There’s lots of talk in sports circles about Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Randy Johnson and his desire to be traded from the fast-sinking team to go to a team that has a chance to go to the World Series. But what he really wants is more than a chance to go to the Series, but a near-guarantee, specifically by going to the New York Yankees. (Editorial disclaimer: I hate the Yankees.) According to media reports, he has said he doesn’t want to go to the Red Sox, as he doesn’t think their chances are good (which is admittedly true, at least at this point.)
Johnson is not the first superstar athlete who, late in his career, has asked to be traded from his mediocre team to a team that has a chance to win a championship so he can end his career with a championship ring. A few years ago, Ray Bourque, after a couple of decades playing for the Boston Bruins, asked to be traded to the Colorado Avalanche mid-season because the Avs had a good chance to win the Stanley Cup (and did). Now I don’t begrudge any player his chance to win at the top of his game. But there’s something a little mercenary about the practice, especially when you do it in the middle of the season.