Talk of money is, if not quite obscene, irrelevant to the players themselves. "When you're at bat," says Arizona utilityman Andy Fox, "you don't think about how much money Kevin Brown's making. You don't get credited for two hits for getting one off a millionaire." Johnson pretends to be mystified by all the fuss over the big units he's making. He noted that he and Brown had come up against each other before and that their salaries weren't factored into their pitching lines then.
But there's no use ignoring either the game's economy or the public's fascination with players' incomes. If a stadium can be named after a bank (as is the Diamondbacks'), then it would be foolish to suggest that Brown's and Johnson's contracts are immaterial. As of Monday night, with neither a complete game nor a win between them, that was actually all they had going for them.