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