Posts Tagged ‘Randy Johnson’

(In addition to appearing at The Captain’s Blog, this post is also being syndicated atTheYankeeAnalysts.)

Some of Brian Cashman's best decisions have involved trades he didn't make.

The trade deadline has resulted in some of the most lopsided deals in history, but that doesn’t mean evey swap made under the gun has to have a winner and loser.  Each year, there are just as many deadline deals that are prudent as ones that are impetuous, but what about the trades that don’t get made? Sometimes, by not pulling an itchy trigger, a general manager can make his team a deadline winner even without making a single transaction.

During his Yankee tenure, Brian Cashman has not been very active during the trade deadline. In fact, when he has made a major in-season deal, it has often come earlier in the year when the pressure of the deadline was off in the distance. What Cashman has been very good at, however, is avoiding impetuous deals that would have a negative impact on the future more than help in the present.

In his first year as GM, Cashman inherited a strong team and built it into a powerhouse with additions like Chuck Knoblauch and Orlando Hernandez. However, despite compiling a record setting winning percentage over the first four months, the Yankees were still front and center amid several rumors at the deadline. In particular, it was reported that the team was close to securing Randy Johnson for a package including Hideki Irabu and a combination of prospects like Ramiro Mendoza, Mike Lowell, Ricky Ledee and Homer Bush.

Although it’s hard to imagine that Johnson would have had a negative impact on the Yankees, an improvement would have been impossible.  Granted, if the deal had been made, the Yankees may not have had to face Johnson in the 2001 World Series, but it’s also possible they wouldn’t have gotten there without the likes of Roger Clemens and David Justice, two players later acquired using players rumored to be in the mix for Johnson.

In 1999, the Yankees reportedly considered trading Andy Pettitte for Roberto Hernandez.

In 1999, Andy Pettitte was having one of his most difficult seasons in the big leagues. During the first half, the normally reliable lefty compiled a 5-7 record with a 5.59 ERA, leading to speculation that the Yankees might trade him before the deadline. One of the more prominent reports involved the Yankees trading Pettitte to the Phillies for two prospects who would then be flipped to Tampa for Roberto Hernandez. Had that trade been made, there not only wouldn’t have been a core four, but it’s also possible the Yankees wouldn’t have had four championships to celebrate. Because of Cashman’s ability to resist the pressure from above to trade Pettitte, the Yankees were able to enjoy 85 more wins, including nine in the post season, from the homegrown left hander.


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When Randy Johnson was a mean, scowling left handed monster on a big league mound, I never imagined him becoming a Madison Avenue darling after his retirement. However, that’s exactly what seems to have occurred.

Since calling it quits, Randy Johnson has figured prominently in two national ad campaigns. His appearance in a commercial for GEICO plays on his surly reputation, but his role in the Just For Men campaign is much more ironic. After all, one doesn’t think of the Big Unit as an advocate for a vanity product, but sure enough, there he is, pitching hair dye alongside fellow legends Emmitt Smith and Walt Frazier. Who says “there’s no play for Mr. Gray”?

I probably shouldn’t be surprised by Johnson’s popularity as a pitch man. A search of youtube reveals several amusing commercials that were run during the Big Unit’s storied career, including hysterical ads for Nike and Right Guard (embedded after the jump). However, the fact that he has maintained his visibility into retirement is still a little bit surprising. Once best know for shoving cameras to the floor, I guess Johnson has finally found a comfort level in front of them. One can only image what product the 6’10” left hander will wind up pitching next? (more…)

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