Following up on the Pearlman thing, here’s a link to a lengthy story from 2002 by the legendary Pat Jordan in the New York Times. It’s a profile of Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling during their Diamondback heyday.
It’s a nice compare and contrast. Jordan doesn’t sugarcoat Johnson’s surly demeanor. He’s definitely a hard man to get to know and a harder one to like. But unlike Pearlman, he at least tries to understand it and puts it in an understandable context.
After reading it, ask yourself: did Jeff Pearlman ever actually try to get to know Randy Johnson before calling him an “pathetic human being” and a “punk?” Or did he simply walk up to him on a day he pitched and expect him to open up his world to some writer with an obvious contempt for his subjects?
It’s extension season and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Astros — who already agreed to an extension with Alex Bregman — are discussing contract extensions with Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole.
Funny thing about Verlander, by the way: when he got his current $180 million deal, most people fell into the “oh, there’s an overpay!” column. What’s more, this past winter, when everyone was talking about how bad it is to give guys big long term deals, Verlander’s name was notably absent in the conversation despite the fact that his deal has turned out to be quite good. I suppose that says something about how good the anti-long-term deal folks are at cherrypicking.
That being said, Rosenthal says “it would be an upset” if either Verlander or Cole signed extensions. I can see that. Verlander is locked up this year and has a vesting option for 2020, and a lot can happen in a year or two. Cole is a Scott Boras client and Boras clients tend to hit the market rather than sign extensions. Perhaps their former teammate, Dallas Keuchel‘s, terrible experience on the free agent market this winter will alter that calculus. Hard to say.