Head To Head: Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson

I ran into my neighbor outside Sunday evening, and a conversation started up about two aging aces looking for comeback years with AL East teams: Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson. There was disagreement between us as to who would have the better 2006 season, so I decided I’d put the question to all of you.
These two pitchers have strangely similar careers; each spent their early years possessing of great stuff but either no control of it or no discipline with it. After gaining fame and playoff success with, respectively, Seattle and Philadelphia, each eventually wound up in Phoenix Arizona, where they finished 1-2 in Cy voting and shared a World Series MVP. Schilling was traded to Boston in November of 2003, just two years after nearly throwing a perfect game; Johnson was traded to the Yankees in January of 2005, just a few months after completing one. Each suffered setbacks in 2005, though Schilling’s was far more serious. Each is solidly in their decline years, though Johnson is two years older.
So, for discussion: Which of these two pitchers, Cut Schilling or Randy Johnson, will have the better season in 2006? Schilling is coming off a year-long struggle with ankle injury, caused by offseason surgery which was in turn caused by a combination of wear and one legendary radical medical procedure. Johnson did not miss much time in 2005 – 225 innings, among the league leaders – but had what could be considered for him an off year. Moreover, the declining health of his knees and his advancing age – he turned 42 in September – are major warning signs. Will either of them pitch 180 innings in 2006? Will either of them return to their previous levels of excellence? Tell me what you think.

Arrow to top