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.
Via Ken Rosenthal, Mike Mussina has decided to call it quits and retire. The soon-to-be 40 year old leaves the game after his first 20 win season, having grossed over $144M in his 18 year career. Only 32 men have won more games in the big leagues than Moose, a rather remarkable number. The decision will be officially announced later in the week.
Congrats on the wonderful career Mike, few have done it better.
Update by Ben: From a personnel perspective, this leaves Yanks now with just Chien-Ming Wang and Joba Chamberlain as their starters under contract. The Yanks will probably now try to wrap up a deal with Andy Pettitte in short order and may increase the team’s push to sign CC Sabathia and either A.J. Burnett or Derek Lowe. Of the two Yankee starters from 2008, I was hoping Moose would be back instead of Andy, but you have to respect Mussina’s decision. He’s definitely going out on top.
Jeremy Bleich | LHP
Born and raised in the New Orleans suburb of Metairie, Bleich is the son of Stan the Cardiologist, a die-hard Yankees’ fan from Brooklyn. Jeremy attended the prestigious Isidore Newman High School, which also produced The Mannings and Moneyball author Michael Lewis. During his final three years with the Greenies, Bleich went 23-7 with 348 strikeouts and a sub-2.00 ERA in 206.2 IP while also hitting north of .360. He helped the school to the 2003 state championship and 2005 district championship as a sophomore and senior, respectively.
Newsday beat writer Kat O’Brien is headed out on vacay, from now through the Winter Meetings. We were honored when the crew at Newsday invited us to take over her blog for the next two weeks. You can find the first edition there today, where I talk about the Yankees playing third wheel in the Peavy negotiations. Be sure to drop by and say hi. · (22) ·
So I got to thinking about the 2008 season and where we failed, and the answer came to me in a flash: Bernie Williams! If they had Bernie patrolling the outfield, they would have made the playoffs. He brings the mystique and aura!
Seriously, though, the only reason I bring up Bernie is because of his feature role in a movie, “Keeper of the Pinstripes.” Newsday’s David Lennon caught up with the Yanks legend to get his thoughts on retirement.
“I’ll be 75 and still not announce my retirement,” Williams said last night at a pre-production party in Manhattan. “I’m still within this two- or three-year period where I can say, ‘You know what? Let me just work out … ‘”
It’s nice that he’s keeping himself in shape, but the prospect of him coming back isn’t exactly realistic. Brian Cashman invited him to Spring Training in 2007, but Bern declined. It’s now two years later. It seems that ship has sailed. Bernie seems to know it, too: “But I’m not really thinking about baseball right now. It’s always in the back of my mind, but I’m not really thinking of getting out there.”
We’ll always remember Bernie’s contributions to the dynasty. I just don’t want to see him trying to make a (probably futile) comeback.
Are they or aren’t they? That seems to be the question surrounding the Jake Peavy trade talks. While yesterday, Peter Gammons claimed that the Yankees were not in the running for Peavy, today, Ken Rosenthal has a conflicting report.
The Yankees’ farm system is strong enough to match up with the Padres if the teams revive their discussions on right-hander Jake Peavy. The Padres, according to one major-league source, told the Yankees that a deal would be possible even if the Yankees declined to offer right-hander Phil Hughes.
The Padres scouted Hughes in a recent Arizona Fall League game, but the Yankees have zero intention of trading him.
There is, of course, one problem. Joel Sherman,
the man behind yesterday’s five-year/$80-million A.J. Burnett offer that was shot down before the day was out (Oops. That was George King. The Post writers are all the same to me.), claims that Jake Peavy will not pitch for the Yankees. (If you insist on a link, tough. You know where to find Sherman, and you all should know our position on linking to The Post.)
Now over the last few weeks, we’ve heard a lot of back and forth on Peavy. Some claim he’ll pitch in New York; others say he won’t leave the NL or at least Southern California. Who knows? Certainly not Ken Rosenthal’s or Joel Sherman’s sources with any degree of certainty. If the unnamed folks knew, we wouldn’t be engaged in some investigation into Jake Peavy’s true motives.
What does seem clear, however, is that the Padres are viewing this trade more and more in terms of a salary dump. If the Padres are willing to put it out there that this deal can be consummated without Phil Hughes, they’re signaling that they need to dump Peavy’s contract while losing some negotiating leverage.
In the end, I doubt that this trade will get done or ever come close to completion, but it does provide us an interesting exercise in interpreting unsourced rumors and varying positions. In other words, don’t read too much into anything that isn’t a done deal.
Via MLBTR, the Boy Genius has reportedly traded Coco Crisp – perhaps the best available center fielder on the trade market – to the Royals for middle reliever Ramon Ramirez. Ramirez, as you may recall, was one of the two minor leaguers the Yanks shipped to Colorado for Shawn Chacon back in the day. He had a nice year in 2008, but really? It doesn’t seem like enough return. · (65) ·
Kevin Russo is one of six finalists for this year’s Dernell Stenson Sportsmanship Award in the Arizona Fall League. The award was created to honor the late Dernell Stenson, an ex-Reds & Red Sox prospect who was murdered during a car jacking while playing in the AzFL back in 2003, and is given to the player who best exemplifies unselfishness, hard work and leadership. The winner of the league’s most prestigous award will be announced prior to tonight’s Peoria-Scottsdale game. · (1) ·
We began the day with A.J. Burnett, and we’ll end with the day with him. Courtesy of the soon-to-be-on-vacation (but more on that tomorrow) Kat O’Brien comes a debunking of the A.J. Burnett rumor and news about another team’s interest.
The Yankees still are preparing a formal offer for righthanded pitcher A.J. Burnett, a club official said yesterday, but the Red Sox have become serious competitors to land him.
The Red Sox’s pursuit of Burnett complicates the Yankees’ plans. A source close to Burnett said that a half-dozen teams are in contention for his services: the Yankees, Blue Jays, Red Sox, Braves, Phillies and Orioles. The Red Sox, the source said, have significantly increased their involvement in the pitcher in the past 36 hours and are now “fully engaged.”
The Blue Jays already have offered a four-year, $54-million deal to retain Burnett, according to the Toronto Star. The Yankees’ offer is expected to top the Blue Jays’ in average annual value. However, a source shot down a report that the Yankees would offer five years and $80 million. They will not make an opening bid of more than four years or anywhere near $80 million, the source said.
The Yankees’ source said, “We’re just talking parameters.”
That’s a lot to digest. Take it all in.
First, the good news. The Yankees don’t seem to be offering Burnett that ludicrous five-year, $80-million offer reported this morning. As any sensible team would do, the Yanks don’t want to extend a pitcher, 32 on Opening Day, more than four years. While O’Brien’s source said the deal wasn’t for anything close to $80 million, I wouldn’t be surprised at a four-year deal with the same average annual value of $16 million per season.
Now, the guardedly bad news. The Red Sox seem to be interested in Burnett and are supposedly very involved. Now, I’m on the fence with regards to A.J. Burnett. I think he’ll be wildly overpaid, and based on his track record, he probably won’t avoid the DL during the duration of the contract he is going to sign.
But at the same time, we saw this year what a healthy Burnett could do. He struck out better than a man an inning, and during the second half, he went 8-2 with a 2.86 ERA. In 14 starts, he went 94.1 innings and struck out 105 while walking 29. No one on the Yankees did that this year.
He has the stuff to be an ace. He doesn’t have the consistency or the health to be a dependable starter. But that doesn’t mean I want to see him land in Boston. Yanks GM Brian Cashman has a plan this off-season. I hope that plan doesn’t include watching the Red Sox get better as the Yanks come up empty and have to settle for a Derek Lowe type. As tentative I am of embracing Burnett, he’s clearly the second-best option out there.
I mean, seriously. These open threads are tough to write when the hot stove is running ice cold. Four years and $52M for Ryan Dempster? The D-Bags are interested in Ramon Vazquez? Yawn me. We had our fun with the “perhaps” 5/80 offer to AJ Burnett this morning, and there’s really nothing kooky about the AL MVP voting, except for an extraneous 5th place vote for Jason Bartlett. We need some hardcore hot stove talk, either that or AzFL games on TV.
Here’s your open thread for the evening, talk whatever you like. Hopefully something exciting will go down tomorrow, and until then listen to sound the ball makes off the bat of Bryce Harper. Only three years until he graduates high school.