This weekend's column segues from one point to another, covering the Randy Johnson trade to Bert Blyleven's Hall of Fame candidacy with a musing here and there along the way.
The theme of the first two bullet points is the following: "When you don't have a sound argument, fall back on the fact that you know better than everyone else because you have been around awhile."
Kay: Randy Johnson won 17 games last year in the toughest division in baseball...People say he didn't win in the playoffs. Neither did Mike Mussina and we signed him to a two-year extension. He's well worth the money he has on his contract....16 million. He won 17 games...please don't forget that.
"Watching baseball my whole life and being involved with it for 25 years." Just precious. As a commenter asked at the BTF, I wonder why Johnson didn't "pitch to the score" in 2004 when he went 16-14 with a 2.60 ERA for Arizona? He must have forgotten how or perhaps the 43-year-old veteran of 19 big league seasons just learned this skill in the past two years.
15. Bert Blyleven, Stat freaks love this guy. It's true that his 3,701 strikeouts (fifth all-time) and 287 career victories are numbers that are generally good enough for enshrinement, but unlike a lot of those stathounds, I saw the entirety of his career and he was rarely one of the best. Had only one 20-win season at a time they weren't so rare and only four years with Cy Young votes.
"I saw the entirety of his career." Well, bust my buttons, that's an expert of a different color. Gotta love the emotional attack on "stat freaks" and "stathounds." If you use stats and your name isn't Heyman, you're either a "freak" or a "hound." If you use stats and your name is Heyman, then it's OK because you were there.
I don't know, Jon. I never saw Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Christy Mathewson, or Walter Johnson play in person.