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Community Projection: Randy Johnson

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There are, like, two of you sitting in an office, wondering why you’re sitting in an office today. I feel your pain. I’m the third. If I had the day off today, do you know what I would do? I would sit in an easy chair, listen to the rain, and continue reading Team of Rivals. That is, I would actually be doing something holiday-appropriate. I wouldn’t waste my day playing Xbox, thinking about anything other than our former presidents; I would be knee deep in the history of them, trying to get a sense of what made them tick. But I have to work instead? Oh, well let me just switch gears then.

Союз нерушимый республик свободных
Сплотила навеки Великая Русь!
Да здравствует созданный волей народов
Единый, могучий Советский Союз!

Work? Today? You might as well get Ivan Drago in here, and let him parade around on top of a bear as he tosses nesting dolls at small children. I thought this was America, dammit.

(Actually, I forgot it was President’s Day until a couple of minutes ago. And if I were off today, I wouldn’t be reading, I’d be knee-deep in mustardy poop and musical stuffed snails. But it’s fun to rant.)

Ahem.

Inspired by this post from the also-working Andrew Baggarly, today's a day for the community projection for Randy Johnson. I don’t think the acquisition will sink in until we see Johnson in a full Giants uniform. Randy Johnson in French vanilla. Randy Johnson getting cheered at Mays Field. Randy Johnson helping the Giants win. It’s like listening to a physicist talk about the existence of 12 dimensions – whatever you say, buddy, but I’m never going to be able to visualize it on my own.

Baggarly says that Johnson looks good, which makes me all fuzzy. It’s useless to look at first-half/second-half splits…unless you want them for cherry-picking purposes. In the first half of 2008, Johnson wasn’t very good, posting a 5.23. But his K/BB and his K/9 were good, and his .335 BAbip was unusually high. In the second half, Johnson improved, as he walked fewer hitters and allowed fewer runs.

Is the first-half/second-half division arbitrary and not indicative of anything performance related? Maybe. But I choose to think that Johnson needed some time to find his rhythm after back surgery, and he’ll be second-half Randy until he’s 53 or so. Supporting evidence: none. But that hasn’t stopped me before.

I also think that Johnson will accidentally leave some moustache trimmings in Jonathan Sanchez’s bowl of Honey Smacks one morning, and the ensuing DNA mutations will lead to five Cy Young awards for Sanchez. Again, there’s no evidence for this, but you have a sense that it’s true. Look in your heart.

I’m not going to read too much into the switch to a bigger ballpark, as Mays Field only makes a substantial difference for left-handed hitters, and Johnson already murders those hitters. But I’m excited to have Johnson on the staff. He’s a freak, and I’m not sure if the standard aging rules apply to him. He was fifth in the NL in strikeouts per nine innings, and that’s including his rough start. I’m bullish on him:

Randy Johnson

IP: 189
ERA: 2.92
K: 173
BB: 51
HRA: 15
Unfair references to his less-than-aesthetically-pleasing mug: ∞