Wednesday, November 19, 2008
After 18 years Mike Mussina decides to hang-up the spikes and call it a career. Over the past eight years I don't think there has been a more consistent pitcher in the Yankees rotation. He took the ball every 5 days and went out there with one job in mind and that was to get the team a win. And when he didn't, there weren't excuses. He took accountability. You don't find that in a lot of players today. You also don't find too many players who know when to leave or that are willing to walk away from millions of dollars. Mike Mussina knows the Yankees would have surely taken him back and paid him millions, but he wanted to call it day and spend time with his family. With 300 wins on the horizon he didn't want to come back to chase it. To him it didn't make sense to ride out 3 more years and possibly perform at standards he's not use to just to obtain a number. He would rather go out on top with a 20 win season. I'm sorry the Yankees couldn't get a ring during his tenure in the Bronx. He's one of the good guys of baseball and surely deserves one. He's a class act.
So let the debate begin. Is Mussina a hall of famer? I think so. Let's look at his career numbers:
270 Wins to only 153 loses, that's a winning percentage of .638. A career 3.68 ERA, 5 time all-star, finished in the top 5 for Cy Young voting 6 times, and finished 6th place 3 more times. So half of his career he was one of the best 6 pitchers in the AL.
He averaged 17 wins, 225+ innings pitched, 178 Ks, with a 1.192 WHIP. He has won 7 gold gloves. He recorded double digit win totals in all but his first season. He had only 2 losing seasons, his first year when he went 4-5 and his last year with Baltimore in 2000 when he went 11-15. His career totals are even more impressive when you consider he spent all 18 years in the toughest division in baseball, the AL East.
For me there is no question Mike Mussina should be in Cooperstown in 5 years.
Thank you Mike Mussina.