Thursday, November 20, 2008

Mussina retires; Hall of Fame awaits?

Today, Mike Mussina made it official as he announced his retirement following an 18 year big league career. He spent the last 8 with the Yankees following 10 with the Orioles.
Over that time, he managed to win 270 games. Moose was the model of consistency, as he strung together 17 years of 11 wins or more. In fact, only in his abbreviated first season, where he appeared in only 12 games, did he manage to not hit double digits.
He only won 20 games once, but 11 times he did register 15 or more wins. He even won 19 twice and 18 3 times.
300 has long been considered the magic number for a near automatic pass to Cooperstown, but with the introduction of the 5 man rotation, that number may be tougher to reach. Mussina's most starts in a year was 36. Back in the day of the 4 man rotation, he would have easily had another 4 starts per year. So, with the 70 or so extra starts he would have had over his career, it is reasonable that he could easily have won 300 games, or at least been close enough to consider one more year.
I never thought of Moose as the top pitcher in the league, but he was also one of the best. Is that enough, for the Hall?
I believe it is.

Now, this does affect the Yankees. Mussina was their top pitcher last year, and now they have to replace him immediately. It would be nice to do it from within, but could anyone expect a rookie to step up and put up those kind of numbers?
Joba or Hughes may one day do it, but could they be counted on after coming off injuries? It looks like the Yankees need to sign a free agent pitcher just went up substantially.

Go Yankees


Anonymous said...

I thought I heard this on the news, and was saddened to hear about it. I've been a Yanks fan since I was about...well...this high (motioning with my hands: you can see that, right?), and this, unfortunately, only weakens their pitching.

As for Mussina himself, I've always been a fan, following from his days back at Montoursville since I live nearby (about 60 miles to the north). He will be missed and I agree, he should get in the Hall of Fame.

Da Old Man said...

I've been a Yankee fan for a long time, too. That picture of me is wearing a Mickey Mantle uniform, and he played a few years ago. :)

Anonymous said...

Yeah, that's a little bit ago...I think before I was born! Ooops, did I say that out loud to make you feel even older? ;) Actually (backtracking quickly) I thought your nickname was just that: a nickname. I thought you were a lot younger. :)

Da Old Man said...

@ UR: Nice save.


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Downtown, New Jersey, United States
Yankees fan. But the team hasn't been the same since Yogi retired. TV watching expert. Manly man.