Tonight, for the third time in 12 days, Randy Johnson will attempt to win his 299th game. Great seats are still available. And they might be available whenever Johnson tries to win his 300th game. Because, the truth is, the huge milestone for the pitcher from Livermore doesn't mean that much to the Bay Area . . . There isn't much investment, emotional or otherwise, in the 45-year-old Johnson. The Giants signed him to a one-year contract in December, inheriting the right to market his 300th win. The Giants adore marketing that kind of milestone and view anything that could goose ticket sales as a good thing . . . But, aside from the feelings of Johnson's family and friends in Contra Costa County, there isn't a lot of local meaning attached to his milestone
I'll admit, I'm far more underwhelmed by Johnson's quest for 300 than I have been for any recent milestone save Bonds' pursuit of the home run record. Part of it has to do with the fact that even Randy Johnson doesn't seem to be enjoying it. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and say it's because he's such a tough and serious competitor, but the fact is that he has never given any indication that he truly enjoys being on the field, and because of that, it's hard to get behind him for this kind of thing. It also doesn't help that he's kind of staggering towards 300. Yes, he looked good last night, but that's mostly because (a) Chipper Jones is obviously hurt; and (b) the rest of the Braves' lineup rivaled some of the ones they ran out back in the Chuck Tanner days.
Last night notwithstanding, Johnson is very, very hittable these days, and his ERA is still close to 6. I appreciate all he's accomplished in his career and want him to get to 300, but I can't say that his quest has been at all enjoyable.