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Mike Mussina retiring

I can only think of one other player to retire after winning 20 or more games in a season.

I personally am very disappointed. He easily could have won 300 games with three more seasons.

City Philadelphia

Favorite Team Cubs

Re: Mike Mussina retiring

Sounds like a rumor to me. No way he walks away from all that money.

It's a good thing you don't live in Chicago, Asher. You'd think that Mark Teahen, Randy Johnson, and Rafael Furcal were all Chicago Cubs after reading today's Trib.

Re: Mike Mussina retiring

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3713851

City Philadelphia

Favorite Team Cubs

Re: Mike Mussina retiring

Nothing is final yet, but it sure looks like he is going to retire. This upsets me for two reasons: one of them is the one Asher already mentioned, and the other is that this increases the chance of them over-paying for Burnett.

Re: Mike Mussina retiring

As far as low-cost-trades-for-a-player-I_crush-on-while-still-helping-the-Cubs go, I'm intrigued and excited by the idea of Mark Teahen.

Re: Mike Mussina retiring

"He easily could have won 300 games with three more seasons." Except every win is difficult to muster up, and Mussina hasn't exactly been a great pitcher the last few years, and in addition to that the collapse of a pitcher's career can happen in an offseason easily, especially past 40.

He could've won 300 if he were willing to grit it out; on the other hand, he could've been bombed by the American League East after losing a little velocity or a little control. At the very least, it wouldn't have been "easy." It's much easier said than done.

Good for Mussina to leave without embarrassing himself. He's got a family to attend to and achieved that last achievement he wanted to achieve (at least according to _Living on the Black_).

City Chicago

Favorite Team Braves

Re: Mike Mussina retiring

Mussina has never won less than 10 games in any major league season, plays for the Yankees, and is coming off of his best season in about six years. He is forty this year, which makes him younger than many pitchers who have won 10 or more games over the last few years.

The only thing Mussina needed to do to win 300 games was play the next three seasons and not get hurt. It wasn't an "if"; it was a "when."

City Philadelphia

Favorite Team Cubs

Re: Mike Mussina retiring

Maybe to keep playing, Mussina would have to do a Roger Clemens and play shortened seasons. And if he does that, there's no way he gets to 300 wins, which partly defeats the purpose.

Maybe the strategy by leaving on top of his game is to trick people like Asher into believinng that he could have easily won 300 games if he had wanted to, whereas a bad 2009 season could have ruined his Hall of Fame chances.

Still, an eight-figure salary is tough to turn down. I say he plays for the Orioles in 2009.

Re: Mike Mussina retiring

Mussina has never been forty years old, either. That he was a guarantee to win 300 if he could stay healthy is probably the most naive thing I've ever heard you say, as if winning major league ballgames were easy.

City Chicago

Favorite Team Braves

Re: Mike Mussina retiring

Mike Mussina has won 270 times. All he had to do was win fewer games than he ever has in a single season for three more years, and all he has done throughout his career is prove that he is the style of pitcher who could pitch well into his forties.

Nothing naive about it. Mussina was a lock if he played three more years.

City Philadelphia

Favorite Team Cubs

Re: Mike Mussina retiring

I gotta say, Mussina is an old pitcher who had had a long career, has a -GREAT- shot for Cooperstown, and finished on a very high note...4th player EVER to retire after a 20-win effort.

Congrats on a great career and a happy, classy exit Moose. I'm sorry I was so sure Kevin Appier was going to have a better career than yours in 1993.

Oh, and if you start having second thoughts, just read this. It'll refresh your thinking again, Mike.

Re: Mike Mussina retiring

I'll bet that Mark McGwire was a lock for 600 homers in 1999 as well.

Re: Mike Mussina retiring

Keith, the only reason McGwire didn't hit 600 homers was that he retired. He was a lock in 1999, 2000, and 2001. If he didn't retire at the age of 38, he would have easily hit 600 homers.

City Philadelphia

Favorite Team Cubs

Re: Mike Mussina retiring

Keith, the point you raised about Mark McGwire actually supports my point perfectly – if my premise for saying that Mussina is a lock for 300 wins is that he was healthy and still effective enough to do it if he would have only played three more seasons, the exact same premise applies to McGwire, and more so.

By the end of his career, McGwire was playing part time and basically just standing still and hitting the ball – and he still could bang 30 homeruns in half a season. If he had played one more year, he would have gotten 600 homeruns with ease, and then some.

This isn’t Bert Blyleven flailing desperately in an effort to get 300 wins but simply sucking. This isn’t Dale Murphy desperately trying to get to 400 homeruns but not being able to hold a bat. Both McGwire and Mussina still had left what was needed to get to those respective milestones (as well as Bonds and 3000 hits) and it is a shame that they chose not to get there.

Greg seems offended (as Greg so often does) that I would hold Mussina’s free will against him. I do not. Frankly, my life policy is that I will stop working at the moment that I have enough money to support myself for the rest of my life, and if Mussina is ready to hang it up, more power to him. But I like statistical milestones, and I would have liked to have seen him get that one.

Finally, I would point out to Keith that this sadly brings to a close an argument you and I had several years ago, in which we argued whether Mike Mussina or Mark Buehrle was more likely to get to 300 wins. Our arguments were classic – I said Mussina because he had less far to go, and the road to 300 is a long one. You said Buehrle because he was mowing down the wins and was winning more games at a younger age.

My horse is now out of the race. I will now be rooting against your’s for the next ten years.

City Philadelphia

Favorite Team Cubs

Re: Mike Mussina retiring

I think you are misreading Greg. I think he is challenging the fact that you make a lot of assumptions about a hypothetical situation. I similarly "got offended" when you guaranteed that Bobby Abreu would fall out of the 3-4-5 club in 2007. You similarly "got offened" when you thought that I guaranteed that Nick Swisher would outperform Johnny Damon, Melky Cabrera, Hideki Matsui, and Xavier Nady.

The ironic part is that Greg called you out for the very same thing we have been calling him out for throughout the past three years: making matter-of-fact assumptions and stating them as fact. You at least pointed to some statistical evidence to support your assumption, but it's still just an assumption.

Re: Mike Mussina retiring

Also, had I told you in 1999 that McGwire would play only two more seasons you would have assured me that he would have hit 600 career home runs, so don't twist the example to suit your needs.

Re: Mike Mussina retiring

I'm frankly getting kind of annoyed at being accused of things I haven't done.

Don't "twist the example"?

You said "I'll bet that Mark McGwire was a lock for 600 homers in 1999 as well."

I responded as I did to what you said. No twisting necessary.

Then you ADDED the "if I'd said he'd play two more seasons, you'd have thought he would get 600 homeruns."

So who is twisting the example? You actually changed what you said.

City Philadelphia

Favorite Team Cubs

Re: Mike Mussina retiring

The only thing Mussina needed to do to win 300 games was play the next three seasons and not get hurt. It wasn't an "if"; it was a "when."

This is what you wrote, and it was what I was responding to.

I think we can agree that if Mussina kept pitching indefinitely, he would eventually get to 300 wins. Everyone would hit every milestone if no one ever retitred.

Re: Mike Mussina retiring

Are you so bent on disagreeing with me that you have to continually mischaracterize what is being said?

I didn't twist anything you said about McGwire. If he would have continued playing one more year, he would have hit 600 homeruns. Not indefinitely - one more year.

If Mike Mussina played three more years, and didn't get hurt, he would have won 300 games. Not indefinitely, one more year.

We seem to have had some disagreements over the last couple of weeks over some things - chiefly, Nick Swisher and Mike Mussina.

Let me suggest a rule of thumb. When I post something, read it. All of it. Then, respond to what I am saying. Not what you want me to have said, but what I actually said.

For example, did I say Nick Swisher will definitely suck next year? Did I say he can't rebound from his bad season? No. I said there are big question marks based on his performance the last couple of years.

Another example - did I say Mussina would get 300 wins if he pitched indefinitely? No. I said he would get 300 wins if he pitched three more years and didn't get hurt. Two rather big ifs.

Oh, and here's another example - did I twist what you said about Mark McGwire? No, I took it at its word - he was a lock to hit 600 homeruns in 1999. And he was - he retired at the age of 37 after having hit 60 homeruns over two seasons despite playing less 100 games each year. Had he played another year, he would have banged the 12 remaining dongs to get there.

Let me also point out - dumb point even bringing up McGwire, somewhat of a false premise. By using the word "lock," you were implying that I thought Mussina was a "lock" for 300 wins. But I thought that with two big caveats - that he keep playing, and that he not get injured.

But those caveats are exactly what happened to McGwire aren't they.

So let me summarize the conversation we had here:

"Mike Mussina would have won 300 games if he'd kept pitching three more years and not gotten hurt"

"Yeah, well, I'll bet you would have thought Mark McGwire was a lock for 600 homers in 1999."

"Why Keith, why are you bringing up Mark McGwire? Is it relevant to my point about Mike Mussina?"

"Uh, yeah, because you think Mussina is a lock for 300 wins."

"BUt only if he plays three more years and doesn't get hurt."

"Yeah, so?"

"Are you denying McGwire would have been a lock for 600 homers in 1999 if he'd played three more years and not gotten hurt?"

"Uh, I guess."

"Well, he did get hurt, and he only played two years, and he came up 12 homeruns shy. Seems to me that if he'd played 3 more years and not gotten hurt, he'd have gotten 600 easily."

"Uh. . . ."

The example you were looking for, Keith, was Bert Blyleven. In 1989, at the age of 38, he won 17 games, to bring his career total to 271.

He sucked for the next three years, missing all of 1991, and retired at 1992 with 287 wins.

The lesson - with old pitchers, you never know when they will suddenly stop pitching.

It is my contention that Mussina had enough gas for three more years, and if he stayed healthy, he'd have gotten there in a walk. But Bert Blyleven would probably have something to say about that.

Mark McGwire, on the other hand, probably wouldn't have.

City Philadelphia

Favorite Team Cubs

Re: Mike Mussina retiring

Well I find it amusing that you would accuse me of mischaracterizing what you said and not paying attention to all that is said and then invent a conversation between the two of us that does just that.

Or was that post satire?

Anyway, if you need an example using three seasons instead of two, use Mark McGwire 1998 instead of 1999. Or use any of the other hundreds of examples throughout baseball history.

But if McGwire only playing 186 games in his final two seasons doesn't qualify him as healthy, maybe you'd better define what you mean by healthy. Because if you were saying Mussina would need to pitch three more seasons of 200-innings each, then A) I think you don't realize how rare that is for 40+ year old pitchers to do and B) it doesn't jive with your opening statement, that "He easily could have won 300 games with three more seasons." Pitching 200 innings per year for Mussina would not be easy. If you're saying that all he needs to do to get to 300 wins is pitch three years and not miss most of a season due to injury, well, I don't think that would be "easy" either.

To summarize, I think that if Mussina were to pitch 600 more innings, he would likely win 300 total games, but that it would not be a lock. And he was far from a lock to pitch 600 more innings even if he wanted to.

Re: Mike Mussina retiring

Again, basic reading ability has failed you.

I never brought up 200 innings, and it is not my contention that he would have to pitch 200 innings per year to win 300.

From 2004 to 2007, he failed to pitch 200 innings every year, and he won 12, 13, 15, and 11 games in those years.

It seems unremarkable to assume that Mike Mussina pitching the next three years for the New York Yankees would be locked in for 10 wins every year.

Apparently you disagree. That's fine.

By the way, is it your contention that a position player playing 186 games over two years could possibly be considered healthy?

Let me rephrase - is it your contention that a position player missing 138 games over two seasons could possibly be considered healthy?

City Philadelphia

Favorite Team Cubs

Re: Mike Mussina retiring

I brought up 200 innings. I did so because you failed to define what you meant by healthy. You have still failed to do so.

FYI, Mussina wasn't over 40 years old from 2004-2007.

Re: Mike Mussina retiring

Why don't ypu guys just "normalize" Mussina's IP to 3000, then compare him to other pitchers whose stats have been similarly put into proper perspective??

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