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.
- ► 2010 (8)
- ► 2009 (73)
- ▼ 2008 (101)