It's Thursday afternoon, and I'm still doing exactly what I've been doing for much of the past 24 hours -- staring at the picturesque tarp at Nationals Park, waiting for Randy Johnson to throw a pitch.
And you know what that means:
I've had just a little time on my hands.
So I decided to use some of that time to examine a premise we've heard a lot in the past few days -- that we may never see another 300-game winner.
Well, let's propose something right now: Can we please ban the use of the word "never" in this conversation?
Oh, it's very possible that no current pitcher will reach 300 wins. But it's also possible we're totally misguided in thinking that. And here's a simple way to demonstrate why:
When the Big Unit reached 30 years old, he owned just 64 career wins. And thanks to baseball-reference.com's invaluable Play Index, I count seven active pitchers under age 30 who already have won more games than that. Here they are:
CC Sabathia, 122 -- age 28
Jon Garland, 110 -- age 29
Carlos Zambrano, 99 -- age 28
Josh Beckett, 95 -- age 29
Jake Peavy, 91 -- age 28
Dontrelle Willis, 69 -- age 27
Dan Haren, 69 -- age 28
Now it's true that Johnson's win total in his 20s will rank as one of the lowest in history by any 300-game winner. And it's also true that it's insane to look at any pitcher in the neighborhood of 200 wins away and project he'll ever hang around long enough, and stay healthy long enough, to reach that 300-Win Club.
But it can be done -- by any of these men. And there's a 6-foot-10 left-hander in this ballpark who is living proof.