According to Matt Gelb of The Star-Ledger, two nights ago marked Chien-Ming Wang's first major league victory in 379 days. It was a long and painful road to redemption for the once dominating sinker-baller, and one that many New Yorkers would prefer to forget. A man once "guaranteed" to provide 200-plus innings per season and 15-20 victories is now nothing more than an unreliable project. Yankee fans are more often than not holding their breath each time Wang releases a flat sinker-as opposed to using it for more encouraging activities like cheering or yelling "let's go Wang!" Wang currently stands at 55 wins in pinstripes-46 of which were collected over two and a half magical seasons at the top of the Yankee rotation.
At the torrid pace he was riding through an unfortunate baserunning injury in 2008, he would have been set to reach the 300-win milestone somewhere around his 42nd or 43rd birthday. Wang's current pace has been slightly more tortoise than hare, and would create a far different target date for creating history in the Bronx. If he continues to achieve one win every 379 days, Wang will be penciled in to earn his 300th victory on Oct. 21, 2263.
The Taiwanese right-hander would be at the ripe old age of 284-older than the present age of the United States of America that enabled him this great opportunity. Some may scoff at the idea of a starting pitcher throwing 260 years in the big leagues, or even surviving long enough to see the middle of the 23rd century.
With the advancements in medicine, technology, and performance-enhancing drugs, however, Wang's road to 300 is much more probability than fantasy. After all, Satchel Paige was able to compete at the major league level in 1965 at the age of 59-without the aid of any enhancers outside of the coffee he was served between innings. Is it that far-fetched to believe Wang could ride the PED train all the way to 2263? Who knows what kinds of chemical concoctions will exist as we move into the 10s, 20s, and 30s.
The only obstacle seemingly in Wang's way is the same advancements in medicine and technology that will offer him the chance at making history. Somewhere between now and 2263, it is highly likely that the technology required to clone humans will be developed and utilized in American society. Furthermore, when taking into account inflation and marketing opportunities in other galaxies, the Yankees payroll will be somewhere around $370 trillion. This will make it very difficult for Wang to remain in the Yankee rotation through 2263-as New York will be able to purchase the rights to the embryos of Cy Young, Grover Cleveland Alexander, Walter Johnson, Bob Gibson, and Sandy Koufax.
Wang will be relegated to 8th inning duties, but should be able to record the one victory per season necessary to maintain his pace. Whether or not Wang is able to achieve the milestone remains to be seen.
If the future cloned version of George Steinbrenner has anything to say about it, however, we will be able to add Wang's name to a very illustrious list of pitching royalty.