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Randy Johnson, A’s special assistant to GM, leaves for Padres

Some A’s front office news to report: Randy Johnson, a special assistant to GM Billy Beane for the past seven seasons, was hired by the San Diego Padres to be their minor league field coordinator.

Johnson has been a jack-of-all-trades for the A’s, helping out with major and minor league scouting. In recent seasons, he’d logged a lot of miles scouting in Asia and Australia.

He’ll bounce around to all of the Padres’ minor league affiliates throughout the season, evaluating and doing some on-field instruction, working closely with Padres farm director Randy Smith.

On a personal note, my favorite memory w/Randy took place in the Tokyo Dome as the A’s were taking batting practice before playing Boston in the 2008 season opener. I was in the first base dugout interviewing Randy about his playing career in Japan, when a ball ricocheted off the pitcher’s L-screen and nailed him right in the chest … hard.

Randy rubbed his chest for a few seconds, and we continued right on talking like nothing happened. I had a great interview in the bag, and he had a sizable bruise, I’m sure. I owe him one …

I can’t say right now if the A’s plan to replace Johnson, but given their renewed emphasis on international scouting, I’m sure they’ll fill his void somehow. …

Nine days until A’s pitchers and catchers report …

Joe Stiglich