors or principle. With just the mother's say-so to go on, there's no way to say much of anything about this story, other than "ooh, Randy Johnson has a kid we didn't know about!"

These days, that's not much of a story.

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