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The Big Unit

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Moderator1, Jun 2, 2009.

  1. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    What a great nickname. And bear with me as I ramble a bit. Yes, I know we have a baseball thread. This, like the Dale Jr. thread, is what I think of as a legit breakout. A sidebar to the takeout, if you will.

    Just bought tickets to go see Unit try for 300 against the Nats tomorrow. The Nats never win when I'm there (1-11 this season). This is one time I'm actually hoping they don't. But, knowing my luck, they probably will.

    This guy has always intrigued me. I remember somebody gushing about him years ago when he was part of the Langston deal (he was part of that, wasn't he?). Later, I was in Cleveland for the opening of the stadium there. This was back in the day when newspapers had money and traveled and shit to do good stories. I'm in the lobby of the Marriott there and Johnson comes strolling in. All arms and legs, lots of hair. It was quite a vision. He just kept going and going and going.

    So I'm curious as I prepare to see the last 300-game winner of my lifetime: Where does he fit on the greatness scale? How will he be remembered? Is he a good guy, as some have suggested to me despite evidence to the contrary? Or is he really a prick?
  2. Pancamo

    Pancamo Active Member

    More wins in his forties than his 20's. Hmmmm
  3. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    He was part of the Langston trade. Can't remember who else was involved.

    Langston was supposed to be the final piece the Expos needed to win the NL East in 1989.
  4. Bubbler

    Bubbler Active Member

    I saw him pitch at Indianapolis way back when. He was much wilder in those days, and thus, even more intimidating.
  5. topsheep

    topsheep Member

    I'll be there tomorrow, too. Get a beer beforehand? I'm in section 113, third-base line.
  6. Diabeetus

    Diabeetus Active Member

    I wouldn't rule out another 300-winner coming along sometime in the next decade or so. Hope you're still around then! :D
  7. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    Who? And probably not. Given my family history, I'm deep into the fourth quarter and out of timeouts.
    topsheep, stay tuned tomorrow. Depends on when my son can bail out of work.
  8. Steak Snabler

    Steak Snabler Well-Known Member

    I don't know how old you are, Moddy, but I've always hated this argument. Seems like people say this every time someone wins 300 games.

    But C.C. Sabathia isn't even 29 yet and he's got 122 wins. A couple of big victory years during the life of his Yankees contract and continued good health (he's never had any serious arm issues), and I don't see why he's not a good bet to get there.

    As for Johnson, I think he's probably the fourth-greatest lefty of all time, behind Grove, Spahn and Carlton (in that order). Third-greatest pitcher of his generation after Clemens and Maddux (I put Johnson ahead of Pedro because of his durability and longevity).

    Brian Holman and Gene Harris also went to the M's for Langston and a player to be named later (which wound up being Mike Campbell). Holman was a decent No. 3 starter before injuries did him in.

    Here's a "where are they now" story on Holman, who once retired the first 26 batters in a game before Ken Phelps(!) homered to break it up:

  9. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    53. And CC is a long, long way away.
    Somebody has to get there in 10 years for my ass to see 'em.
  10. Huggy

    Huggy Well-Known Member

    Saw him pitch live a couple of times against the Jays. He spent one winter with the Expos as a roadie for Rush which to me is really cool.
  11. Steak Snabler

    Steak Snabler Well-Known Member

    Almost forgot to mention this ... I seriously considered driving over to Atlanta to catch Johnson's start on May 18, 2004 (I lived about 90 miles from Turner Field at the time). But I had just moved to town and all the people I knew at that point were working that night (at the paper). Plus, there was a threat of rain, so I didn't go.

    And Johnson pitched a perfect game ...
  12. JackReacher

    JackReacher Well-Known Member

    Personally, I'm pretty pumped to see Johnson tomorrow. One pitcher I've been wanting to see for a long time. I'd consider him one of the all-time greats.

    Looks like a mini-SJ outing at the game tomorrow. At least six posters are going, from what I'm told.
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