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Posted on: October 2, 2008 4:07 pm
Edited on: October 2, 2008 4:11 pm
 

Johnson: Greatest lefty ever.

Randy Johnson.  The name brings a picture of the most elite left handed pitcher in the modern era of baseball.   You can argue all you want that he might not be, but in case you forgot, here are some stats on his career thus far:

- 64.8% winning percentage (295-160) with a career ERA of 3.26. 
- 4789 Strike outs (2nd all time and most likely will remain). 
- 1.167 WHIP
- 5 career CY Young winners
- 100 Complete games, 37 being Shut Outs
- 2001 World Series MVP
- Perfect game in 2004
 and many more...

If these numbers don't speak alone, perhaps his most recent stories can explain how determined and willing he still is to pitch even at age 44.  Recovering from 2 back surgeries in as many years, many doubted that Johnson could ever return this year pitching great.   He pitched great and even finished a season with only 1 missed start due to an injury unrelated to his back.   With the Diamondbacks this year, making a start to his season a few weeks late, Randy went 11-10, but of all those starts, in 4 of them, he got no more than 1 run of support.   Imagine, with some support, a 300 win mark could of easily been seen this year.   But instead we will have to wait.   Johnson through July and into August had a 6-0 stretch with a 0.91 ERA, he looked as vintage and classic as ever, almost to a point where you had to remind yourself he was 43-44 years old.   Simply amazing.  He still had the K's working, having 10K's in 2 games this year, and 7-9 in many many more games.   The speed many be slower, but the placement is still perfect.
The importance of all this is simple:  The Diamondbacks must bring Randy Johnson back for 1 more year.  Being only 4 wins away from the magical 300, not only is that club a prestigious one, but most likely no pitcher will ever reach the 300 mark again as many experts note. 

Johnson has the determination, but bringing him back 1 more year as a Diamondback is where I feel he wants to retire, win his 300th and most be remembered as.   Why not!  He has the most success with the Dbacks, with the Mariners being a long shot 2nd.  

I think the people of Phoenix want Johnson to get 300 with them, it just wouldn't seem right to anyone that knows and recognizes the accomplishments his man has done to the baseball history books.

In all, bring Johnson back.   Seeing him win 300 with any other team would be a disgrace to the fans leaving them with a sour idea of what the Diamondbacks management is.  If they know what is best for them, he will be back, the fans will be back, and a celebration will endure. 
Posted on: August 17, 2008 9:15 pm
 

Dbacks, Dodgers, and the NL West

The NL West in my opinion has completely transformed over the last let' say 3 weeks.   Suddenly the NL "worst" is receiving some attention that is due, not only because the Diamondbacks acquired Adam Dunn, and the Dodgers traded for Manny, but mostly because the division is in an extremely tight race for first place.   The way both teams are playing, chances are they could finish close in record, if not better by September's end to that of the NL East winning team.  The team that ends up winning the division will if trends continue, win the division by no more than 2-3 games, if even that.   The Dodgers suddenly appear to have a transformed offense with Manny's presence, giving batters like Kemp, Eithier, and others better looks at pitches and more strikes to try to avoid having to see Manny step up.  The Diamondbacks have also created a similar threat in their lineup with NL HR blaster Adam Dunn.  Now its hard to clearly measure if the addition of these 2 players to both ball clubs have created a change, though these statistics could be some proof:

Dodgers since the addition of Manny:  Manny has had 14 RBI in 17 games since joining the Dodgers, with that he has also hit 5 HR
With that, the Dodgers are 9-6, but most recently have won 5 of 6.

The Diamondbacks with the addition of Adam Dunn is a little harder to measure since he has not been with the Dbacks nearly as long as Manny has, but the Diamondbacks have had an offense surge with Dunn presence scoring 38 runs in his first 6 games with the team, with the Dbacks winning 4 of 6. 

With or without though, both clubs are hitting extremely better since all-star break, and their reputation in the division isn't has harsh as before.

All I know is this, the race will be close, the Diamondbacks have starting pitching and still a better bullpen, though the Dodgers offensively are stronger with quite decent starting pitching, though not as strong as AZ, still effective.  The Dodgers have to worry about their bullpen as Sunday we almost saw a 5-1 lead in the 9th end up going to extras.   The Diamondbacks have to hope their offense can hold for the pitching, and remember to play fundamental ball until the end.

Should be fun!
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com