(this still isn’t Randy Johnson)
While the Arizona Republic’s hapless Joseph A. Reeves has some curious reasons why Randy Johnson should waive his no-trade clause for a return to Phoenix (“The Big Apple is passÃ©. This is Arizona. This is the future. This is where everyone is moving because it’s a fantastic place to live,”), the New York Daily News’ Fillip Bondy is equally enthusiastic about The Big Unit getting the fuck out of the Bronx.
The very thought of such philanthropic organizations, of an amicable divorce here in New York from the Big Unit, was enough to bring smiles to children of all ages. Here was proof that it is often much better to give than to receive, especially in the case of an underachieving, 43-year-old grump.
Forget for a moment the $16 million left on Johnson’s contract. Even better would be to dump the ancient, fading arm, and the failed strategy it embodies.
Such foolishness on the part of other franchises is still hard to believe, if only because the guy is coming off back surgery for a herniated disk and off a season in which he managed only a 5.00 ERA. His spring training status remains questionable, his mood swings probable.
But then, the West Coast is baseball’s new boom town. Money long locked away in safety deposit boxes is suddenly being withdrawn, strewn about the country. This is no longer just a Boston-New York binge. The Dodgers, Angels and even the Padres have discovered the joy of spending. Welcome them to the mall.
The Diamondbacks are also in the picture, apparently. One-hit wonders like Arizona have a way of romanticizing the past. The Diamondbacks may be yearning for a piece of their own history, a happier, Yankee-killing October.
From Brian Cashman’s point of view, Johnson is now extremely disposable. The Bombers have two lefties coming to town – Andy Pettitte and Kei Igawa. The GM is trying to get younger, even if there have been some compromises along the way. He is shedding payroll, sort of. Coincidentally, Pettitte will get about $16 million, the same as Johnson is due. If this were the NBA, Pettitte might be filling Johnson’s salary cap slot.