I answered a few questions for The Nats Blog before the current series, and one of the questions was about Randy Johnson? Now, genius that I am, I read the question wrong, so my answer comes off almost as a bitchy non-sequitur. Here’s how I read the question:
I appreciate the history. I mean, wow, 300 wins? It’s a grand concoction of spectacular talent, longevity, and a little good fortune, and it’s absolutely amazing. What’s even more amazing is that Johnson started his career relatively late – he didn’t reach the majors until he was 24, and he didn’t pick up his 10th win until he was 26. For all of the is-Sanchez-going-to-pan-out?-chatter, it’s worth noting that Jonathan Sanchez is ahead of Randy Johnson’s pace by a few wins. Johnson is one of baseball’s all-time greatest potential-into-realization stories. I mean, sure, we’ll be celebrating Sanchez’s 300th win in 2028, but Johnson paved the road first.
But this isn’t a Giants thing. It really, really, really isn’t. It’s a baseball thing, and though we’re privileged to watch it, it means very little to me that Johnson is going to get #300 in a Giants uniform. It’s kind of cool – don’t get me wrong – but in that Duke Snider, Warren Spahn, and Steve Carlton kind of way. All of those players played for the Giants, and that’s kind of cool. But when you think of Snider, Spahn, and Carlton, you think of the Dodgers, Braves, and Phillies or Cardinals, respectively.
(A slightly related aside: My friend’s college roommate was a Padres fan, and one day he challenged my friend to a position-by-position, all-time franchise best showdown. My friend chuckled, and said, "Sure. I’ll start with Willie McCovey at first." The Padres fan quickly said, "Oh, he’s on our team too." Uh, yeah. And you’d better believe that Ozzie Smith was the starting shortstop for the Padres, too.)
Am I being too cynical? I’m thrilled to watch a player get his 300th win – I always am – but the Giants factor only boosts the excitement factor by, oh, 10% or so. Dunno. Maybe I’ll feel differently when it happens, even though I'm already excited from a general baseball standpoint.
Open Milestone Thread.