now now he had gone 12-9 4.59 98 ERA+, 13-8 4.41 96 ERA+, 15-7 3.51 129 ERA+, 11-10 5.15 88 ERA+ from 2004-2007 before the final season 20-9 .690 132 ERA+. I'm pretty sure at the end of '07 the consensus was he was done and may not make the rotation. You could twist the numbers to say he was under 100 ERA + in 3 of the 4 seasons before 2008 or was @ 130 in two of his last three seasons. My recollection was he had his one last hurrah and woudl revert to the 2004-07 level or worst, but that is just one man's guess.
The guy was keen on statistics and probably understood "regression to the mean". He didn't have the skills he used to. Plus, there is more to life than baseball to Mike. What's wrong with retiring on a high note?
Moose never struck me as a HOF player, I have him grouped with Schilling, Brown, Morris, etc. The only pitchers from the same era I see as HOF worthy are Maddux, Johnson, Martinez, Clemens, Glavine and Rivera.
Hoffman is not Rivera, so no, and he only has that '98 WS appearance to supplement those 601 saves, and they lost to Rivera's team. Hey, double negative there. I don't weigh All-star selections high anymore. Way too many players selected nowadays and each team must be represented. Do you really need that many people on the bench? The old way was much better, appearance due to having the best performance at the respective position and/or being a super popular player.
About the saves, they're just saves. Yes, there is a ton of them, a save is a save and I cannot save Hoffman for that alone. What else does he have or has done? How many saves would the Big Unit, Maddux or Clemens have accumulated if they spent their entire careers in the pen? Im sure alot more than 601. Closers are certainly a major part of the game, though I think much of it has to due with contractual reasons. I think if managers were not forced to go to their closers in save opportunity situations, many of them may choose to leave the starter in to complete the game. Anyways, to me, the closer and relievers will always be living in the shadows of the premium starters.
Smoltz is a can of worms for me; as a starter, no. As a closer, definitely not. Combined however is the question and I do not have an answer right now. I'm more inclined to say no than yes. Smoltz just doesn't wow me but I think he is a better candidate than Hoffman. I place him between the two groups i mentioned earlier.
Most seasons 5+ pitching WAR, retired pitchers debuting 1981+
Code:Rk Yrs From To Age 1 Roger Clemens 14 1986 2005 23-42 2 Randy Johnson 10 1993 2004 29-40 3 Greg Maddux 10 1988 2000 22-34 4 Pedro Martinez 7 1997 2005 25-33 5 Mike Mussina 7 1992 2003 23-34 6 Kevin Brown 6 1996 2003 31-38 7 Curt Schilling 6 1992 2004 25-37 8 David Cone 5 1988 1997 25-34 9 Mark Langston 5 1987 1993 26-32 10 Bret Saberhagen 5 1985 1994 21-30 11 Kevin Appier 4 1992 1997 24-29 12 Tom Glavine 4 1991 1998 25-32 13 Frank Viola 4 1987 1992 27-32 14 Orel Hershiser 4 1985 1989 26-30
Mussina really was on the short list for best pitcher in the AL during his time with Baltimore. From 1992-1999 he went 132-61 .683 3.55 ERA 130 ERA+ in 1684 IP or seasonally 16-8 211 IP. Stretching it to 2003 with the NYY and he is 195-105 .650 3.55 128 ERA+ 2581 IP or seasonally 16-9 215 IP. He gets hurt by not having a wow season, by having a string of 18 or 19 win seasons and Baltimore not goign further than they did in the post-season.
I think Mussina is better than Glavine.
Is there any doubt whether Mike Mussina is a HOF pitcher? I think he is a no-brainer.
- 270 wins - equivalent to well over 300 wins in a previous era. 33rd all-time in wins and 19th all-time in strikeouts. For what it's worth, he is 12th all-time in K/BB ratio too (3.58) - and three of the guys ahead of him are active and likely to slip (Haren, Shields, Halladay). He was always known as an excellent control pitcher.
- Pitched his entire career in the AL East and at the peak of the steroid era, yet still put up very good numbers -- and there is no suspicion whatsoever that he was a user.
- Only 12 pitchers in the modern era have more innings pitched than Mussina and better (or same) ERA+ (Lefty Grove, Walter Johnson, Roger Clemens, Christy Mathewson, Randy Johnson, Pete Alexander, Greg Maddux, Carl Hubbell, Tom Seaver, Bob Gibson, Jim Palmer, Juan Marichal) Pretty good company.
- He is 24th all time in WAR among pitchers (74.8) - Including 19th century guys Young, Nichols, Keefe, and Clarkson.
- Never won a Cy Young Award (though he was top-five in the voting 6 times)
- Overshadowed by superior pitchers Clemens, Maddux, Johnson, Martinez. Never really considered among the very elite, more like 2nd tier.
- Only won 20 games one time (but it was in his final season, and he walked away at the top of his game, which should help his cause)
- Never won a WS ring (this should be irrelevant to the discussion - but it's kind of sad the the Yankees won in 2000 and 2009 and Mussina's tenure was from 2001-2008. Mussina was an excellent postseason pitcher but didn't have any luck).
He would have have had three 20-win seasons if not for the work stoppages in 1994 and 1995. He would have won multiple Cy Youngs in most other eras. He just had bad timing that he had 3-4 all-timers in the same league at the same time as him in his prime.
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"The people who tell me they hate baseball or are out of baseball, they sound bitter about it. But I think that they sense what they’re missing. I think that they feel that there’s something their not in on, which is a terrible loss and I’m sorry for them." - Roger Angell
He's in. If he wasn't the best AL pitcher in the 90s, it's only because Clemens and Johnson were there. His perception is skewed by his time with the Yankees. With Baltimore he was A-list year after year after year. If he was pitching a generation earlier those 17-19 win seasons become 20s and this isn't even up for discussion considering he coupled that with low ERAs.
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He is hardly ever mentioned, and certainly not in the same breath as Maddux, Johnson, Clemens, and Martinez. He, along with Glavine, Smoltz, and Schilling were in the second tier, but certainly were all deserving Hall Of Famers.
270 wins, with a .638 winning percentage and over 2,800 strikeouts, and one best SO:BB ratios ever, playing his entire career in the AL East during the peak of the steroid era isn't impressive enough?
a 123 ERA+ in over 3,500 IP isn't enough?
82+ WAR isn't enough?
You have exceedingly high standards.
--Really the only argument against Mussina is that he was overshadowed by several contemporary pitchers. Not being in the top group at your position in your own time is a reasonable argument against a player being Hall of Fame worthy, but its unfair in this case as Mussina pitched in an era with an unmatched number of all time great pitchers. Before the PED allegations many people were arguing Clemens for best pitcher of all time. Maddux isn't far off that standard and Johnson is in many (most?) top 10s. Martinez may be the best inning for inning of them all and is only out of most top 10 because he doesn't have the bulk of some other great pitchers.
--The second tier of pitchers is pretty impressive too and Mussina stacks up pretty well against them. Glavine is the surest thing due to 300 wins, but I don't know that he is actually better than Mussina. Schilling had a few more highlights but was never as consistent and is well short of Moose in career numbers. Smoltz is more interesting with the detour down the closer route and postseason heroics, but his numbers also come up short of Mussina.