Randy Johnson Bids Baseball Adieu; Cards Extend Holliday Season(s)

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

Other News…

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]

Happy Birthday!

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.

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Weekend Update: Aaron Boone’s Got Heart – an Amazing Comeback!

In what would be the greatest comeback that I can think of in recent history, Aaron Boone is getting ready to make a run at returning to the Astros.  Boone’s career and life was put on hold to have open heart surgery to repair a defective valve in March.  He’ll play for two weeks in AA Corpus Christi, spend some time at AAA Round Rock, and hopefully return to the Astros by the end of the year.  God Speed, Mr. Boone.  [MLB]

Cubs starter Carlos Zambrano’s back is bad enough to require a DL stint.  He left his start about a week ago after three innings, and didn’t make a run at his last start.  [FoxSports]

Aaron Cook missed his start with a jammed toe, out of fear that it will mess with his mechanics.

There really isn’t a trading deadline – is there?  David Weathers snuck through waivers and was sent from Cincinnati to Milwaukee for a PTNL.  Weathers is just a season away from 1000 lifetime games.  For those of us who saw him in Florida a long time ago, this seems amazing.  For those of us in Florida wondering if we can get an extra arm in the bullpen, this is disappointing that Milwaukee can do this but Florida cannot. [ESPN]

Stop me if you heard this before…  Houston’s Mike Hampton had to leave his start Saturday with a knee injury and is considered day-to-day (start to start?). [MLB]

 Cleveland’s Jake Westbrook can’t recover from his elbow injury because even his rehab starts get halted due to elbow pain.  A visit to Dr. Yokum is forthcoming.  [MLB]

A rested Gil Meche is expected to start for Kansas City on Thursday…  Meche is a very, very good pitcher and the Royals need him.

Welcome Back!  Eric Stults returns to the Dodgers from Albuquerque.  Except for the occasional injury trip, he should have never left.  Ronald Belisario returns to the Dodgers from the DL.  Yorman Bazardo returns to the Astros from AAA.

Hurry Back!  Angel starter Joe Saunders heads to the DL with shoulder soreness.  Boston SS Jed Lowrie has ulnar neuritis in his balky left wrist and heads to the DL.

Bye – and stay out!  Luis Ayala was sent to AAA by the Marlins.  I didn’t like that they signed him.  Good riddance.