Randy Johnson to San Francisco: What Happened to the Youth Movement?

Danny PenzaSenior Writer IDecember 26, 2008

The San Francisco Giants public relations department will love the fact they can now advertise that 60 percent of the team's rotation has won a Cy Young Award.

However, with the Giants signing 45-year-old lefty Randy Johnson to a one-year deal worth $8 million Friday, two of those Cy Young winners are shadows of what they used to be.

Johnson is closing in on 300 wins, needing only five more to get into one of the most-exclusive clubs in sports, but one has to wonder if this signing is just more of the same from the Giants.

As he has done throughout his career, he will get his strikeouts, no doubt about that. But the last time he was more than one game over .500 was when he was with the New York Yankees in 2005 and 2006.

Ladies and gentleman, the 2009 Giants lineup will be nowhere close to what the Yankees rolled out there.

Should we ask Matt Cain how he feels about the run support the Giants offense has given him the last couple of years?

This winter has seen the Giants revert to their old ways, going the veteran route instead working off the positive momentum they have been developed by building from within instead of relying solely on the free-agent market.

So let's see: The Giants have brought in a shortstop who's coming off one of the worst years of his career and, at 33, is past his prime, then they add the oldest player that was left on the market.

Joe Biden said at the Democratic National Convention a few months back, "That's not change, that's more of the same."

And should we even mention his medical record lately? It's either pitch the whole season or miss most of it. Not exactly something to get excited about.

And now those so-called experts will say the Giants may be able to dangle Jonathan Sanchez on the trade market again.

So bring in a 45-year-old lefty to replace a 26-year-old that has yet to reach his full potential?

Yeah, not sure about that one.

And this can't be an endorsement for Noah Lowry. Although he is coming of missing the all of 2008 because of two forearm surgeries, he was expected to be ready for spring training.

Now it's basically a battle between three guys for two spots when you consider Tim Lincecum and Cain aren't going anywhere and if the Giants wanted to trade Barry Zito, they would have to pick up about 80 percent of the contract before a team even entertained an offer.

Sure, the story is nice, future Hall of Famer coming home to get his 300th win, but it's hard to see where this really fits into the Giants' plans.

So as the PR department now whips up a new slogan for the 2009 season, fans are starting to get stuck on the name rather than what he has done lately on the field.

This will obviously mean more tickets will be sold. Heck, the last time the Giants had a guy chasing a record, fans didn't care what the team did as long as their boy went yard.

The Giants had done so many things right lately. Putting an emphasis on the draft and developing young talent and actually giving them a chance to play before they traded them away for a veteran with two months left on their contract.

But now, the Giants go back down the old road. The old road that has pot holes and needs some desperate attention.