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

Monday, November 17, 2008

Giants win again 30-10

As a long time Giants fan, I have no real complaints. Big Blue has been to the Super Bowl 4 times, and come home with the trophy 3 of those times, most recently last year. But usually, they were the Rodney Dangerfield team, they got no respect. Sure, the '86 squad was one tough bunch, and were known as the Big Blue Wrecking Crew. The '90 team was almost an afterthought, and considered lucky as Phil Simms missed much of the season and Jeff Hostetler led them to the Super Bowl.
The 2000 edition of the Giants fought their way into the Super Bowl, losing to the heavily favored Ravens. And last year's edition had to be the quietest Super Bowl team ever. They were off the radar, and were underdogs in every single playoff game, beating Brett Favre and the Packers, the sexy favorite Cowboys, and finally, in the Super Bowl, taking down the 18-0 and considered unbeatable, Patriots.
So, coming in to this year, most "experts" predicted the G-men would finish behind the Cowboys, Skins, and possibly the Eagles.
Imagine how happy I am to hear those same "experts" pronounce that the Giants are possibly the best team in football. And, of course, they are living up to the hype. Yesterday was the latest example. The Ravens came into the Meadowlands, and the pre-game made it sound as if it was going to be a fierce battle. The Ravens could not be run against, and had only allowed 1 rushing touchdown all year. In fact, teams averaged 60 yards or so on the ground against them.
I guess they forgot to tell the Giants how awesome the Ravens were, as Brandon Jacobs scored 2 rushing touchdowns in the first quarter, and both he and Jacobs each ran for more than 60 yards. Manning turned in a workman like performance, but the heroes were the defense. Joe Flacco, who had gone 4 games without an interception, was welcomed to the NFL with 2 by Aaron Ross, who returned one 50 yards for a TD to put the game out of reach.

In a strange story in the NFL, the Steelers beat the Chargers 11-10. You may think that seems unusual a score, and you would be right. First time in NFL history such a score was recorded in a game, according to the talking heads. To make it even more unusual, the final play of the game was a razzle dazzle type desperate play by the Chargers, which resulted in Polamolu somehow coming up with the ball, and sprinting in for a TD, making the score a more normal 17-10. However, there was a penalty on the wait, it was an illegal play, penalty declined, and... no wait...a game can't end on a penalty. So, half the team was off the field, half was on the sidelines waiting for it to be sorted out, and eventually, the score was reversed to 11-10, and the game was declared over. I'm sure someone on ESPN will be able to explain, because I still have no idea. It was a crazy ending to a well played defensive battle in snowy weather.
The Skins had a chance to deliver a knock out blow to the Cowvoys season, but didn't. The 'Boys won 14-10.

In baseball news:
Mussina is still trying to decide if he will retire. He will announce it this week. I wonder if he is thinking about 300 wins? He is at 270, which means he is 2 years away, at best. While I personally hate when stars hang on just to hit milestones, Moose is coming off one of his best years ever, and his first 20 win season.
In more hot stove news, according to The Yankees made a record-breaking six-year, $140 million offer to free-agent starter CC Sabathia on Friday as the first part of their plan to overhaul their starting rotation, Hank Steinbrenner, one of the team's co-chairmen, confirmed.
The Yankees also confirmed that they will pursue Burnett and Lowe, and are looking to deal for Peavy with the Padres. If all of this takes place, they will have one of the greatest teams ever assembled. I wouldn't count on them getting everyone, but CC and one other pitcher would make them heavy favorites to win it all.

Go Yankees

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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.