Greetings from Gate A5

Tampa, it was short and sweet. I’ll be winging it back up the East Coast to New York (well, OK, Newark) this morning, preparing for a little home cooking. The Yankees caught their flight last night and will be cramming as much as they can into their limited time.

“It’ll be quick,” Girardi said. “We’ve got to get the cleaning done, a
haircut and the laundry, and I’m not real good doing it by myself. It’s
going to be nice to walk into our stadium. It’s going to feel like
we’re going home, because it’s our stadium and there’s no place like
home.”

47 Comments

Yup, it’s achievements, and not just career win totals, and WS wins alone that define what a HOF pitcher is.

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I agree for the most part. Nolan Ryan is in. No question. I’m still not sold on Palmer, but I see that we agree on the whole “Hall of Fame for GREAT players” thing.

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elfman,

I agree with Mussina shouldn’t get in at all. Pitchers who are around the 250-260 career win mark need to do a little more in their careers in order to get into the HOF, that’s why I brought up Bob Gibson’s name when comparing him to Mussina. He brought something special to the game, and was a dominant pitcher, and has achieved more than Mussina. Mussina just doesn’t have any achievements to make him stand out as a pitcher. In regards to those other names, I would say no to them except Palmer, he is borderline those 8 20+ win seasons, and 3 Cy Youngs make it difficult to say no. Jackson falls somewheres between Dave Kingman, and Jose Canseco categorically as a hitter so I don’t think he should be their either. Ozzie Smith was all about the glove, and nothing else, I find it difficult to accept a one-dimensional player in the HOF.

As for Ryan, I cited more than just his career K total as a reason why he should be in the HOF. His other achievements are great there’s no denying that. No, there is no way you can compare pitchers from different eras, but you just said what I have been saying. For players like Mussina you have to look at their other achievements during their careers, not compare them to other pitchers. Like I have said Mussina’s career win total isn’t enough to get him into the HOF. Unfortunately, Mussina lacks those achievements like a Cy Young, or MVP, or 20+ win season, things that might help make a difference getting him into the HOF. Otherwise pitchers who are fortunate to play 20 years would have to win only 12.5 or 13 games a season just to get to 250-260 career wins and that’s it they are in the HOF. IS that what we want to see as baseball fans? In some cases it is about the numbers, and in others it’s more. In Mussina’s case it’s going to have to be more, unfortunately, it’s just not there.

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Well then Matt, after Rocket, Maddux, Mo and maybe Galvine go in, with your criteria there won’t be any more pitchers elected. Career Ks? Moose has about 170 MORE than Christy Mathewson. Cy Young has only 130 more than Moose does. Yes he has 511 wins. But he only has 1 WS ring and a 2-3 post season record. You can’t compare pitchers in that way. All you can do is look at what they do in their individual careers compared with all of the others that pitched around them. That’s why I was TRYING to show in the comparison to Ryan. Really to show that you CANT do it just like you can’t compare Ryan to, say Walter Johnson. Ryan had more K’s, Johnson more wins.

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Because I totally agree with you that the Hall was meant for greatness. Moose was very good (dominant at times) for a very long time. Not quite great though. Even with a World Series ring and even with Bernie Williams magically catching that Carl Everett pop-up to solidify a perfect game, I don’t think Moose should get in.

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Matt,
Do you think that those players I mentioned earlier (Jim Palmer, Reggie Jackson, Ozzie Smith, Hal Newhouser) should or should not be in the Hall of Fame? I personally think they should NOT be, but if they’re in unfortunately Moose gets in. He stacks up (and goes beyond) those players.

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elfman,

I agree, anything can happen in a matter of a few games. That’s all part of any sport, but to compare a pitcher like Jeff Suppan to a pitcher like Mike Mussina is way off. There’s no comparison to the two of them, that would be like comparing Walter Johnson to Mike Mussina. Mussina has a much superior history of success to Suppan who is nothing more than a career journeyman. What you described can happen to anyone at any time, it’s just one of those things you will see in any sport, it has less to do with a player’s talent. With that said, more should be expected of a pitcher like Mussina with his history of success. If he doesn’t have the success history he has today we wouldn’t be having this discussion of him being in the HOF, or the Yanks wouldn’t have signed him to a large contract twice. The more success a player has the more should be expected of him.

Again, a pitcher’s post season won/lost record can never be overrated. Those are the most important games, they are the ones that have to be won. They are the games that players have to step up in, and show what they are made of. Winning or losing the big games are how players are defined. If we were talking about regular season games that might be a different story. You have to look at a players stats as a whole, and “almosts”, and “what ifs” don’t mean a thing in the bigger picture. You can either win games when they count the most or you can’t, period. Bringing arguments like a “lack of offense” or “keeping the team in games” or “poor defense” aren’t really arguments at all. A pitcher keeping the team in games is the job of any pitcher, period, especially in the past few playoff series starting in the ’04 DS against Boston where his ERA was 4.26, not bad, but not great either and struck out 15 in 12 IP, but who really cares about how many he struck out? Strike outs don’t win anything. In ’05 against LAA he was only 1-1 with a 5.40 ERA, and in ’06 against Detroit he was 0-1 with a 5.14 ERA doesn’t sound like he has kept us in many games lately. Last season he was shaky at best only coming in relief. A pitcher doesn’t have control over the kind of offensive or defensive support he gets, but again, he hasn’t pitched well enough to win in recent series, and the fact that he has never won a WS start and his 7-9 post season record is mediocre are the only things that count. It’s how a player’s number translates into success for himself and team that really matter.

Another thing comparing Mussina to Ryan is somewhat ridiculous. Ryan is in the HOF for many reasons. He has won 20+ games only twice in his career, but that’s 2 more times than Mussina who has never won 20+ in his career despite coming close several times. He’s won 300+ games, something Mussina will never do. Has led in SO 11 times, and is the career SO leader, something Mussina obviously will never achieve, and lets not forget about his no-hitters. I could go on and on about Ryan’s achievements. He’s not in the HOF solely for career wins, and I seriously doubt anyone cares how long it took him to get to 251 career wins. He also has hasn’t had the benefit to play on good teams during his career like Mussina has. Again Ryan is in the HOF for his other achievements as a pitcher not solely for his career win total.

One last thing, I don’t think the HOF should or would lower its standard just to allow a pitcher like Mussina or others into the HOF. I would just wonder how “great” those players really are if they did. The HOF was meant for greatness, not for players who wind their careers up as just very good players.

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Heh, I just thought of something. I bet if Moose goes out tonight and gets shelled we’ll all be back here going “no way for the Hall!” And if he goes and throws a no-hitter through 6, it’ll be the other way around.

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I don’t even think Moose should be in the Hall, but I also think there are a lot of guys who shouldn’t be in there now. I like Bill James’ idea of the Hall of Fame tiers. I actually visited the Hall of Fame two weekends ago and when I looked at that original class (Ruth, Honus Wagner, Ty Cobb, Christy Matthewson, and Walter Johnson) I was blown away. I mean THOSE are Hall of Famers. Moose doesn’t rank up there with those guys. Neither do Blyleven, Sutter, Jim Palmer, Reggie Jackson, and Ozzie Smith. I really really can’t stand Skip Bayless, but when he says “it’s not the ‘Hall of Very Good'” he’s absolutely right. The Hall should be for the immortals.

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elfman,
Yes, absolutely.

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Also, saying “being able to win these type of games during crunch time is what separates very good pitchers from the great pitchers” for playoff games is missing a big point. Anything can happen in the matter of just a few games. Jeff Suppan: 3-3 with a 3.00 record in the playoffs. He’s been a mediocre (at best) pitcher his career so his playoff success just shows that he happened to get hot for a couple of weeks. That’s all.

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Blyleven won 20 only once. Never won a CY. Has two WS rings. But he pitched in the era when 20 wins was the norm and 300 wins the plateau. Moose hasn’t. Moose has more CY top 10’s. More AS games.

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Yeah rcngolf,

That’s why I’m not a big fan of the Win/Loss thing. It’s like that stat I brought up before. In the ’97 ALCS he started 2 games, allowed one run, four hits, and struck out twenty five in 15 innings. The Orioles scored ZERO runs in those two games. Zero. If you don’t get wins for those two starts, then obviously there’s more to a win than just the starting pitcher no matter HOW dominant that pitcher is. ALSO, another thing I keep hearing is “Moose has no rings.” He was 2 outs away from getting that ring if the greatest closer of all-time doesn’t meltdown. It just goes to show you that there’s more to winning than just a starting pitcher.

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2002 – Barry Zito 23 wins, Schill and Unit, 23 and 24 wins respectively.

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I still submit that there the number of pitchers in a rotation needs to be taken into account. The difference between 31 or 2 starts in a season and 38-40 starts. Moose has logged 251 wins in 505 starts. Nolan Ryan won just 75 games more (324) but started an extra 268 games. Ryan’s winning pct was .526 while Moose’s is .624. It took Ryan 20 years to win 251 games, Moose has done it in 17. Ryan had the benefit of starting his career at 19 while Moose started at 22 and in those 3 extra years he won 12 games. Ryan’s postseason stats are underwhelming – 2-2 in 9 games and his ONLY WS experience was 2 inning save for the Mets where he got his ONLY WS ring. Ryan never won a CY. And he won 20+ games only twice in his career. He’s in the hall.
How about Moose’s post seasons?
1997 ALDS – 2-0 1.93era, 16k
1997 ALCS – 2 games, 2 ND, 0.60 ERA!!! In two games he allowed 4 hits, 1 earned run and k’d 25!! But the O’s LOST.
2001 ALDS – 1-0, 0.00 era
2001 ALCS – 1-0, 3.00 era
2001 WS – 0-1, 4.00 era in 2 starts. In 11 innings he allowed 5 runs and k’d 14. Who lost those games???
2002 ALDS – 1 start and a ND. Allowed 4 earned runs in 6 innings. But got a ND?? Again, who lost the game?
2003 ALDS – 0-1 with a 3.8 era, 3 runs in 7 innings but still lost.
2003 ALCS – 0-2, 4.11 era, 15 innings, 7 earned runs, k’d 17.
2003 WS – 1-0, 1.29 era
2004 ALDS – 0-1, 2.57 era. 2 runs in 7 innings, 7k’s. Who lost that game?
2004 ALCS – 1-0 in 2 starts, 4.26 era. 12+ innings, 6 runs and 15k’s.
2005 and 2006 arguably his worst performances.
2007 in Cleveland a ND in 4.2 ip, 2 earned runs, 4bb and 3k’s.
I agree that in the last couple years he has not been stellar but then we ALL agree that our BATS have been absent as well. As far as I’m concerned in his 3 WS appearances, he has given US the chance to win. He didn’t lose the games for us, our lack of O did.

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And after this year, Moose will have as many WS rings as Maddux does…….

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Chaz,
You’re correct. The 20-game season is now “the” plateau where just a handful of years ago it was 22 or 23. Who was the last pitcher to win more then 21 games in a season in the last 5 years? No one jumps out at me. Unit? Schilling? CC? Johan? I’m sure there are one or two. But they aren’t the norm anymore. So the 17-20 game season is now the bellweather.
PhilliesPhorum:
The difference between Blyleven and Moose is EXACTLY generational. Blyleven pitched in that 23-24 win season where 300 wins was a normal as the 4-man rotation. Moose didn’t. Maddux, Glavine, Rocket. I agree with Chaz, these guys aren’t even in the same league with the rest of the league. It’s not a question of them setting the standard, they are the standard of that last generation. You could argue that Moose is in that generation but at 3 to 5+ years younger, he misses it, just barely. I think with 11 or 12 more wins, maybe even another season after this one, if he hits 270 wins he starts to look like the class of the new generation because after the likes of Rocket and Maddux, who falls in next? For reference it looks like this for the NEXT three: Glavine at 303, Unit at 284 and who? Moose at 251. There’s at least a halfway chance that Unit doesn’t make 300? Does he go? And after moose the next 5 out of 6 active pitchers on the list are ALL over 40. Pedro is the only one at 36 who is younger. Jamie Moyer? Curt Schilling? Kenny Rogers? We’re not talking average everyday journeyman pitchers here…. But we ARE talking about a class that will NEVER get to 300…..

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YANKEES MINOR LEAGUE SCOREBOARD April 16,2008

Scranton/WB 4
Charlotte (White Sox) 2
W: H. Phillips (1-0, 2.00); L: L. Broadway (2-1, 0.82); SV: J. Veras (3)
HR: SWB: J. Miranda (2).
http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?gid=2008_04_16_swbaaa_chraaa_1&t=g_box&did=milb
Altoona (Pirates) 8
Trenton 7
W: C. Hernandez (2-0, 1.23); L: M. Gardner (0-1, 3.68); SV: P. Bresnehan (1)
HR: ALT: J. Boone (2). TRE: C. Ehlers (2), C. Malec (1).
http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?gid=2008_04_16_altaax_treaax_1&t=g_box&did=milb
Tampa 6
Dunedin (Blue Jays) 1
W: R. Pope (1-1, 1.93); L: R. Gonzalez (2-1, 4.50)
HR: TAM: T. Battle (2).
http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?gid=2008_04_16_tbyafa_dunafa_1&t=g_box&did=milb
Charleston 6
Savannah (Mets) 5
W: N. Castillo (2-0, 2.16); L: S. Moviel (1-2, 8.38); SV: J. Ortiz (5)
HR: None.
http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?gid=2008_04_16_crdafx_savafx_1&t=g_box&did=milb
You may also see http://www.yankeesdaily.com for details.

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Score now 15-9 Mo gets a rest you would think top of the ninth looks like I got my wish

Aussie Bryan

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Don’t worry about it elfman.

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Everyone is hitting except David Ortiz. It must be the curse of Big Papi. Don’t let anyone bury your shirt!

http://myteamrivals.typepad.com/yankeesredsox/

http://myteamrivals.typepad.com/thebronxdaily/

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What a game Yankees up 11-9 top of the eigth Ortiz one pitch out against Billy Traber now Bruney up against Ramirez. Boy an easy game would be great. Ramirez on base 3rd hit.

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Yes Matt,

You’re totally right about that. Win/Loss. That’s all that matters to them unfortunately. I misunderstood what you meant, heh. Sorry bout that!

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300 wins really is the threshold for the Hall of Fame. If not, Bert Blyleven would get in. The Moose NEEDS 300 wins if he wishes to make it to the hall.

http://myteamrivals.typepad.com/thebronxdaily/

http://myteamrivals.typepad.com/yankeesredsox/

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SOX UP 9-7

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Bases Loaded again in the fourth surely cannot leave them on again this time with Jeter up. Fair dinkum Jeter has hit to right two in 6-3. What a captain should and does

Aussie Bryan

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yankees,

I agree, but I’m looking at Mussina’s postseason record as a whole. His postseason numbers were good early on, but have gotten worse in recent series, a sign of inconsistency. People will be looking at Mussina’s numbers as a whole not one or two outings he has had, and say that he couldn’t win when it counted most. All they will care about are results, and Mussina’s postseason numbers are mediocre.

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Matt, I don’t think a pitchers Win/Loss record is overrated, but more often easily not a great indicator of how good they actually pitched. For example, If a starting pitcher throws a complete game with 9 innings pitcher and lets up one run, but his offense produces none, how is that a bad outing? You can’t argue the fact that the pitcher had a poor performance, because he pitched a complete game with one ER, but his offense didn’t score any runs. He may have been “out dueled” but either way an offense expected to score runs, that did not can skew the outlook of many pitchers in the post season.

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I just read on another blog that LaTroy Hawkins is changing numbers from #21 to #22. That is a crock, Paul O’Neal was a good player and a fine gentleman, but you fans are treating him as if he were some kind of a GOD. He was well liked but I don’t think he is deserving of having his number retired. The same goes for Bernie. They played the game did a good job and that is it. Why do fans think they are so special?, Neither is HOF material. Why was it necessary to boo Latroy because he wore the #21, It just doesn’t make any sense. Retiring numbers used to be a great achievement. DiMaggio, Ruth, Gehrig, Mantle and the others did a lot more than just be popular with the fans. They earned it the hard way with great performances. It’s not a popularity contest. . Or is it??
“GO YANKEES”

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elfman,

One other thing, how can a pitcher’s postseason won/lost record be overrated? Those are the most important games, they “have” to be won or your team goes home, regardless of the offensive support a pitcher gets, good or bad, that’s all part of the game. I can see how a pitcher’s won/lost record can be overrated during the regular season, but not the most impotant part of the season. Like I said before, being able to win these type of games during crunch time is what separates very good pitchers from the great pitchers.

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Sorry, my bad!!!! I get what you’re saying.

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Matt, not category. GENERATION. Maddux is in the Tome Seaver, Sandy Koufax, “category”. One of the greatest of all time.

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Also, if 250-300 career wins becomes the norm for pitchers then you will see fewer and fewer getting into the HOF, unless they attain great achievements or bring something rare to the game as have other pitchers who fall into that win total, and in the HOF have done in the past. I seriously doubt that the HOF should or lower their standards to admit pitchers, like Mussina into the HOF. If they do that allows for more parity and waters down a shrine that was meant for greatness, not for very good players. Also have to wonder how “great” a player is if they have to lower standards just so that he can get in.

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Hey elfman,

I agree with you, those are good stats, but all that matters are the win/loss stats to those voting him in. I’m looking at his overall performance as a whole, as do the voters who vote players in. Look at the postseason performances as well, and the fact that he has never won a WS game in his career. He has been terrible in the past few playoff series as well. Pitchers who have won the same number of games Mussina has are in the HOF because they have excelled not just in the regular season but the postseason on a consistent basis, just look at Bob Gibson. Winning when it matters most helps distinguish the very good pitchers from the great pitchers. He has maintained that level of excellence into the postseason as well.

Another thing I would put Mussina in the same category as Maddux either, as his 349 career wins put him light years ahead of Mussina, not to mention his 4 Cy Youngs, 8 All-Star games, 17 Gold GLoves, as well as leading the NL in ERA 4 times, and wins 3 times, and shutouts 5 times, no way I would consider the two on the same level.

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LOL “Hell” entry……

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Moose, Cone, Glavine, Maddux generation hall entry = 300 wins

Sabathia, Webb, Johan generation hell entry = 250 wins

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Mussina in the Hall? Doubtful to me!

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As far as Moose into the hall: He gets an honorable mention. He’s not in today’s class. He’s with Maddux, Glavine, those guys. Close, but no cigar.

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YANKEES MINOR LEAGUE SCOREBOARD April 16,2008

Scranton/WB 4
Charlotte (White Sox) 2
W: H. Phillips (1-0, 2.00); L: L. Broadway (2-1, 0.82); SV: J. Veras (3)
HR: SWB: J. Miranda (2).
http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?gid=2008_04_16_swbaaa_chraaa_1&t=g_box&did=milb
Altoona (Pirates) 8
Trenton 7
W: C. Hernandez (2-0, 1.23); L: M. Gardner (0-1, 3.68); SV: P. Bresnehan (1)
HR: ALT: J. Boone (2). TRE: C. Ehlers (2), C. Malec (1).
http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?gid=2008_04_16_altaax_treaax_1&t=g_box&did=milb
Tampa 7PM
Dunedin (Blue Jays)
———————————
Charleston 7PM
Savannah (Mets)
———————————
You may also see http://www.yankeesdaily.com for details.

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YANKEES MINOR LEAGUE SCOREBOARD April 15. 2008

Scranton/WB 6
Charlotte (White Sox) 2
W: S. White (1-1, 3.94); L: C. Haeger (1-2, 7.11)
HR: None.
http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?gid=2008_04_15_swbaaa_chraaa_1&t=g_box&did=milb
Altoona (Pirates) 0
Trenton 4
W: D. McCutchen (2-1, 1.02); L: D. Hankins (0-1, 2.25); SV: D. Robertson (1)
HR: None.
http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?gid=2008_04_15_altaax_treaax_1&t=g_box&did=milb
Tampa 4
Dunedin (Blue Jays) 5 (12)
W: C. Blackwell (2-0, 1.00); L: S. Artz (0-1, 2.45)
HR: DUN: J. Arencibia (3), T. Snider (3), C. Patton (1).
http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?gid=2008_04_15_tbyafa_dunafa_1&t=g_log&did=milb
You may also see http://www.yankeesdaily.com for details.

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The norm for a REALLY good pitcher, a perennial all star, Golf. How many seasons has it been since you’ve seen a guy win 20 games in a season? 3 (I think)? How many more Gator-esque, Pedro-esque season do you think we will EVER see again? Think about it, an all-star pitcher nowadays typically has an era just under 4.00, 15-18 wins, and maybe 200 innings. I’ll bet we will only see a handful of 20 game winners over the next 20 years. What do you think?

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I also think that with the game as it is now, 300 wins will become the VAST exception and that the 250-300 win career will be the norm.

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With all the 300-win pitchers over the last few years, 250-260 wins doesn’t sound worthy of the Hall. But if Moose decides to resign somewhere for a couple more seasons, with the current perenial lack of starting pitching on the market he will find a job with a reasonable season this year. If so, we could see him with 275-280 wins.

With the projected drop in number of carrier wins in the future, we could see what happened to guys like Lee Smith happen in reverse because writers aren’t just judging by the players era but the current era as well, making it easier for pitchers like Moose to get in. I’m not saying it’s fair, but I think it will happen. He has a 5 year waiting period plus 15 years on the ballot so I say he gets in.

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Moose MAY not get in on vote but I’m willing to bet he gets in on a veterans committee vote. 18(+?) year career, durability, 250+ (and hopfully 260+ after this season!) wins, 11 or more wins in 16 of those 18 seasons (show me ANYONE else like that), so far NEVER a losing record in a FULL season pitched and only 1 in his career rookie season (again, show me another), 19 wins twice, 18 wins 3 times, 17 wins twice, 3.7 career era in the AL East. He’s been durable and at times dominant throughout his career. And after this year, he’ll have his WS ring!

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Once again though, I whole heartedly agree he’s no hall of famer. If he magically throws together 4 or 5 more years like two years ago then we’ll talk, but I see that happening like I see myself pitching for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in July. And I’m a good pitcher!

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You can’t look at his recent struggles (which are CERTAINLY there) and completely forget about how dominant he was early. He’s no Schilling, or Smoltz, or Pettitte, but he’s definitely had a better-than-average career postseason. That’s better than mediocre.

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Hey Matt,

I have to respond to something you said about Moose’s career playoff stats being “mediocre at best.” They’re actually quite good. The only thing that’s not sterling is his win-loss record. However, when you read the following you’ll realize why win-loss is such an overrated stat: “Mussina’s best postseason performances came in the 1997 American League Championship Series. He started 2 games, allowing one run, four hits, and striking out twenty five in 15 innings of work. However, the Orioles failed to score in both of his starts, and Mussina ended up receiving no-decisions for each.”

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