Thursday, June 4, 2009

Congratulations to the Big Unit

Congratulations to 45-year-old Randy Johnson for becoming the 24th member of the 300-win club today.  Johnson beat the lowly Nationals 5-1 today, reaching the pantheon of the game's great pitchers.  Not that the Big Unit was not headed for Cooperstown already after four Cy Youngs and nearly 5,000 strikeouts, but achieving the magic number of 300 makes membership in the Hall of Fame automatic.

In recent years, Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and Roger Clemens all reached this milestone (although Clemens apparently did it by juicing).  Some have speculated that Johnson will be the game's last 300-game winner due to the dramatic changes in the way pitchers are used today.  I don't believe that for a moment.  I don't think that there's any doubt that there will be more 300-game winners, but it WILL be a long time before the next one.  With 305-game-winner Glavine having been cut by Atlanta yesterday, there are only two active pitchers with more than 200 wins.  46-year-old Jamie Moyer has 250 wins, and I cannot imagine that Moyer will last long enough to reach 300.  The next in line, Andy Pettitte, has 220 wins, but he's already talking about retiring at the end of the season.  Consequently, it will be a LONG time before we see another pitcher reach the magic number. 

That makes Johnson's accomplishment all the more remarkable.  Congratulations to the Big Unit.  There's not much else left for him to prove.

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