19 and Up

This is rightfully a day of celebration for the Sox, who back-doored it into the playoffs last night—congratulations to our foes; the best team came in second this year—but we’d also be remiss not to send out a congratulations to Mike Mussina on his 19th win of the year, tieing his career best, a 3-1 victory over the Jays in which he took a liner off the elbow. I hope it’s not his last win as a Yankee, either this year or in the future. It’s been a pleasure to watch him this season—one of the few pleasures granted us YFs—and I for one would be glad to see him in pinstripes again next year. For the record, he now has 269 wins (plus 7 in the postseason). This past March, the idea that he might someday reach 300 wins seemed wildly farfetched. It’s still unlikely, but perhaps not quite out of the question. We can leave the HOF debate for another time. For the moment, we’ll just hope he gets numbers 20 and 270 before this ill-fated season is in the books.

17 comments… add one
  • It’s not “back-dooring it” if your team wins. Back-dooring would have been if both the Sox and Yankees lost last night.
    Yankees could well finish with a record good enough to be AL Central champion, not to mention NL West.

    Ron Newman September 24, 2008, 2:26 pm
  • who back-doored it into the playoffs last night
    They didn’t back-door it: they won a game that guaranteed them the spot. Had they lost they would have needed a back-door and a loss from elsewhere, as far as I understand that term. If by “back door” you mean “wild card”, then yes, they back-doored it.

    SF September 24, 2008, 2:27 pm
  • Although YF reserves mentioning the HOF for another day, let me say — as one who argued in the recent past that Mussina did not deserve induction to the Hall — that I will not be debating those credentials any longer. He deserves enshrinement, and I think this season probably put him over the top in a lot of people’s minds.
    Can’t say I’m a fan of him personally, but it’s hard not to like a guy who brings himself back from the edge and excells when he should rightfully begin looking for that second career. Good for him.

    Paul SF September 24, 2008, 2:39 pm
  • I am not a Moose fan, but I agree with Paul. He reinvented himself this season and that’s an accomplishment in itself. I sincerely hope he retires after this season. Not because I don’t want him back, but because like George Constanza used to do he should go out on a high note. He’s close enough in wins to be considered a H.O.F. If he comes back next season and goes 10-12 with an ERA over 4.50, it does nothing to help his cause. I am happy for him, but retire Moose it’s the best possible time for everyone.

    John - YF September 24, 2008, 2:44 pm
  • kind of funny to look back now, here’s a yfsf ’06 thread on mussina reinventing himself.

    sf rod September 24, 2008, 3:36 pm
  • After reading that thread, I’m really, really glad I didn’t quit my job to play for the Cutters. They are no longer a team, and I’m in a much better position now.
    Sometimes having that bat in your hands makes you think like a child. It was a silly notion, but a good time trying out nonetheless.
    On Mussina, I think he’s clearly hall-worthy, but not worth resigning to big money. I think you HAVE to look at the couple years prior to this one, and not just this one alone. This year has not only been great for him, but one of the best years by someone his age ever. WasWatching has a good writeup on how significant his year is historically, and it doesn’t really paint great odds of him being able to duplicate it. It’s kind of like Posada’s huge 2007 – it was great, but you really can’t expect him to repeat it. If you’re going to resign Moose, you have to do so knowing that drop off points may be huge. In fact, the points might just be in line with where they were last year.
    That said, congrats to him on this year, and he’ll certainly have my vote for the hall when his time comes. His entire career in the toughest division in the leage while putting up 280+/- wins and a decent ERA, and not a hint of ever breaking any rules (even if said rules didn’t exist, and everything was legal).
    Not even a question, MHO.

    Brad September 24, 2008, 4:46 pm
  • “This year has not only been great for him, but one of the best years by someone his age ever.”
    the only other player in the history of baseball to win 19 games at mussina’s age…….was cy young.

    sf rod September 24, 2008, 5:00 pm
  • I hate to think on WhatIf the Yankees could have converted just a dozen or so more base runners in the 38 games started by Rasner/Kennedy/Hughes that might have led three or four wins above the mere 12 the Yanks got in games started by that gruesome threesome.
    I hate thinking on WhatIfs.
    And this year, I hated August.

    attackgerbil September 24, 2008, 5:02 pm
  • Comparing Moose to his contemporaries since he came into the league, here’s the other pitchers (from 1991 to 2008) starting 50% games with at least 340 Games, sorted by greatest ERA+

    Player        ERA+  G  From  To   Ages  GS
    Pedro Martinez 155 466 1992 2008 20-36 399
    Randy Johnson  142 529 1991 2008 27-44 520
    Roger Clemens  141 503 1991 2007 28-44 502
    Greg Maddux    139 603 1991 2008 25-42 603
    John Smoltz    132 633 1991 2008 24-41 391
    Kevin Brown    129 427 1991 2005 26-40 417
    Curt Schilling 129 525 1991 2007 24-40 431
    Tom Glavine    124 577 1991 2008 25-42 577
    Mike Mussina   122 536 1991 2008 22-39 535
    Kevin Appier   121 376 1991 2004 23-36 373
    Andy Pettitte  116 436 1995 2008 23-36 426

    Still think HOF? I’m definitely maybe. Stats from b-r

    attackgerbil September 24, 2008, 5:32 pm
  • ERA+ not being the end all of stats, particularly for the Hall, that list strikes me as more curiosity than anything. I would have no real problems with any pitcher at Moose’s level and above being inducted.
    Incidentally,I’m typing this on an iPhone from the Apple Store in Austin. Now I know why everyone likes them so much!

    Paul-sf September 24, 2008, 7:04 pm
  • “the best team came in second this year”
    i dont get it.. are you talking about the redsox?

    Ric September 24, 2008, 7:48 pm
  • No Paul! Don’t give in to the Communist Apple rhetoric! Be strong!
    The iPhone is pretty awesome though.

    Atheose September 24, 2008, 8:29 pm
  • Don’t listen to Ath, the IPhone RULES. Rhetoric or otherwise, it’s the (how do the kids say) BOMB!

    John - YF September 24, 2008, 8:38 pm
  • Oh I love the iPhone, I just hate Apple in general. I gave credit where it was deserved!

    Atheose September 24, 2008, 10:09 pm
  • I’ve been an Apple fan since my freshman year in college. Our journalism department was all Macs, and I fell in love. If Apple is communist, Microsoft is fascist. I’ll let you determine which is worse…
    Looking at that list in more detail, it seems a 120 ERA+ over a significant period of time is Hall-worthy — unless you just have been wracked with injuries (see Kevin Appier). Although with the Hall, a ton of other things, fairly or not, come into play: Postseason performance, 20-win seasons, Cy Youngs, etc.

    Paul SF September 25, 2008, 1:38 am
  • It depends on what is considered “big money”, as he refused to sign for less than Pavano the last time around (which is probably reasonable). I hope to see him in a mid-ish base (8 mil?) with tons of incentives to push him over should he have another year, or even if he just have an good enough year. Especially for his age..

    Lar September 25, 2008, 2:40 am
  • Apple recently started slapping developers with nondisclosure agreements when they don’t approve applications for the iPhone. So not only do developers get denied the ability to make programs for the iPhone, but they’re not even allowed to tell their fanbases that they were denied.
    Sounds a lot like fascism to me. But I still think the iPhone is great, I just dislike Apple.

    Atheose September 25, 2008, 12:48 pm

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