In The Gap

Managing Editor
Posted Jul 19, 2004


Managing Editor James Renwick came to the office this morning depressed, but there is a bright shining light at the end of his tunnel, and it all revolves around one man.  This week's In the Gap finds Renwick writing an open letter to Randy Johnson asking, pleading, begging, and groveling.  "Randy, be our hero one more time...by leaving."


Let's review.  A four game sweep at the hands of the Dodgers, not even the best team in the NL West.  A pitching staff in ruins. An infield comprised of a castoff, an aging vet trying to stage a comeback, a kinda-sorta could be maybe future star, and a scrappy kid without the power for his position.  A catching core that is hurt, young, and old, all at the same time, and an outfield made up of a soon to be under the knife star, a soon to be on his way to San Diego player having the season of his career, and guy having a great season while he says goodbye to Arizona and hello to the free agent market.

This was not the way it was supposed to be.  We're sorry Randy.  We really are.  Gonzo put off surgery because he thought we could win.  Finley is having the best season of his career, mashing the ball without protection in the lineup.  Sexson was here to hit 50.  Alomar was a steal at $1 million, ready to reestablish himself among the best second basemen in the game.  Mantai's velocity was back. 

And the West was weak.  The Dodgers swapped Brown for Weaver, the Giants were still just Bonds and Schmidt, and the Padres were...the Padres.  We really thought we could do it.  Give you one more run, let you do it without Curt, prove that you were the key.

But it didn't work out that way, and now we need your help.

Go.

Go to Boston, let them send Nomar to the Cubs, and we'll take all those prospects.  Let us retool.  Do you really think it'll be different next year?  Fins will be gone.  Alomar could head with you to Boston, they'd probably like his bat, but he'll be somewhere other than Arizona regardless.  Even Gonzo isn't 100% to be back after surgery.  Bautista might be in St. Louis, but he'll probably demand more than Mr. Colangelo is comfortable paying.  We're not even positive that Sexson, the only guy you can talk to without getting a crick in your neck, will resign here.

Go.

Accept the trade.  Become a hero all over again.  Become a bigger hero than you ever could be here.  Flip the script on Schilling.  Now YOU can be the missing piece in a puzzle no one's been able to solve in more than 80 years.  Think about it, you win the World Series for Boston, maybe even coming out of the pen in Game 7, and forget statues, they'll build whole buildings that look like you.  They'll rename streets, they'll rename companies, they'll rename children.  Forget Nolan Ryan, or Cy Young, or Steve Carlton, Roger Clemens, Sandy Koufax.  It'll be you...and the Babe.  You who lifts the curse.

And don't worry about us.

Because you'll be our hero again too.  You, and only you, can really put us right back where we want to be.  As bad as we've been, the NL West isn't that much better.  Pitching.  That's what we need, and you know it.  You've seen your leads go away because of a weak bullpen.  You've been told again and again, first by Bob Brenley, then by Al Pedrique, that you must go seven, because none of the other four starters have been able to since you went seven in your last start. 

We've got the position players, at least we think we do.  Scott Hairston looks like the real deal.  Chad Tracy is trying to become the poor man's Wade Boggs.  Luis Terrero needs to keep his head on straight, but if he does you'll be watching him in All-Star Games.  Carlos Quentin and Conor Jackson and Jesus Cota and Erik Schindewolf are young, but they'll be ready soon enough.

We need the Cubs' pitchers.

None of them will ever be you.  Couldn't be if they tried, wouldn't be if they wanted to.  But frankly, four of them, really is going to be better than you.  Think about the name on the front of the jersey, even if the name on the back is the only one the fans care about.  Help us out.  Please.



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