Randy Johnson, the greatest left handed pitcher since Steve Carlton, and arguably one of the five scariest pitchers anyone will ever face called it a career last night after 22 seasons and 303 career victories. (Fox, et al)
Here are a couple of nice recaps:
FoxSports Dayn Perry says Johnson might be the best left handed pitcher ever.
SI’s Tim Marchman says that Johnson is as good as Curt Schilling even after you take the best five seasons out of Randy Johnson’s career.
He was just different – so tall, so strong, so whip-like. You couldn’t stop watching him. See you in the Hall of Fame, Randy.
Of course, that removes one more player who is older than me still active in baseball. I might be down to just Jamie Moyer… Ouch.
Holliday Gets Seven Years, $120 Million From St. Louis
Matt Holliday enjoyed his first season in St. Louis – now he gets to enjoy seven more seasons and a lot of cash, too. It’s the biggest deal of the season and the biggest deal in St. Louis history – at least until Albert Pujols gets his extension next year… [SI]
My initial take on it is that the Cardinals overspent on this deal – it didn’t seem like there were a lot of other teams looking to spend $120 million on Holliday no matter how good he may or may not be. Turns out that Ken Rosenthal agrees and has other thoughts as well.
And, as always, we can cue Tim Kurkjian on the deal…
Casey Kotchman may be headed to Seattle for a minor leaguer. Boston figures to have plenty of options at first base anyway – but Seattle doesn’t need a good glove, no-hit guy. Kotchman is the new Doug Mientkiewicz. Kotchman will be a significant step down from Russell Branyan last year, leaving second baseman Jose Lopez as the best power threat on the team. [SI]
Juan Uribe, a solid utility player, signed a one-year, $3.25 million deal to remain in San Francisco. I like that move. [MLB]
Police in Mexico thwarted an attempt to kidnap pitcher Luis Ayala. I know a few people in Florida who would have wanted that to happen when he got signed to pitch here… I’m glad he’s okay though… [SI]
Those celebrating with cake, cards, or remembrances include; Phil Masi (1916), Early Wynn (1920), Ralph Branca (1926), Lee Walls (1933), Ruben Amaro (1936), Don Gullett (1951), Norm Charlton (1963), Marlon Anderson (1974), Casey Fossum (1978), and Brian Bass (1982).
For a year, Early Wynn was the color commentator on Chicago White Sox TV broadcasts and he was brutal. My friend Tom Arden did a pretty good impersonation of him which consisted of basic mumbling followed by an under the breath “…and I struck him out, too.” Fortunately, that experiment ended quickly.