Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Debating Moose's Hall Credentials
Our buddy Yanni shot out an email yesterday with an interesting article on John Feinstein's new book "Living on the Black: Two Pitchers, Two Teams, One Season to Remember," on Moose and Glavine's 2007 season.
What ensued was the email recipients launching into a debate on Mussina's Hall credentials as prompted by Portly Jay's comment: "I'm going to read through this email more thoroughly, but for the time being, all I've read is the part about Mussina being a Hall of Famer. As I've said from the beginning of this argument for Mussina, you've gotta draw the line somewhere. Otherwise, Tommy Greene is on-deck, right Ren?"
Let's take a look at some of the chatter. Bear in mind that this was before Moose got shellacked and knocked out in the first inning by the O's last night. POrtly Jay almost seems a soothsayer.
Lets face it - he lacks those intangibles. Never won 20. Never threw a no-hitter. Never won a Cy Young Award. Never won a World Series.
If i had to build a narrative for moose's induction - I would have to stress the period in which he pitched (steriods, hgh, the lowering of the mound, the trend toward smaller parks - all of which greatly benefit the hitter).
The problem we run into there though is that his peers Clemens, Maddox, Glavine, Johnson, all have those intangibles mentioned earlier.
The other big problem here, is that there are guys ahead of him ( i.e. Blylevin, Tommy John, and Jim Kaat) in the 285-295 win range and are not in the Hall.
Moose is 39 years old. He has 256 wins. Our best bet is to just hope he can continue on in the mold of a Jaime Moyer or a Kenny Rogers or even a David Wells and pitch until his mid-40s. If he can grow as a finesse pitcher and continue changing speeds and relying on good location and getting good run support - who knows, maybe he can go on another 3 or 4 years and reach
300. Stranger things have happened.
If he ever gets there or not, he is my favorite player. He is one of the few good guys left in the game. When he is on, watching him pitch is like watching a fine artist paint the corners. its all about changing speeds and location. I cant wait to watch him go tonight against the Orioles.
Wow! All of a sudden the steroid era didn't help the pitchers out! That's a crazy, absurd argument!!! The lowering of the mound does actually hurt pitchers, as much as anything. That's the reason why it's a disadvantage to face a 6'10"" guy like Randy Johnson. All the new ballparks as well that were favorable to hitters. He won 19 in a strike season of 1994. Hence, he would have won his 20 games. He played for a bad team for several years. Tom Glavine played for the best team in baseball for those same years...the argument's not Glavine vs. Mussina, but i'm just saying as a standalone pitcher, the guy deserves it in this modern era of baseball. Stupid relievers like Dennis Eckersley (a starter half his career) and Rich Gossage get in while better players such as Mike Mussina don't? That's ridiculous...very much like the Rock'N'Roll Hall of Fame!!!!
I'll be thinking of those inspiring words after I see Adam Jones hit a ball through the ozone layer and Moose just stands there with his hands on his hips in a pouting fashion. I'm not a fan. However, I like The New Steinbrenner. Baby Boss gave such an inspirational speech to the NY Post that even the skeleton of General Sherman had to blush.
I would also add that the advent of the 5-man rotation and the increasing importance of bullpens as additional factors making 300 wins more difficult.
I think with 250 wins in modern day baseball in the steroid era, he should get in. If you talk about the top 10 pitchers of the last 20 years, it would actually be very hard to argue that he doesn't belong in that list. These days, we're seeing an older, less dominant pitcher. But in his prime, he was a top notch starter. There will probably never be another 300 game winner. I think 250 is the barrier we should look at these days.
Here is a good marker, game 7 World Series, who would you rather hand the ball to? I say Mussina. If you add 'big game' ability, Mussina wins out. Game 7 Yankees vs. Sox, shut them down for 3+ innings, a starter out of the pen, led to the Boone homerun. Like Dino said, Mussina won on average O's teams while Glavine was the 2 sometimes 3 best pitcher on championship teams. And look at Glavine last season. Mets needed ONE win, their 'ace' on the mound, gave up like 6 runs in 2 innings check the box score on that one. But it wasn't pretty