Wonder what the Washington Nationals have been doing this offseason? The secret is out. Instead of spending millions on the current free agent market, the Nats went old school this week.
In a move that shocked the modern science world, the baseball world, the afterlife and mother Earth, the Nationals announced that they brought Walter Johnson back to life and signed him to a 2 year deal worth $60,000, including a $10,000 signing bonus. Johnson is expected to fill the No. 1, No. 3 and No. 5 spots in the rotation. John Patterson will be No. 2 starter and Mike O’Connor is slated to be the team’s No. 4 pitcher.
“After considering all of our options, we felt that there was no other choice but to bring the Big Train back to life,” said a Nats spokesperson. “People asked why we weren’t investing in this offseason market. We didn’t want to say we were investing in rejuvenation machines. That would be silly.”
The spokesperson added the move could save millions for the franchise.
“We feel Johnson is a great bargain at $60K. For him, that’s a lot of money.”
Not only did doctors and scientists bring Johnson back to life, they implanted in him time-specific muscles and talents. During the 46-hour surgery, 12 doctors fixed Johnson’s brain tumor that felled him on December 10, 1946, and surgically restructured his body to the way it was from 1912-1925 when he won most of his 417 games, second all-time behind Cy Young. A two-time AL MVP, Johnson led the Nats to its only World Series title in 1924.
In a 21-year career, Johnson had twelve 20-win seasons, including ten in a row. Twice he topped thirty wins (33 in 1912 and 36 in 1913). Johnson’s record includes 110 shutouts, the most in baseball history. Johnson held the all-time strikeout record for 55 years with 3,508 strikeouts (he holds the 9th spot currently)
Credit for bringing Johnson back to life goes to a Nats intern. During a brainstorming session, employees were challenged to come up with ideas on how to better the Nationals. One person suggested attacking the free agent market and quickly was fired. Someone suggested hiring Don Sutton to do Nats broadcasts that led to that person’s promotion.
In the back of the room, some wiseacre made some remark stating “the only way we’ll win in 2007 is if we bring Walter Johnson back to life.” That person was promoted and given a 2 percent raise.
The Nats went looking for a rejuvenation machine. The search ended in Montreal of all places, a couple blocks from Olympic Stadium. Given the current status of the Canadian dollar, the Nats jumped on the opportunity to bring back the Manolifer 9000. There were only two experts who knew how to operate the machine, both lived in the Northwest Territories. After securing their services, the Nats were able to barter with the doctors in exchange for front row seats for life to the new stadium. The doctors wanted that and $10 million dollars. The Nats hemmed and hawed but saw the long-term picture. Bringing one of the game’s greatest pitchers back to life would sell out RFK and be a marketing coup. They would earn back the $10 million quickly.
As a result of the surgery, Johnson, who is now the world’s oldest living person at 119, feels like a new man, 100 years younger.
Nats coaches have said they will try to leave Johnson’s workout regimen alone because they have no idea what his regimen is. They expect some shock from Johnson considering how the world, including baseball, has changed in 60 years.
“We’re working with Walter to bring him up to speed. He’s a very smart guy, a class act all the way. He’s picking things up quickly. We expect some information overload,” said a team official.
Johnson gives the Nats a much-needed leader in every since of the word. The Big Train was the franchise’s ace for 20 seasons and is a Washington baseball legend.
San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds reacted to the news in typical Bonds-like fashion.
“I’ve always wanted to hit a home run off someone who faced Babe Ruth. Now I’ll get my chance.”
Washington officials have said if this works out, they would consider rejuvenating additional players for future seasons.