Sporting Fools
Sporting Fools
Sporting Fools

Sporting Fools

The frequent and occasional humorous musings behind two of the World's greatest underappreciated sports minds.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Breaking Down the Unit

I finally got a chance to watch a Randy Johnson start against my beloved Mets and of course the pride of Flushing got the 7-1 win with some consistent hitting off of the Unit and the Yankees' vastly overrated bullpen.

So everyone wants to know what's wrong with Randy Johnson. Now I'm not pitching expert, but I saw a couple of things that would bring up a red flag for me.

  • He's 41 -- That's old for a pitcher or a baseball player in general (save Julio Franco)
  • He's not physically conditioned -- Now he's physically imposing, but unlike a Roger Clemens, he's not in great condition. He's got tons of nagging injuries and he just can't hold up for more than 70% of the season.
  • He's getting rattled -- Johnson is the classic bully. He hates getting hit and when he does get hit, he unravels. As the Mets collected single after single and made Johnson work in each inning, you could see the unit seething. But so what? Since when did having an ugly stare get someone out?
  • He's lost velocity -- He'll hit 95 on the gun three times a game, everything else is between 91-93 so I think he's going to have to start getting better control of his other pitches.

Randy Johnson is exactly what he's going to be -- A very good pitcher on the decline. And this was one of those areas where George Steinbrenner let his emotions ruin his judgment. He envisioned the 31-year-old Randy Johnson and got the 41-year-old. Again he's good enough to win 15 games, but he's not going to lead a staff anymore.

Johnson Sounds Like a Man Who's Lost It [Newsday]

Intimidation Factor Eludes Johnson [NYT]

Posted by TPrincess 1:20 PM ||
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