Well my friends, the day has arrived. The day we all feared, the day we knew was coming, even if we didn’t want to adimt it.

Mike Mussina has reitred. It’s all over. From ESPN.com, as reported by Foxsports.com originally:

“As expected, New York Yankees pitcher Mike Mussina has decided to retire, according to a baseball source with knowledge of the situation. Mussina informed the Yankees last week he would give them a decision by the end of this week.”

It’s sad, but at the same time, it’s something I had predicted when the season ended. Look, if we’ve been following Mussina, we know that he’s not like all these other glory-hunting, money-hungry athletes. He’s not going to continue to stick around just to protect his “legacy” or to get to some imaginary magic number of wins that some antiquated writer thinks he needs to get into the Hall. He’s a family man first, and he chose to be with his family. We respect that.

And let’s be honest. The Yankees had room for him in their rotation this year, what with Phil Hughes struggling and Joba Chamberlain being moved around like so much chattle. But this year only. Next season? You’d likely have Wang, Hughes, Chamberlain and the two free agents the Yankees are likely to sign in this offseason. And that’s not even discussing the remote possibility of Ian Kennedy. If Mussina endured another slow start to 2010 like he did this season, there’d be no excuse to keep him in the rotation. And Mussina’s not going to want to go out like that.

It’s like he said, would his legacy be any different if he hung on for another 2-3 years and tacked on 30 more wins? Not really. He’d likely still be without a Cy Young, or World Series, which are the two biggest black marks on his resume. Mussina has always said you have to measure a pitcher by his prime, and Moose is past that. He’d just have 300 wins and 3,000 strikeouts, but he’d be like so many others who hung too long. Would he be in the Hall? Yes. Would he have left the game on his own terms? No. Which do you think is more important to him?

So where does this leave Moose for the Hall? Two days ago, the New York Times asked 40 HOF voters if they’d vote for him. Here are the results:

17 said yes
8 said no
15 said maybe

So that’s a solid 40% yes, and if we were to split the maybe’s to 50-50, you’d be at about 60%, which is encouraging. Also, today Peter Gammons, Tim Kurkjian, Buster Olney and Keith Law of ESPN all said they’d vote for them. Of those four, I know that Gammons is a BWAA voter, so that’s enocuraging.

Look, we all know he’s not a first ballot guy. But, there seems to be a significant amount of support for our boy. And that’s a good thing.

As always, we encourage you to leave your thoughts

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8 thoughts on “It’s over, it’s over, it’s over….

  1. theres really no ways to describe my feelings right now, but i have to tip my cap to this unbelievable professional. He wants to see his kids grow up and he has made enough money to live more then comfortably with them. When the day comes that he makes the hall of fame (lets hope) ill be there to hear his speech. Long live the moose thank god i made it to 4 of his starts this year.

  2. Moose….was the best. This is a somber day for me. I always thought as a Yankee fan that my fellow Yankee fans like my cousins under appreciated him and were always critical of him despite Torre leaving him in to burn many times and the offense quite frequently not picking him up,a lot actually. I loved his sense of humor which flew over most peoples heads and his clever answers to the press. I was born two days after Moose and I was really hoping he would open the new stadium which he deserved on his way to 300, a retired 35 and The Hall of Fame.God bless you Moose, I was there when you had your first relief and I wish you the best . You will get to the Hall, because in all factors as a player and a person, you are already there. Thanks.

  3. Sad day for Moose fans everywhere. I was listening to Mike and Mike this morning and they did about 20 minutes on whether Mussina should go to the Hall. I think the most compelling argument besides the lack of a Cy Young or World Series is that at no time was Mussina considered the best pitcher in baseball, even though he was always consistently in the top 5 during his prime.

    On the other side of the fence, I think the most underrated argument is that he pitched in the AL East during the steroids era and still walked away with a sub 4.00 ERA. Anyway, while I guess he’s not a 1st ballot Hall of Famer, I think down the road, he will be even if it takes him toward the end of the 15 years of consideration. After all — How many pitchers can say they’re 100 games over .500? How many can say they’re on the top 50 pitchers of all time in Ks and Ws? How many can say they were consistently the best fielding pitcher for 5 or more years?

    MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSSSSSSSSEEEEEEE!

  4. keith law isn’t but kurkijan and olney are. joe posnanski has also been a big proponent of moose for the hof and he’s in the bbwaa (no hoops for him as he’s a beat writer).

    guys like bill plashke, woody paige and the various ny beat writers who were coming up with dumb win based conclusions unfortunately are but maybe they won’t be in five years. 😉

  5. Mussina is a guy that has kept his mouth shut and has played the game the right way throughout his career. That is why people are oblivious as to how great he actually was. Also, take into account that he played his entire career in the era of the 5-man rotation, which clearly hampered his drive for 300 wins. Look at his lifetime winning %. I don’t care about the subjective awards such as the Cy Young or Gold Glove. Mussina could just as easily have won the Cy in 1994, but the voters sided with David Cone.

    My favorite thing about this legend is that every time he got knocked down throughout his career, he rebounded. In June of 1993, Mussina was charged by one Bill Haselman. Mussina stood his ground, and although he suffered a bout of biceps tendinitis after the scuffle, he returned to form very nicely in 1994. In 1998, Mussina was knocked out of action for a lengthy period of time after being struck with a line shot off the bat of Sandy Alomar Jr. This very event alone could have derailed his career, but he had the courage to go back to the mound and fight. Lastly, after a very disappointing 11-10 campaign in 2007, Mussina once again rebounded to attain 20 victories. Perfect way to end a magical career.

  6. I usually attended 3-4 Yankees games every year and Moose always seemed to pitch at least one of them. Always kept the team in the game and always was a class act on and off the field. I think that Moose in HOF should be a no-brainer. If guys like Jim Bunning are in there with stats so far below Mike’s, the BWAA would be hypocrits to keep Moose out. I also hate this 1st ballot HOFer BS. You’re either a HOFer or you’re not. Moose is.

  7. Moose is definitely a HOFer. And I agree with Andy S. You’re either a HOFer or you’re not. Nothing is going to change between now and when Moose gets inducted. You’re a HOFer the day you retire. That’s what I believe.

    As we all know there is a lot of statistical argument that supports our boy getting inducted. Most of the arguments against him getting in are all subjective. 1)He’s not a dominant pitcher. That’s a matter of opinion. I’d rather be great for a long period of time than outstanding for a short peiod of time. 2)He never won a Cy Young. Maybe so, but there have been plenty of pitchers throughout the history of baseball who won Cy Young awards that don’t hold candles to Mike. If you look at the voting results, a lot of times he was besetd by chumps who had career years. moose was consistently in the mix. 3)He never won the World Series. A lot of great ball players have never won the big one. It takes 25 guys to pull it together and one guy can only do so much. Moose was on a team that went to the playoffs 7 straight years. He didn’t blow the lead in game 7 of the 2001 WS. He dominated his start in the 2003 WS.

    Moose is, was, and will always be one of the best. He’s going out on top and hopefully his carrer ends where it’s suppsoed to and that’s in Cooperstown.

  8. I’ve been a Mike Mussina fan for over a dozen years, and I’m sad to see Mike leave the game. But I’m so proud of him for the way he handled it…he left the game on his own terms, and he did so with class. No “farewell tour” for his final season. Even his retirement announcement was understated…done via conference call rather than a press conference in front of dozens of cameras.

    There’s no question that Mike Mussina is a HOFer. I believe he should be a 1st ballot HOFer, although I don’t think he will be. Despite finally getting a 20-win season, I think many voters will still focus on the fact that Mike didn’t win 300 games, and never won a Cy Young or World Series ring. (The “he-doesn’t-have-a-Cy-Young” argument infuriates me because, as has been pointed out on this site, Mike SHOULD have won the 2001 Cy Young. But I digress…..)

    Mike was a class act all the way, with tremendous talent and an awesome sense of humor. I will miss seeing him pitch every 5th day, but I’m also happy for him, for now having the opportunity to spend time with his family and enjoy life away from the spotlight. (He never really enjoyed the spotlight anyway.)

    Congratulations, Mike. See you in Cooperstown!

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