Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Randy Johnson: Is He Washed Up?

Is Randy Johnson washed up at age 43?
We’ll begin to find out tonight when Johnson makes his season debut for the Arizona Diamondbacks against the San Diego Padres.
You could argue that Johnson won 17 games each of the past two seasons for the New York Yankees. To counter that, consider that Johnson’s ERA has risen from 2.60 in 2004 with the Diamondbacks to 3.79 and 5.00 in the past two respective seasons with the Yankees.
Certainly, the Big Unit benefited from a Yankees lineup that is as potent as any around. He won’t enjoy the same luxury with an Arizona team that has lost four straight and scored three runs in its last three games.
Johnson made three rehabilitation starts in the minor leagues this year while working his way back from offseason back surgery. He’s a hero in Arizona, where he won four of his five Cy Young awards from 1999 to 2002 and was co-MVP of the 2001 World Series along with Diamondbacks teammate Curt Schilling.
Arizona is certainly banking on Johnson to still be the Big Unit, as opposed to a smaller unit. The Diamondbacks signed him in January to a two-year, $26 million contract. He’s being paid $4 million this year, $10 million next year and has a $12 million signing bonus payable through 2010.
Even if he is not the same this time around, the Diamondbacks will consider him a good investment because of what he brought to them in the past and what he brings in present marketing value.
Johnson pitches tonight against San Diego’s David Wells, another 43-year-old. In fact, their combined ages will be the oldest in history of two major league left-handed starting pitchers facing each other.
Both still have that competitive fire, but are they still competitive at age 43? We’ll know by September.

1 comment:

bman25 said...

Randy Johnson is getting older but it does not appear he is getting better, however that would be hard to do. He has slipped some in the last few years. Alot of people will want to write him off after last night but lets give him at least 3-4 more starts before we write him off completely