Aug
11

Moose and the Hall

By

Never one to shy away from controversy, Mike Mussina, by pitching above and beyond expectations, may be courting the biggest debate of his career this season.

On one side are those who love Moose. They want him to land in the Hall of Fame when all is said and done. On the other hand are those people so hung up on the Big Nmbers that they can’t adequately judge a player’s Hall of Fame credentials.

Foremost among those detractors is Murray Chass. The one-time Times scribe who now keeps a Website he refuses to call a blog wrote about Mussina and the Hall this weekend. Says Chass:

Mussina, with a 15-7 record and 3.27 earned run average, is only five wins from the 20-win plateau that has eluded him in his 18-year career. Twice he won 19, three times 18, but never 20. No starting pitcher is in the Hall of Fame without a 20-win season on his resume. Even Dennis Eckersley, who became a relief pitcher halfway through his career, had a 20-win season.

Only four Hall of Fame pitchers reached that status without a 20-win season, and they were all relief pitchers – Hoyt Wilhelm, Rollie Fingers, Bruce Sutter, Rich (Goose) Gossage.

Mussina hasn’t won the Cy Young award either. No pitcher who has been virtually invisible in Cy Young award voting is in the Hall of Fame…

Mussina has an impressive career won-lost record (265-151) but not much else. He has never been a dominant pitcher, has never pitched his team to a World Series championship. He, in fact, is the darkest symbol of the Yankees’ failed post-season teams of recent seasons.

Chass concludes by noting that even a 20-win season by Mussina this year wouldn’t be enough to resurrect Moose’s Hall of Fame chances. That’s stellar logic.

The problem I have with Chass’ argument is that it ignores anything that makes sense. Are we to judge Hall of Famers solely by their awards and postseason success? Should Ted Williams — zero World Series rings — keep his plaque in Cooperstown? Should Ty Cobb, one of the game’s great racists, be lauded?

What I do know abut Mike Mussina is that his 3.42 ERA in the postseason is better than his career regular season ERA. What I know about Moose’s postseason pitching performance is that his teams lost despite his efforts. Just because a select few writers who have repeatedly shown their ignorance of baseball failed to vote Mussina a largely meaningless Cy Young award does not mean he doesn’t deserve Hall of Fame consideration.

Rather, for 18 years, Mike Mussina has been among the best in baseball. His career ERA is significantly better than average over that time period. He has 265 wins to his name and 2759 strike outs.

In the end, it all boils down to that hot-button question: Does Mike Mussina deserve a spot in the Hall? Right now, he’s on the fence, but it’s not for lack of postseason success or Cy Young Awards or 20-win seasons. Anyone who judges a pitcher solely on those metrics is missing the bigger pitcher. If Mike Mussina has been one of the best pitchers of his generation, then he deserves that spot in Cooperstown. There’s more to that evaluation than those three considerations. Someone tell that to Murray Chass.

Categories : Analysis
  • Travis

    Not only is Murray Chass ignoring the bigger pitcher, Ben, he isn’t seeing the bigger picture. How dumb can he be? If Mike Mussina won 20 games in his first season, that would be great, but if Mussina wins 20 this year and promptly retires, that doesn’t count? In addition, according to Baseball Reference, Mussina has finished in the top six of Cy Young voting eight times – is that invisible? Murray Chass, rhymes with.

    • Ivan

      That was trememdous. 8 times in the cy young voting.

  • Travis

    Oh, my gosh, I can’t take this. Murray Chass, are you serious? Guys, you have to read his column. This has to be the dumbest argument I’ve ever read:

    “So are these the credentials of a Hall of Famer? The simple answer is no. For further evidence, check the experiences of three other pitchers – Tommy John, Bert Blyleven and Jim Kaat. All had career victory totals in the 280s. Except for winning percentage, all had better records than Mussina.”

    Yes! Yes! Now it ALL makes sense. Except for winning percentage (WHAT?!), all had better records than Mussina!!

  • Geno

    How about the fact that Moose amassed those numbers pitching his entire career in the AL East, much of it during a time of artificially-high, chemically-induced offensive stats?

    • austinNYfan

      Those are my exact sentiments. He was a dominant pitcher during the Steroid Era and in the AL East for crying out loud!

      You can’t blame him for a lack of WS rings. He played about half of his career on the Orioles. I don’t think that should hurt his chances. It will be interesting to see who he is up against on his first ballot.

      You also shouldn’t let the 20 win seasons or 300 total wins dominate your decision as well. He shouldn’t be judged on the last few years of his career, but his whole body of work.

    • steve (different one)

      How about the fact that Moose amassed those numbers pitching his entire career in the AL East, much of it during a time of artificially-high, chemically-induced offensive stats?

      DING DING DING.

      Moose has probably pitched in the highest offensive environment in the history of baseball.

      and pitched well.

      he’s a hall of famer.

  • Ivan

    Personally I don’t think he’s a HOFer but that said he’s always been underrated. Throughout his entire career he has played in the AL specifically the AL East and has put up some very good #’s. It’s close but say no.

    Also, what is a HOFer?

    Seriously what is a HOFer and what does it takes to be a HOF player?

    I think that’s the problem with evaluating players career, there isn’t really definition for a HOF player/pitcher.

    If your definition is this or that then Moose is a HOFer but if your definition this or that, then Moose or any specific at lease questionable player is a HOFer.

    It’s a very difficult and complex thing to do to evaluate players like Moose or Schilling or Bernie or Tim Raines.

    Unless your a knockout HOFer player, it can be again difficult to evaluate players if they are deserving of the HOFer or not.

    • Ivan

      questionable player is not a HOFer

  • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

    “The problem I have with Chass’ argument is that it ignores anything that makes sense.”

    It’s all downhill from there, Ben. That line’s awesome.

  • A.D.

    I’ve never gotten the HOF feel from Moose, but his numbers certainly put him in the equation, for Moose it really comes down to the winning % & consistency, if that makes you a hall of famer, then sure he is one, but I’ve never thought of him of that dominant pitcher in the class of Maddux or Smoltz, guys definitly ticketed for the HOF.

    If you’re going to go with Moose right about Pettite? He’s a 2 time 20 game winner, a 4 time WS winner, top 6 in Cy Young voting 5 times (should have won in 1996), been a big game “in tangibles” pitcher, and his career winning % is .001 less than Mussina.

    • Ivan

      I think the word dominant gets thrown around too much around pitchers.

      Outside of Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, Clemens and Maddux and Maybe Mo but he’s a reliever, how many pitchers can you say are dominate? At least for the last 20 years. Even today are there really any dominate pitchers?

      Now this is where it gets tricky. It’s unfair to compare Moose to the likes of those pitchers because those guys were in a different league. At the same time, if your definition is that the Hofer is for the “greats” and pitch in the same era with Moose then yes it’s fair to compare him to those pitchers.

      It’s really a thin line. Now if you wanna compare Moose to more comparable pitchers like Smoltz, Schilling and etc then maybe that’s legit.

      It’s a matter of opinion in situations like this.

  • Adrian-Retire21

    Mussina’s Era already has hall of Fame pitchers.Pedro Martinez,John Smoltz,Tom Glavine,Greg Maddux,Randy Johnson.And Schilling might get in because of he’s stupid bloody sock but he’s not first ballot worthy.

    They aren’t gonna put Mussina there because they aren’t gonna add too many pitchers of he’s Era and he’s way down on the list as a regular season and Post Season pitcher compared to the those pitchers.

    Mussina needs 300 wins to get there.He’s like Bernie Williams.Good stats but never better then so many other players in he’s position.

  • Efrem Goldman

    Waswatching wrote about Mussina’s HOF debate three days ago

  • Travis

    Mussina’s candidacy is gaining steam, though. A lot of people are taking a closer look at his career, and if he wins 20 this year, I think he breaks through what is a psychological barrier for many, and he becomes likely to be elected. You guys make good points about how he has pitched in the AL East his entire career, and during the Steroid Era.

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

    “Mussina hasn’t won the Cy Young award either. No pitcher who has been virtually invisible in Cy Young award voting is in the Hall of Fame…”

    Writers vote for the Cy Young each year. Writers vote for the Hall of Fame.

    In short: no shit, Murray Chass.

  • Manimal

    Don’t act like his career is over guys, he’s still playing and I think will play for another 3-5 years. He just established himself as one of those guys that can be effective with a diminishing fastball and great offspeed stuff. I can think of quite a few teams that would like him in their rotation. Then again, he can implode like he did late in last season.

  • Manimal

    Sorry this is offtopic and old but I haven’t been here in a while, but mike, let me know which hockey game your gonna get. Ill get the same one and we can play together, I’ve been wanting to get back into hockey too.

  • steve (different one)

    He, in fact, is the darkest symbol of the Yankees’ failed post-season teams of recent seasons.

    wait, really?

    • Ivan

      That comment was pretty ridiculous.

    • Travis

      Good point, Steve. I’m not even sure what Murray Chass means with this statement, but I can think of many other examples of the “darkest symbol.” Perhaps Luis Vizcaino, who, according to Baseball Reference, has finished in the Top Gazillion of Cy Young voting exactly zero times.

    • Tim

      I thought that was ARod.

      • Nickel

        Or what about Carl Pavano?

  • Ivan

    Off topic but Dunn is traded to the D-Backs

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/articl.....8;c_id=mlb

  • EricL

    Its simple really, when Mussina gets 300 wins 2-4 years from now, they will have no choice but to put him in the hall of fame.

    Mussina has only one win this year in which he gave up 4 or more runs. He has had several games where he has given up 2 runs or less and got an L or no decision. He will get to 20 this year.

    The true question is – does he come back to the Yankees, or does he leave for a NL team to try and cement his 300-win legacy?

  • Shaun P.

    Isn’t there some question as to whether or not that really is Murray Chass? Wait, never mind, just saw that it was confirmed to really be him.

    What a maroon.

  • Ivan

    I’ll take Moose over Glavine.

  • http://chassasinass godfather

    i don’t recognize the hall, but if i did, i would care about what an ass like chass wrote; moronic, he is; the 20-game measuring stick was no less stupid when pitchers got more starts and less babying; the holier than thou voters used to pull that crap on bunning, too, and it is ludicrous that a pitcher winning 20/15/15 is automatically deemed better than a guy who went 19/19/19 (who the hell dunked the number 20 in the holy water?)…whitey ford was criticized for never having won 20, so he asked newcomer manager houk to start him every fourth day…he won a mere 25 and 24 (not sure of the order); i wrote sports for a living and would always write that a pitcher was credited with a win, not that he won a game; there’s a large difference…moose would rate a hall pass here anytime…chass needs detention…if moose doesn’t have a hall “feel” to you, maybe your “feel” needs checking

  • Andy in Sunny Daytona

    Every hall-of-fame elligible pitcher who has finished his career with 100 wins over .500 is in the hall. Moose is a shoo-in.

  • scott

    If moose gets to 300 wins there is no question that he is a hall of famer…anybody who says that a pitcher needs to dominate in his era to make it to the hall only needs to look at guys like don sutton and phil neikro…the only reason those guys are in is because of the consistency that got them to 300 wins.
    and murray chass is an idiot…outside of catfish, reggie and winfield have the yankees ever made a better free agent signing than Moose. He has had only one subpar season since signing here.

  • JRVJ

    Moose has been on the HoF razor’s edge for a while.

    He seemed to have fallen off after the very bad 2007, but he’s managed to scale back and actually get some leg room on that razor.

    Is he in if his career ends today? Maybe, because his 2008 has helped him.

    However, he really has to have nice eye-candy numbers for 2008 to get off the razor’s edge (I’m hoping he keeps it up over the remaining 9 starts).

    An 19-9, 3.25, 190+ IP season looks pretty good (I don’t want to jinx the Moose by writing something else)……

  • pete c.

    He’s almost always been above average average in all aspects of his game. He’s 100 games over .500. How many league ‘average” starters have 100 wins period. Chasse is whining because he actually has think about it. It’s dicks like him that are keeping guy’s like Kitty and Blyleven out of the hall.

  • The Fallen Phoenix

    In Mike Mussina’s 17 full major-league seasons to date, only THRICE has he posted an ERA+ at or below 100. He has posted an ERA+ of over 140 four times over the course of his career, and an ERA+ of over 130 an additional two times (twice, including this season, sitting at an ERA+ of 129).

    Over his career, Moose has been 22% better than league average in ERA.

    He’s pitched 200 strikeouts four times in his career, and had two other seasons where he came pretty close (182 and 195).

    He pitched over 200 innings nine times, from 1995 to 2003, and his lowest ERA+ during those years were 103 (1996) and 109 (2002), so those weren’t just league average innings.

    In light of these facts, outside of last season, I can’t see how anyone could claim Mike Mussina has ever been a league-average or below-league-average pitcher at all during his career. Truth is, Mike was the Yankee ace in 2001, and almost pitched the Yankees to a World Series that year. Everyone talks about Jeter’s flip in Game 3 of the ALDS, but Moose was on the mound that game, and pitched 7 innings of 4-hit ball. He won his start in the ALCS, pitching 6 innings of 4-hit (but 2-run) ball against one of the best offensive teams in the majors that year.

    Moose admittedly pitched rather poorly in Game 1 of the World Series (although not as bad as Pettitte’s Game 6 performance), but came back with eight sparkling innings of 2-run ball with 10 Ks in Game 5.

    So he’s had inidividual success in 139.2 innings of postseason play, too (ERA of 3.42; contrast with Randy Johnson’s 121 innings of 3.50 ERA ball, for example, or Roger Clemens’ 199 innings of 3.75 ERA).

    I think he’s a shoe-in for the Hall of Fame, no Cy Youngs, World Series rings, 20-win seasons, or perfect games be damned. Not his fault Pedro had an other-worldly 1999 season, when he finished 2nd in Cy Young voting.

  • Simon B.

    It really annoys me how there’s this perception among fans that Mussina is a bad postseason pitcher. They use the whole “Mussina arrived in 2001. Yankees haven’t won it all since 2001. Therefore, Mussina is a choker who makes his team worse.”

    Mussina’s been great in the postseason. How so many forget Game 3 in ALDS in 2001, or Game 7 in the ALCS in 2003, or Game 3 in the World Series that same year (where he outdueled CLUTCH ACE PITCHER™ JOSH BECKETT).

    Mussina has a lower postseason ERA than both 90s rotation anchors Pettitte and David Cone. He’s a great pitcher in all aspects. He needs to go into the HoF.

  • Dave P.

    Not sure where I really stand on this. I’m trying not to wear my Yankee colored glasses for this one. But basically I think that the Hall of Fame just isn’t what it once was. And it goes back to arguements that have been revisited every year. How is Tony Perez in the Hall but Jim Rice is not?
    How is Don Sutton, the least dominant pitcher ever to win 300 games in the Hall but Tommy John not?
    Don’t get me started on Carlton Fisk, or even Joe Morgan (he of his .271 batting average, zero seasons with 200 hits, one season with 100+ RBIs, and yet I just heard Johnny Bench call Morgan last week on Mike and the Mad Dog, that he was the greatest player ever).
    Eddie Murray was a compiler of stats too.
    And while I loved watching Ozzie Smith his 28 career home runs and .262 batting average is why I would argue for DHs like Edgar Martinez to make the Hall. If you’re gonna select somebody in the Hall strictly on defense, you better vote someone in because of their offense.
    But do I have a point? Oh yes Mike Mussina. .637 winning percentage. Six gold gloves. 11 seasons of 15 or more wins and 10 seasons with 9 or less losses. Five guys like that in your rotation will win you a World Series every time. Case closed. Murray Chass is an idiot.

    • Simon B.

      Carlton Fisk?

      JOE MORGAN?

      I think you should rethink those, Dave. Fisk was a good hitter and catcher and he did it for over 20 seasons.

      Some people think Morgan may be the best secondbaseman in history (Personally, I think Hornsby has him beat, but Morgan definitely has a shot at best post-integration 2B).

      • Stephen

        RBIs? BA? Jim Rice in the Hall? Stat Compiler? Are you really Murray Chass in disguise?
        Joe Morgan was one of the greatest players ever. He had a career 132 OPS+, with a high of 187 in 1976, as a SECOND BASEMAN! He had a career .392 OBA and his range factor as a 2b was 5.03 compared to a league average of 4.69 during his playing years. If there’s one player you can not question the credentials of, it’s Joe Morgan. He may be an idiot commentator and chatter, but he was the greatest or 2nd greatest second baseman in history.

        • Stephen

          He also stole 689 bases at an 81% success rate. There is nothing he was not great at.

          • Dave P.

            .271 is not a great batting average.

            • Dave P.

              And his .263 post season batting average is just average too.

              • Stephen

                You are kidding right. BA is not the stat you should be looking at…

                • Dave P.

                  Seriously what stat should I be looking at? For shits and giggles take out 1972-1976 and tell me what is some special about him? I won’t deny that he was a helluva all around player for those five years, but outside of that what is it?

                • Stephen

                  Ok, how about (OPS+ indicated) 1965 (131), 1966 (132), 1967 (131), 1968 (145), 1977 (138), and 1982 (136)? Are those years good enough for you?

                  No, OPS+ is not a perfect stat, but having a high correlates a lot more with run scoring than a .300 batting average does.

                • Dave P.

                  He played in 10 games in 1968 so no that year doesn’t do much for me. In 1966 he scored 60 runs and drove in 42. 1967 he scored 73 and drove in 42. Don’t give me high correlations when those numbers are there.

                  Can’t argue with ’77 or ’82 though.

                • Stephen

                  sorry about 1968, I looked at the numbers too quick.

                  Also, sorry to break it you but RS and RBIs are maybe even worse than BA. They are both totally context and lineup dependent.

                  For example, in 1966, he batted leadoff most often, meaning he was hitting behind the 7th, 8th, and the pitcher, so it’s completely expected that he wouldn’t drive in the many ones.

                • Dave P.

                  So you’re saying you want your leadoff man to score 60 runs?
                  Anyway we are gonna dance around this all night. You like Morgan, I don’t. You like OPS+, I like the meat and potatoes of the RBIs and runs.
                  But that’s what’s so great about baseball. The endless debates. Thank you for your keeping me busy the last couple of hours and for refusing to sound condescending while making your arguements.

        • Travis

          Are you really Murray Chass in disguise?

          LOL. That was my question, too.

  • barry

    Moose has still been a great pitcher through most of his career and I don’t think his career is as over as many would of thought 6 months ago.

  • Dave P.

    Carlton Fisk is one of the most overrated players in the Hall. He had one eye-popping year (1977, .313, 26, 102). One gold glove, threw out 33% of basestealers. What makes him a Hall of Famer? Because he caught for 24 seasons? I have yet to hear a convincing arguement as to why Fisk is in the Hall.

    And JOE MORGAN had 5 good years with Cincinnati. And he hit .300 in two of those years. I just don’t see the what’s so great about Morgan.

    • Stephen

      look at my above point

      • Dave P.

        He had a career 132 OPS+, with a high of 187 in 1976, as a SECOND BASEMAN!

        I’m sorry for the ignorance, but am I supposed to be amazed because he played second base?

        And that 187 OPS+ stat is from his stretch of 5 years where he was pretty good, which also inflates his OBA. But 5 pretty good years don’t make a career. Ask Don Mattingly.

        And let me go on record to say I’m not advocating Jim Rice for the Hall. I was making the point about people arguing Rice and Perez.

        • Stephen

          Yes you are supposed to be impressed that he was good fielding second baseman. It is hard to find good offense at premium defensive positions, and it was even harder is Joe Morgan’s era to do so. Look up some other 2nd baseman of the era and you’ll see how much better Joe Morgan was than the rest of them. A 2nd baseman that hits like Morgan would be immensely more valuable than a 1st baseman with equal stats.
          He never had an OPS+ below 100 in a full season.

          • Dave P.

            I am impressed with a good fielding second baseman, but again take out those five seasons and he was an average second baseman.

            • The Fallen Phoenix

              So Sandy Koufax shouldn’t be in the Hall of Fame either, then? I mean, take out his five best seasons (1962-1966), and he wasn’t anything special.

              • Dave P.

                Seriously? Really?
                Sandy Koufax was the MOST DOMINATING PITCHER from 1962-1966. I hardly think Joe Morgan was the most dominating player from 72-76.
                Don’t make that comparison.

                • The Fallen Phoenix

                  That argument doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. If you’re arguing that you cannot consider a player’s peak performance in evaluating that player’s performance – which is what your argument against Joe Morgan is ultimately reducible to – then it doesn’t really matter how dominating that peak was, does it?

                  But let’s play along anyway, because Joe Morgan’s peak was pretty dominating for a second baseman. His OPS+ 149, 154, 159, 169, 187 in those five seasons you want to discount. And outside of those five seasons, Morgan had five other seasons with an OPS+ over 130.

                  Sandy Koufax’s peak five seasons? ERA+ of 141, 159, 187, 160, 190. His next highest ERA+ was 123.

                  Sure, Koufax had a higher peak – two seasons with an ERA+ over 180, while Morgan had one season with an OPS+ over 180. But the difference between the two, relative to the normalized performance of their peers of their respective eras, is not as great as you imply, Dave.

                  So I’ll say it again: you can’t have it both ways. If you discount Morgan’s peak five seasons, you might as well do the same for every other player in the Hall of Fame.

                • Dave P.

                  Like I said in my first post about all this, I guess I’m just turning sour on the Hall of Fame. I mean you’re supposed to be going in because you had a Hall of Fame career right?
                  But when you do look at it from Koufax’s stand point he didn’t have a Hall of Fame career, he had a Hall of Fame five-year stretch. Same thing with Joe Morgan.
                  I wonder if Sandy Koufax had those five great seasons to start his career and then had those six mediocre years would he still be in the Hall?

  • LiveFromNewYork

    Moose is the darkest symbol of the Yankees not winning the world series in 8 years? Is he serious? When I think about the dry run, Moose doesn’t even register in my head.

  • Whitey14

    Ben, fantastic piece, well done. You have my compliments.

    With regard to stats, a topic I love to discuss, it’s all in how you look at them.

    For instance, can somebody tell me why the batting champion is determined by percentage but the Home Run Champion and Stolen Base leader are determined by their season totals? That one has always perplexed me.

    Also, I see Carlton Fisk and Eddie Murray mentioned above as stat compilers. I may be a Red Sox Die Hard, but I always thought Carl Yastrzemski was a very good player who had a few stand out seasons. He too, was a stat compiler. My apologies to all the Yankees fans who will read this next comment and get mad, but Reggie Jackson should not be in the HOF just because he was a great postseason player and hit 563 Home Runs. He was a horrible defender with a low batting average and struck out in 26% of his AB’s. He was a Stat compiler too and he happened to hit the magic number 500 HR. I don’t think anybody who batted .262 over 21 seasons should be in the Hall.

    If postseason stats are not used to determine yearly award winners (and I agree that they shoudn’t be), then they shouldn’t be used for Hall Of Fame credentials either. Is Ernie Banks any less worthy of induction for never playing in the World Series? Is it Bert Blyleven’s fault his teams weren’t better?

    • Dave P.

      Bert “Be Home” Blyleven. He did like to give up the long ball though.

      As far a Reggie is concerned. He was a great home run hitter, that’s about it.
      Ozzie Smith was a great defensive shortstop, that’s about it.
      That’s why they are both in the Hall.

      • Travis

        Reggie did have nearly 2,600 hits and was in the Top 5 of All-Star voting five times.

  • adam b.

    what a horrible argument by chass i mean seriously, oh he didnt have a 20 win season, so what? he’s consistently been one of the best pitchers year in and year out for winning ball clubs. 20 is such an arbitrary number, sure its a nice pleateau but plenty of pitchers who arent half the pitcher moose is have had 20 win seasons does that mean they’re better? besides moose has a ridiclous winning percentage and as was mentioned he’s been a very good postseason pitcher. i think at the end of the day mussina will be in there 20 win or no 20 win season

  • Steve H

    If 20 years ago the Orioles and Braves had swapped Glavine and Moose, with Glavine spending his whole career in the AL East, and Moose in the NL East, Moose would have his 300 wins, maybe a CY, probably a 20 win season, and possibly even a ring. Both got the benefit of playing for winners, so that is equal. Had Glavine had to pitch in smaller parks, against the DH, and against the Sox and Yankees for the first half of his career, and the Sox several times a year in the 2nd half, I highly doubt he would have matched Moose’s success.

  • MikeD

    I’m not sure he’s a HOFer by my standards, but by the standards of pitchers already elected, then he is a HOFer. There are certainly pitchers not as good as Mussina in the Hall and by a good margin. What I do know is that I don’t agree with ANY of Chass’ arguments on why Mussina is not a HOFer. It’s pretty annoying that people like Chass, who clearly has a limited understanding of the game, is actually paid to report on baseball and offer his opinion.

    Chass no doubt will change his mind if Mussina reaches 300 wins, yet he won’t really understand why Mussina’s 300 wins would be far more impressive than some who have come before. Mussina is already at 265, a very high number considering Mussina’s entire career has been during the era of the five-man rotation, reducing his number of win opportunities. Without even also addressing the reduced number of decisions because of the increased use of the bullpen, he’s recorded about five to six less starts per year for a front-of-the-rotation pitcher because he pitched in a five-man rotation.. Mussina probably could have recorded two to three more wins per year over the past eighteen years if he pitched under the same conditions of the pitchers Chass seems to admire. That puts Mussina somewhere in the 300-320 range…and counting.

    Wake up Murray and join the 21st Centruy.

    Hmmm…I may have just convinced myself.

    • the most felonious vocalist in the wide world of showbusiness

      Murray Chass was fired/let go by The New York Times earlier this year. It seems that he is no longer paid to write about baseball. I am not sure if he still has a Hall of Fame vote.