The Big Question…

By | December 31, 2004

Am I the only one who still remembers that Randy Johnson is 41 years old and has a history of back problems? I totally understand wanting him for 2005, but to give him a 2-year extension with crazy money? My favorite thing about this Johnson deal is playing the odds on how much money the Yankees will pay Johnson to sit on the bench, injured.

I do not blame Johnson at all; after all, he is 54 wins from 300, and he lost at least six or seven wins last year playing for the D-Backs. Playing for the Yankees will maximize his chances to win 25 games a season, and if he stays healthy for the whole contract, he should have no problem averaging 18 wins. And honestly, if anyone deserves $50+ million in his forties, it’s probably Randy Johnson, even if it’s just a lifetime achievement award.

But if this contract does turn into a lifetime achievement contract for an inured old man, I think it will be poetic justice for George Steinbrenner to foot the bill. I respect George’s right to throw money in whatever direction he chooses, and until baseball has some rule in place that limits him, he will (rightfully) continue to spend as much as he can afford. But can you imagine what Steinbrenner’s money could do if it was being spent by someone with a little baseball acumen? Imagine if they had thrown all this money at Johnson when he was a free agent in 1998… Or if they HADN’T traded for Kevin Brown last year… Or if they had spent a little money on developing a farm system that would ensure year-to-year viability without spending millions and millions every offseason…

Steinbrenner keeps his name in the headlines with these huge moves, but if winning World Series is his objective, he might want to employ some baseball people or listen to the ones he has.

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