Nov
19

Open Thread: In Salute of Moose

By

He’s been in the game since 1991. He’s pitched to Bo Jackson and Dave Winfield, Ken Griffey Jr. and Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez and Albert Pujols, and everyone in between. His first start came on Game 1,674 of Cal Ripken’s streak, less than two-thirds of the way through the Iron Man’s record.

And now, 3,562.2 innings and 270 wins later, he’s calling it a career. He spent his entire baseball lifetime pitching in the hell of the American League East, and at one point threw at least 200 innings in nine straight seasons. His streak of 10 or more wins in 17 straight seasons is an American League record.

He never won a Cy Young Award, never won a World Series, never led the league in ERA, and never led the league in strikeouts. The closest he’s been is second in each instance, seemingly defining Moose’s career as “almost.”

Mussina finishes his career with a record 100 games over .500 (117 games to be exact), something only 20 other men have accomplished. Of those twenty, 16 are in the Hall of Fame. The other four (Clemens, Maddux, Glavine, Pedro) will be some day. Moose should one day make it 21 for 21.

We’ve watched him thrive and we’ve watched him struggle, but most of all we’ve watched him be nothing but a class act. Talk about the Mooseman here, or whatever else is on your mind. Keep it classy, like Mike.

Categories : Open Thread

219 Comments»

  1. Steve says:

    I agree on the HOF Mike. He’s not a no brainer, so it will likely take him a few years to get in. But he deserves to be in (for me) more than a lot other recent inductees who shall remain nameless.

    BTW-Now sign Andy, Cash. No more excuses.

  2. Nady Nation says:

    You stay classy, Planet Earth.

  3. blee says:

    Moose has been my favorite Yankee pitcher since he’s been here..
    Imma miss him, and comparing to other pitchers in this era, pitching during the steroid era in the AL East.. I think he will indeed be a first ballot HOFer..

    • steve (different one) says:

      while i agree moose should be a HOFer, he’s going to have the bad luck at hitting the same ballot as Greg Maddux.

      so he might not make it on the first ballot.

      hopefully it won’t be long after that.

      moose was a great yankee and certainly underappreciated while he was here.

      i loved watching him pitch, one of my all time favorites.

  4. Mark B says:

    Though the Yanks didn’t make the playoffs, this has to be a nice way for him to go out – finally winning 20 games

  5. Jake H says:

    Moose, you were the man. I salute you.

  6. ceciguante says:

    bravo, moose!
    thanks for the memories.

  7. Charles Dykas says:

    An instant favorite at Old Timers Day in a few years. The call of Moooosseee will rain down on the new stadium for an old favorite.

  8. Elston32 says:

    Unlike so many others it’s not surprising Mussina decided to end his career as he began it – with dignity intact. He’ll hopefully be a welcome addition to the HOF in the near future (much to the chagrin of Steve Phillips).

  9. Jose says:

    Today is a really sad day, Moose is my favorite pitcher of all times……pure inteligent, talent and a heck of an arm….!!!

  10. Troy says:

    Thanks for the memories Moose… good luck in retirement

  11. Chris colwill says:

    At the begining of the 2008 season I was dissapointed that the vet was going to hold a starting spot in this years starting rotation with all the hype that Cashmn sold the Yankee faithful on the promise of Hughes, Kennedy, and Chamberlain. The second half of his 2007 campaigne was a disastor and one could only all but predict a short outing every time the Moose took the mound.

    To the Moose’s credit though, he reinvented his pitching style while producing career numbers and taking the Yankees deep into innings. This summer one could take a sigh of relief as the Moose took the mound. It was almost certain he would put the Bronx Bombers in position to win.

    Thankyou Mussina for your time as a yankee and your dedication to good clean baseball. It is unfair to call you Mr. almost. In my eyes you were always one step in front of the next guy!

  12. Steve says:

    I have a Sterling HR call for Swisher, who I must admit is a real toughie.

    IT IS HIGH!!!

    IT IS FAR!!!

    IIIIIIT IS GONE!!!!

    A SWISHER PICKER-UPPER!!!!

    sponsored by the good folks at Bounty Paper Towels. Did you just spill your beer watching that HR? Grab yourself a Bounty!

  13. Mike P says:

    The mere fact he came to this decision validates his place in the Hall of Fame. He is far smarter than the Baseball Writers, and clearly thinks the 300 wins target is artificial and meaningless. They should take their cue from him and realise that he could easily have won 300 games, but prefered to have a career of excellence and just come up short. If he’s not worthy of the hall of fame, how many pitchers from now on will be? And on what basis, a couple of very dominant seasons? How about 18 dominant ones instead! (OK, maybe 17.5)

    • DonnieBaseballHallofFame says:

      “clearly thinks the 300 wins target is artificial and meaningless”

      That I agree with. Too much of who gets into the hall is on meaningless stats. And even more on super duper meaningless milestone stats.

      With that said you have to take into account a lot of the years he got nice win totals on the Yankees he would not have on a regular ball club. He was a dominant ACE when with the O’s, something he never truly was as a Yankee. So I think you do need to take into account his overall win totals year in and year out with a grain of salt while with the Yankees. Moose always played on good teams with the Os and Yanks.

    • They should take their cue from him and realise that he could easily have won 300 games, but prefered to have a career of excellence and just come up short.

      They should take their cue from him and realize that counting stats are a pretty crappy way to judge entrance into the hall of fame, since baseball is full of numerous distinct eras vary wildly, and that Moose likely couldn’t have “easily” won 300 games but that shouldn’t matter because he was one of the best pitchers in an era where winning 300 games just isn’t truly an attainable milestone anymore.

      • Mike P says:

        Fair enough, easily is an exageration. But he’s shown he can dominate without power on his pritches. I really think that if he put his mind to it, he would be most likely to get 30 more wins. Even if it took 3-4 years.

    • Steve says:

      People misunderstand the whole 300 wins thing anyway. People think of it as a minimum requirement, and its anything but. Its not a floor, its a ceiling. 300 just means you’re a lock, a no brainer. But roughly HALF the pitchers in the HOF have less than 300, and most of them aren’t modern players they’re pre-WW2. Some are even contemporaries of CY Young.

      Some of the greatest pitchers who ever lived didn’t win 300.

      Jim Palmer didn’t.

      Sandy Kofax didn’t

      Bob Feller didn’t.

      Pedro Martinez won’t.

      http://www.baseball-reference......reer.shtml

  14. DonnieBaseballHallofFame says:

    I have mixed feelings about Moose. Even as a Yanks fan I always liked watching him pitch when he was with the O’s. I saw him pitch in person I would guess around ten or 15 times or so as an O and watched I would say half or more of his starts on TV. When he came to the Yankees he never seemed to be the same pitcher as on the O’s. The first few years he was very good. It did however bother me that he never pitched inside. I do put part of the blame for some of those early exit playoff loses on just that.

    Moose is a very book smart man, and I think at times it helped and hurt his career. I would have liked to have seen what he would have done after this year even if in another uni. I think he would have been a great fit for the NL and especially for his home state Phillies. Moose might have gotten that ring after all.

    I wonder if Moose will go into the hall, and if he does what hat will he wear? I think one could make a great argument for either the O’s or the Yankees.

  15. Manimal says:

    First Strahan and now Moose?

  16. Adam says:

    If this is for real–we’ve seen players retire and un-retire many, many times–then I tip my cap to Moose. It was my pleasure to watch you perform.

  17. Matt M. says:

    *sniffles*

    thanks for all of the great years moose, its a real shame that such a stalwart of our rotation wont take home any WS hardware.

    i’m sure that you’re in a better place right now…waiting for your yankee stadium flagpole…doing a crossword puzzle…and eating an ice cream bar.

    ps. on the yes network, i saw some derivation of MTV Cribs for yankee players and it featured moose and his pennslyvania ranch. he was showing his cars and his john deere tracktors and the like…wouldnt programming like that be far more intriguing than those boring old movies that they show, reruns of that ultimate roadtrip show, or the best of mike and the maddog???

    i felt like i got to see a more personal side of the moose through that program and i’d wish that they’d do more of that kinda stuff

  18. Baseballnation says:

    We would have loved to have kept ya for two more years but respect to you Mike and You’ll always be known as a competitor, class act, and personally, I’ll remember ya as a Yankee!

  19. josh says:

    The thing that saddens me most about the Moose leaving is, like many others who sign a contract with the Yankees, he signed to win a WS… So, though it is tough to watch him go, it’s even tougher thinking about how long it’s been since we’ve won a WS…………… ’01–shoulda, ’03–coulda, ’04–woulda…

  20. mike eff says:

    i never saw the guy lose a game–even in 2007 i saw him twice-both wins

  21. A.D. says:

    Different than me, no way I retire after that season

  22. Januz says:

    I happen to like Mike Mussina, but he is NOT a Hall Of Famer. Suzyn Waldman, once said:” If you have to think if someone is a Hall Of Famer they are not”. I agree with that concept. He is not Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, Glavine, Maddox, Clemens, or Mariano. Those are Hall Of Famer pitchers (Clemens steroids aside). He won 20 games ONCE, NEVER won a Cy Young, does not have a superior ERA, and does not have Schilling’s post season numbers. The following come from Baseball Reference on Mussina and Schilling. First Moose: 16 Postseason Ser 7-9 23 21 3.42 7 8 0 0 139.2 121 53 33 145 Now Schilling: 12 Postseason Ser 10-2 19 19 2.23 11 2 0 4 133.1 104 33 25 120. I do not like Schilling (He is my LEAST favorite player this side of Manny and Delgado), but the numbers speak volumes.
    Is he in the top 5% of all pitchers in Major League History? Yes he is. But he is NOT in the top 1% which is essentially the cream of the crop, and the pitchers who belong in Cooperstown, are those who meet that standard. Sad to say, he falls short.

    • Steve says:

      I can’t believe somebody just quoted Suzyn Waldman.

      And not for a brownie recipe.

    • Steve H says:

      He’s every bit as good as Glavine. If Glavine were in the AL East his whole career, he wouldn’t have won anywhere near the 270 games Moose won. How many pitchers are there in ML history, and how many are better than Moose. I’d like to see where your 5% vs 1% comes from. Moose is much, much better than several pitchers in the Hall already, what % did they fall in?

    • Mike P says:

      You may very well be right to have those standards. But that’s academic, a quick look at the Hall of Fame tells you the voters don’t share your stance. The problem is the Hall of Fame has several worse players than Mussina. So having detracted from your high standards, it would be wrong to make a case out of Mussina for reinstating them.

      • Steve says:

        Lowest common denominator is a bad argument for putting him in, thats a recipe for letting in a zillion players and making the entire thing meaningless.

        I have the opposite standard, take a look at a picture of the 1939 inaugural class of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

        http://www.baseballpilgrimages.....ame39.html

        If you can credibly put a guy in photo, then he belongs.

    • ” If you have to think if someone is a Hall Of Famer they are not”.

      Fine. I never once thought Mike Mussina wasn’t a Hall of Famer. Even two years ago when he was sucking it up, I still thought that once he hung it up, he was a Hall of Famer.

      So, even by your logic, I still vote for Mike for the Hall. Moose was every bit as good as Glavine, and Schilling, and was only a tiny notch below Pedro, Maddux, and Clemens (as are just about everyone).

    • steve (different one) says:

      ok, i’m trying to be nicer on RAB, so i’m going to say this the nicest way i can:

      you are incorrect.

      He is not Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, Glavine, Maddox, Clemens, or Mariano.

      you are correct. he is not those pitchers. he is Mike Mussina. quite astute.

      Those are Hall Of Famer pitchers (Clemens steroids aside).

      yes, they are. so what? is there a limit to how many people can go into the Hall of Fame? is it Mussina’s fault that he happened to be a contemporary of 5 of the greatest pitchers in the history of baseball?

      if Moose pitched 10 years earlier, he’d easily be the best pitcher of that era. or are you going to tell me that Jack Morris was better? you are, aren’t you?

      He won 20 games ONCE

      who gives a shit? he won 19 games twice and 18 games 3 times. what’s the difference between 19 and 20 games? nothing. it’s pointless and arbitrary.

      NEVER won a Cy Young,

      neither did Nolan Ryan. neither did Mariano Rivera. and neither did Curt Schilling. you have already cited Rivera and Schilling as surefire hall of famers. so much for that argument.

      does not have a superior ERA,

      aside from the fact that he does, i guess you have a point. Moose is somewhere between 60-70th in the history of baseball in ERA+ for starting pitchers. he pitched in the most demanding offensive environment in baseball history and pitched to an ERA that was 23% better than league average.

      it is superior.

      just because it is not comparable with inner circle no doubt Hall of Famers like Pedro, Maddox, and Randy Johnson doesn’t mean he’s not a Hall of Famer.

      But he is NOT in the top 1% which is essentially the cream of the crop, and the pitchers who belong in Cooperstown, are those who meet that standard. Sad to say, he falls short.

      where did this standard come from? you made it up.

      • T-Dizzle says:

        too many players are getting in nowadays though it just seems like there should be a cutoff at some point ya know, hes good but just not GREAT just yet

        • steve (different one) says:

          perhaps.

          but it’s too late, they already let in Bruce Sutter. Moose gets his placque.

          we can lock the doors after that.

        • hes good but just not GREAT just yet

          You are entitled to your opinion. I think it’s wrong. I think Moose is great. I think Moose is easily one of the top 10 pitchers of his era, possibly top 5. He had a great peak, he had a great career, he was dominant. He was great.

          • Jay, CT says:

            I have a feeling that outside of NY, more voters will say he is a hall of famer. I believe that people in this area are jaded by all the titles, and just because he never won a world series, although its not mentioned alot, that is an underlying thought. Moose was NASTY. And he was nasty for a long time. The whole “too many people are getting in” is bullshit. So what, do the doors just get locked? It is such a ridiculus stat. Wins are an overrated stat. Anyone who watched Moose, especially in his peak years would know that he was a great pitcher.

      • Steve says:

        You make some pretty good, persuasive arguments when you’re being nice.

        • steve (different one) says:

          i just think Moose is REALLY underappreciated and it would be a shame if he were to not get his due.

          he’s had some really bad timing/luck in his career.

          he deserved the CY in 2001. he should have had a ring in 2001.

          he’s pitched some HUGE postseason games where he didn’t get any run support.

          he had a ridiculous postseason with Baltimore in 1997, but unfortunately for him, he had Benitez instead of Mo as his closer.

    • steve (different one) says:

      just to add more fuel to the fire, you missed Smoltz.

      he’s a Hall of Famer too.

    • DonnieBaseballHallofFame says:

      I am not sure on Moose for the hall. His lack of great seasons with the Yankees makes me wonder. If he played for say Kansas City he would not even be in the discussion. How well your team around you plays really can help or hurt somebody’s chances, especially pitchers.

      He was never an ace on the Yanks but with the O’s he was. I would not have a problem with him in or out of the hall.

  23. UWS says:

    Oh man, this is a sad day. I’ll miss those wonderful snarky interviews.

    • DonnieBaseballHallofFame says:

      That is really what I will not miss. Moose seemed to think he was better than he was or maybe its just his personality. The looks he would give fielders if they made an error or even a slight possible miscue. I would have liked to see Jeter or A-Rod give him a look all those years he failed to pitch inside.

  24. T-Dizzle says:

    he was good n all but still soemtimes think a little about maybe him cursing us

  25. yankeefan91 (sign c.c asap) says:

    mike or ben this is from mussina agent arn tellem

    Mike will be making a decision on his intentions shortly. Given the significance of this to Mike, I would hope you can respect his desire to be the author of any such announcement consistent with his own time table. A decision of this magnitude should not be the subject of unconfirmed rumors and speculation. Accordingly, I am not going to make any further comment until Mike has made his final decision.

  26. John D says:

    hat tip to you, Moose. the Yankees, their fans and all of baseball will miss your craft and your class.

    as one of my favorite non-Yankees when he pitched for the Orioles, I will miss watching him pitch. it was a pleasure and honor to have done so for 20 years.

    I congratulate him for going out on top, his way, and wish him well in retirement.

  27. Mike Pop says:

    If CC fucks us over I sware to god. I will cut his right hand off and he will have to learn how to be Jim Abbot

  28. Mike Pop says:

    Pacmans backk.. This is his LAST chance

    • Nady Nation says:

      Pacman sucks. It’s a joke that anyone even thinks he’s some kind of shutdown corner.

      • Mike Pop says:

        I disagree with you.. Hes a very talented player while still young.. He has some issues but 2 years ago he was a great corner.. He was rusty when he came back and started to do a bit better be4 he got suspended AGAIN.. He was a 1st round pick and we got him for a 4th rounder which we can get back.. It was a sweet deal for my cowboys regardless becuz of Pac’s potential in the GAME. I know he has other potential but its not the kind of potential you want in a player..

        BTW for all who are going to ask why I am a cowboy fan.. When I was growing up my brother waas a huge fan and I looked up to my brother lol okay.. Ive been with em ever since 99 when I was 9. Ive been there with Quincy Carter, Henson, Testaverde, Hutchinson, Carter, Leaf, Wright, and Bledsoe.. etc.. Its been alot of bad times but I do beleive Romo is a really good qb who will eventually lead us to first a playoff win and then a championship

  29. Randy says:

    i salute you moose. thank you for the memories and the commitment to the yankees.

    its gonna be great seeing you in the hall of fame one day.

  30. Steve H says:

    Great article on cnnsi.com from Posnanski regarding moose’s hof candidacy. Couldn’t pass the link thru, but it makes some great points, all the Anti-Moose people should give it a read.

  31. Steve says:

    MLBTR

    “Joel Zumaya might be ready to pitch this spring–and he might not be, reports Jason Beck of MLB.com. Tigers assistant GM Al Avila calls it “basically a week-to-week, month-to-month situation.” That’s enough to force the Tigers to come up with a backup plan for their relief corps.

    Adding Trevor Hoffman as closer may be at the center of that plan.”

    Trevor Hoffman in the American League?

    Not just Trevor Hoffman, but a 41 year old, Trevor Hoffman.

    Can’t wait to play the Tigers. That should be fun.

  32. Steve says:

    MLBTR

    “SI.com’s Jon Heyman says Burnett is only considering five-year offers; the Yankees haven’t committed to that yet.”

    http://www.fannation.com/si_bl.....osts/24845

    I guess somebody gave him a 5th year. Hope that means were out, and back in the Peavy sweepstakes. Especially if he can be had w/o Hughes.

  33. pat says:

    It would behoove brian cashman to be “on the cusp” of offering 5 yrs 80 million knowing other al east teams are in on the bidding. No need to make things easy for theo and jp.

  34. Mike Pop says:

    Post it Steve ! Post what they have to say bout Tex in MLBTR

    • Steve says:

      This?

      “Teixeira Interested In Washington?
      By Alex Walsh [November 19 at 8:40pm CST]

      Bill Ladson of MLB.com reports a mutual interest between the Washington Nationals and talented free agent Mark Teixeira. “[Maryland] is his home,” mentions an anonymous source in Ladson’s article. The source also sets Miguel Cabrera’s eight-year, $153MM deal as a benchmark for Teixeira’s next signing.

      Presumably, any hometown discount afforded the Nationals would also apply to the Baltimore Orioles, another team widely assumed to be on Teixeira’s short list of favorable destinations.”

      Nothing new there.

  35. Joey H says:

    Mike I applaud your excellent journalism on that stat with the 16/20 thing. That is really brilliant. That’s what I’m going to say to all the naysayers lol.

  36. Nady Nation says:

    Anyone hear what number Swish is gonna wear yet? My boy had a Soriano jersey, and he’s praying for someone decent to don #12 after it was rocked by former Yankee legends like Kenny Lofton, Andy Phillips, Alberto Gonzalez and Washed Up Post-Roid Pudge (his new full name).

  37. Mike Pop says:

    I would love to see Manny sign with the Rangers.. They’d average what 6.5 runs a game

  38. T-Dizzle says:

    anyone know if el duque is a free agent maybe we can give him 1 year deal with incentives he can usually give innings

  39. steve (different one) says:

    this is the best thread in RAB history

  40. Joey H says:

    And if he is an “almost” hes the best fucking almost I’ve ever seen.

  41. T-Dizzle says:

    mike what do u think the realistic odds are that hughes is in the rotation to start the year in 09? will he be if we miss out on all the free agents?

  42. Old Ranger says:

    Actually, I must agree with TSJC.
    If we get CC, AJ and any others are over kill…good to have but, not necessary. Don’t get me wrong, if we can obtain them for a reasonable price and years fine. My big concern is; the future, how do we develop our young guns if they can’t pitch in the show…AAA is not going to help them that much, one gets lazy when one is superior to their opponents.
    So, my idea is, why not have CC, CMW, Joba, Andy, Phil and a plethora of young guys. This is not a sure fire rotation but, the first 3 are very damn good and it wouldn’t surprise me to add Phil to that list by the end of 2009.
    Of course, CC, CMW, Joba, AJ, Lowe sounds good but, what about the young guys, do we just say; “No room at the Inn” and trade them away? Cash says he wants to get younger, this wouldn’t fit the rhetoric. 27/09.

    • Chip says:

      The thing is, having too many quality starters is a very good problem to have! In fact, it’s the problem we’ve been looking forward to for years. Also, you have all the injury protection you ever need. If Aceves is a quality starter, then stick him in your bullpen as the longman and then hope he can cut it in the rotation for awhile if somebody goes down

      • Mike Pop says:

        Ya but say Dellin and Brackman come along and we have Burnett and Lowe locked up for 3 more years.. What do we do try to trade them, but we have to eat most of the salary Do we just bench them ? I dont know man

        • Chip says:

          No way do Dellin and Brackman come along next season and probably not the next two. If you sign Lowe to a three year that means he has one left and you can trade him as a one-year rental if one of those guys really is going to win a rotation spot

          • Old Ranger says:

            One of the points I was trying to make is; how do you know if they are as good as they look when they have been pitching against AAA hitters…big difference wouldn’t you say. Look at Kie, one of the top pitchers in AAA, put him in the rotation and what do you think would happen? Same with the other guys, until they have been there and done that, how do you know if they can cut it in the show? There is only so much room in the bull pen. Phil will need a spot out of spring, what do you do if he shows better then Lowe or AJ?
            Like I said before, it’s nice to have the problem of to many pitchers but, when you have good young guys, why sign the future away? With the contracts those guys will demand (3-4 years+), the young guys will be old and gray…again there is only so much room on the 25 and 40 man rosters. We would end up losing one or more players, etc. to the draft…many more things need to be taken into consideration when one makes decisions, that’s why Cash makes the big bucks. 27/09.

  43. Yanksforthemammaries says:

    Classy? Even that word undershoots exactly how the Moose has been while in baseball. We will really miss him. Hey Moose, how about 2 more years and 300 victories? How about opening day starter at the new ballpark? Come on, you’re only 40, there is plenty of time for retirement later, what’s the rush?

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