Kirby Puckett

Kirby Puckett

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Adventures of Player X

Today we'll talk about player X. You can draw your own conclusions about what to think of his career.
Player X Started his career in 1988 and pitched during the entire 1990s, at the same time as Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, and Roger Clemens were playing. Player X had a very good run in the first full nine years of his career, posting a 3.37 ERA, but then something peculiar happened. After he turned 35, he started rolling out consecutive dominant seasons. In a four year stretch, he went 81-27 with a 2.48 ERA. Keep in mind he's 35 when he begins this excellence and 38 when he ends it. Much like a Giants slugger at the same time. I know it's like comparing apples and oranges, but here're their stats from when Bonds was ages 36-39 and that four year stretch.
Bonds: .349, .559 OBP, 1.368 OPS, averages 52 homers a year.
Player X: 2.48 ERA, 1.044 WHIP, averages a record of 20-7 and 354 strikeouts.
Pretty interesting, especially considering they were both north of 35, the time most players are in decline.
Player X is Randy Johnson. For the record, I'm not accusing Randy Johnson of taking steroids or other PEDS. I just thought it was interesting that some players naturally have a shadow of doubt cast over them while others are ignored. Just  about a month ago in my top ten pitchers article, I mentioned that he was a perfect example of how pitchers age differently. Many get smarter with age, quarterbacks are like that as well, and there's a very good chance that that's what Johnson did. Call me cynical, but if you do what he did in that era, there's a very good chance there will be some suspicion.


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