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Mussina a Hall of Famer?

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Well, there are HOF'ers with lesser numbers than Moose , so I think he does have a shot in that regard....he's had some very memorable games as an O, but he really hasn't done anything remarkable since he became a MFY .....

I just don't see him getting in unless he's voted in by the veterans committee years down the road.....unless he rejoins the O's just in time for a W/S run and pulls an '83 Jim Palmer or is the hero in Game 7 of both the LCS and W/S . :D

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Sorry, I just don't see it, just as I don't think Dennis Martinez is hall worthy either and unfortunately played on lesser talented teams which probably hurt his winning percentage much more in comparison to Mussina. I think Curt Schilling will stand a better chance of making it than Mussina, as he was a great pitcher who was far more dominant than the overated Mussina during essentially the same time frames.

How do you define "dominance" and "greatness" exactly?

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How do you define "dominance" and "greatness" exactly?

Schilling has won two World Series championships, the first was in 2001 with the Arizona Diamondbacks where he went 22-6 with a 2.98 ERA and went 4-0 with a 1.12 ERA in the playoffs. In the 2001 World Series the Diamondbacks beat the New York Yankees in seven games. Schilling shared the 2001 World Series MVP Award star with teammate Randy Johnson. He and Johnson also shared Sports Illustrated magazine's 2001 "Sportsmen of the Year" award. In 2002, he went 23-7 with a 3.23 ERA. Both years he finished second in the Cy Young Award voting to Johnson.The second World Series championship was in 2004 with the Boston Red Sox, who came back from a three-game deficit against the New York Yankees in the ALCS. Because of this, Schilling is considered a "big-game pitcher."

Correct me if I am wrong but I believe Schilling has won more than 20 games in a season at least three times, and possibly lead the league in ERA, and we all know how great he was in the World Series. The guy was a dominant pitcher in his era, not almost great or dominant like MUssina and Martinez, who I think are very comparable although an edge could be given to Dennis because of his perfect game. Mussina came within one strike of his I believe but didn't make it. (Just another example of why he's not quite there to be considered a great HOF worthy pitcher).

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Big deal, he's pitched well for a long period of time. So what? That to me, sure doesn't mean he is necessarily worthy of the HOF. What has he done that was particularly outstanding like most HOF pitchers? Heck, Dennis Martinez had a lot of wins and pitched a long time and even had a perfect game. Under your scenario maybe he should get in ahead of Mussina? In my view Martinez was also a very good but not great pitcher. I personally don't feel Mike Mussina is or ever was a truly great pitcher either. He was very good, and almost made it to greatness at various times but never quite got there despite numerous opportunities to prove he was elite enough to be HOF material.

Sorry, I just don't see it, just as I don't think Dennis Martinez is hall worthy either and unfortunately played on lesser talented teams which probably hurt his winning percentage much more in comparison to Mussina. I think Curt Schilling will stand a better chance of making it than Mussina, as he was a great pitcher who was far more dominant than the overated Mussina during essentially the same time frames.

Schilling won't have the longevity stats of Mussina, but the HOF is not primarily about longevity. To put it simply, Schilling was a geat pitcher and dominated by showing it whereas Mussina was just a very good pitcher who has hung around a long time. If they had an "Almost HOF" Mussina, Dennis Martinez, Dave McNally, and guys like Boog and Ken Singleton would populate it. That is where Mike Mussina fits in best, with that crowd, not elite Hall of famers like Warren Spahn, Bob Feller, Sandy Koufax, Juan Marichal, Tom Seaver, and Jim Palmer to mention a few!Those guys were far superior to Mike Mussina or Dennis Martinez, just like Frank Robinson was superior to Ken Singleton and Eddie Murray to Boog! If you can't see the difference I don't know how else to convince you!

No, I understand the points you are making. But even within the Hall of Fame there are levels of "eliteness," so the fact that Mussina isn't comparable to, say, Warren Spahn, doesn't mean Moose shouldn't be in.

You cannot lump Mussina in with Dennis Martinez, as Mussina was far better. But let me compare both of them with Marichal, who you seem to have no problem including.

Mussina: 245-141, .635 winning pct., 3.67 ERA, 123 ERA+, 5-time all-star, 6-time Cy Young vote-getter.

Martinez: 245-193, .559 winning pct., 3.70 ERA, 106 ERA+, 4-time all-star, 5-time Cy Young vote getter.

Marichal: 243-142, .631 winning pct., 2.89 ERA, 122 ERA+, 9-time all-star, 1-time Cy Young vote getter.

Explain to me why Marichal was so much better, other than the fact that he played at a time when ERA's throughout baseball were better and when teams routinely used only 4 starters instead of 5. His total wins, winning percentage and ERA+ are all basically identical to Mussina's. He never won a Cy Young, and he never won a post-season game.

I could certainly argue that Marichal was slightly better, but it's pretty tough to argue that one is clearly in the Hall of Fame while the other is clearly out.

As to Schilling, all I can say is that you seem to prefer guys who had brief periods of dominance over guys who never quite got to that peak. Fine, that's your preference. I won't argue against Schilling.

I wonder if you would feel differently about Mussina if there had never been a baseball strike in 1994 and 1995. In '94 Moose went 16-5 and the strike robbed him of about 10 starts. In '95 he went 19-9 and the strike robbed him of at least 3 starts. If there had been no strike, Moose is probably a 2-time 20-game winner, instead of being labeled as a guy who never won 20. (Which, to me, is irrelevant anyway since winning 17 games in a 5-man rotation is equivalent to winning 20 in a 4-man rotation.)

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No, I understand the points you are making. But even within the Hall of Fame there are levels of "eliteness," so the fact that Mussina isn't comparable to, say, Warren Spahn, doesn't mean Moose shouldn't be in.

You cannot lump Mussina in with Dennis Martinez, as Mussina was far better. But let me compare both of them with Marichal, who you seem to have no problem including.

Mussina: 245-141, .635 winning pct., 3.67 ERA, 123 ERA+, 5-time all-star, 6-time Cy Young vote-getter.

Martinez: 245-193, .559 winning pct., 3.70 ERA, 106 ERA+, 4-time all-star, 5-time Cy Young vote getter.

Marichal: 243-142, .631 winning pct., 2.89 ERA, 122 ERA+, 9-time all-star, 1-time Cy Young vote getter.

Explain to me why Marichal was so much better, other than the fact that he played at a time when ERA's throughout baseball were better and when teams routinely used only 4 starters instead of 5. His total wins, winning percentage and ERA+ are all basically identical to Mussina's. He never won a Cy Young, and he never won a post-season game.

I could certainly argue that Marichal was slightly better, but it's pretty tough to argue that one is clearly in the Hall of Fame while the other is clearly out.

As to Schilling, all I can say is that you seem to prefer guys who had brief periods of dominance over guys who never quite got to that peak. Fine, that's your preference. I won't argue against Schilling.

I wonder if you would feel differently about Mussina if there had never been a baseball strike in 1994 and 1995. In '94 Moose went 16-5 and the strike robbed him of about 10 starts. In '95 he went 19-9 and the strike robbed him of at least 3 starts. If there had been no strike, Moose is probably a 2-time 20-game winner, instead of being labeled as a guy who never won 20. (Which, to me, is irrelevant anyway since winning 17 games in a 5-man rotation is equivalent to winning 20 in a 4-man rotation.)

True, and if he had made one more great pitch he would have had a perfect game but he didn't do it. The facts are you don't put anyone in the HOF for what they coulda, woulda, shoulda, or mighta done! As far as Marichal had he played on the caliber offensive teams like Mussina has with the Yankees and Orioles of 1996-1997 he may have been a 30 game winner he was that good.

I saw all three of these guys pitch and Mussina and Martinez are much more comparable than Mussina and Marichal. So if Dennis Martinez makes the HOF than I would say Mussina would have a shot, but personally I don't think either one is good enough, and I disagree with you that Mussina was a far better pitcher than Martinez. Had Martinez been able to pitch with the Yankees his winning percentage most likely would have been comparable to Mussina. His ERA and everything else is virtually identical. His only problem was he played for lesser teams. So did Marichal which is what makes his stats so much better and stand out. Marichal never won a post season game most likely because he never had a chance to pitch in any.

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He's definitely a Hall of Famer.

Orioles HOF I agree. Same with Dennis Martinez. No way either is worthy of the main HOF. I would bet money neither makes it. As far as a big game pitcher, I would take

Schilling or even David Wells anyday over the overated Mussina.

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I saw all three of these guys pitch and Mussina and Martinez are much more comparable than Mussina and Marichal. So if Dennis Martinez makes the HOF than I would say Mussina would have a shot, but personally I don't think either one is good enough, and I disagree with you that Mussina was a far better pitcher than Martinez. Had Martinez been able to pitch with the Yankees his winning percentage most likely would have been comparable to Mussina. His ERA and everything else is virtually identical. His only problem was he played for lesser teams. So did Marichal which is what makes his stats so much better and stand out. Marichal never won a post season game most likely because he never had a chance to pitch in any.

You are losing a lot of credibility here because you don't check your facts before shooting from the hip.

1. ERA+, which measures a pitcher's ERA compared to the average ERA of his league and makes adjustments for what ballpark he pitched in, is a much better measure than raw ERA.

Mussina: 123 ERA+

Marichal: 122+

Martinez: 106 ERA+

2. The Oriole teams that Mussina played on were, in general, not very good, and certainly far inferior to the ones Martinez pitched for. Martinez pitched for the Orioles from 1976 to partway through the 1986 season. They won a World Series (1983), won another AL pennant (1979), had a 100-win season (1980), and had 10 winning seasons in those 10+ years. He then played for the Expos, who had 6 .500 or better seasons in the 8 years he was there. Them he played for the Indians for 3 years and they were a dominant team during his tenure, going to the 1995 world series and winning a division title the next year. He finished with a year in Seattle when they had a winning record and a year with the perennial division champion Braves. So in those 21 years Martinez played on 2 losing teams. Mussina played on losing Oriole teams in 1991, 1992, 1995, 1998, 1999 and 2000 -- most of his career with the Orioles. As to Marichal, he played with the Giants from 1960 to 1973. In that entire span they had ONE losing season (1972). He then had one year cups of coffee with the Red Sox and Dodgers when they were very good. So let's review:

Martinez played on 2 losing teams in 21 years.

Marichal played on 1 losing team in 15 years.

Mussina played on 6 losing teams in 17 years.

In that context, Mussina's .631 winning percentage is more impressive than Marichal's identical winning percentage and far, far outshines the .559 winning percentage amassed by Martinez.

3. Needless to say, you are wrong that Marichal never pitched in the postseason. He pitched in the 1962 world series (the Giants lost) and lost a game in the 1971 playoffs. Frankly, he pitched well both times, but that is beside the point. The point was that if one of the criticisms of Mussina is that his team never won a world series, the same is true of Marichal.

So the next time you make an argument, how about basing it on fact, not top-of-the head impressions that are just flat-out wrong?

The thing is, I don't disagree with you at all that Marichal belongs in the Hall of Fame, and that Martinez does not. But you undercut your better arguments a lot when you just make stuff up.

By the way, I do think there are good, fact-based arguments that Marichal should rank ahead of Mussina, though it is debatable. Those arguments would be:

1. 9 all-star appearances for Marichal compared to 5 for Mussina.

2. 3 seasons of 25+ wins (led the league in 2 of those years), which even after adjusting for 4-man vs. 5-man rotation, were arguably more impressive than any single season Mussina had. (Mussina led the league with 19 wins in 1995, a year in which teams played only a 144 game schedule due to the strike.)

3. Won the ERA title in 1969; Mussina never won one.

Arguments in Moose's favor:

1. 6 gold glove awards (none for Marichal).

2. Will end his career with more wins, perhaps significantly more depending on how his career finishes out.

3. Very memorable performance in the 1997 playoffs in which he beat Randy Johnson twice, struck out 41 batters in 29 innings and pitched 8 innings of 1-hit shutout ball in the deciding game, which the O's lost in extra innings.

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You are losing a lot of credibility here because you don't check your facts before shooting from the hip.

1. ERA+, which measures a pitcher's ERA compared to the average ERA of his league and makes adjustments for what ballpark he pitched in, is a much better measure than raw ERA.

Mussina: 123 ERA+

Marichal: 122+

Martinez: 106 ERA+

2. The Oriole teams that Mussina played on were, in general, not very good, and certainly far inferior to the ones Martinez pitched for. Martinez pitched for the Orioles from 1976 to partway through the 1986 season. They won a World Series (1983), won another AL pennant (1979), had a 100-win season (1980), and had 10 winning seasons in those 10+ years. He then played for the Expos, who had 6 .500 or better seasons in the 8 years he was there. Them he played for the Indians for 3 years and they were a dominant team during his tenure, going to the 1995 world series and winning a division title the next year. He finished with a year in Seattle when they had a winning record and a year with the perennial division champion Braves. So in those 21 years Martinez played on 2 losing teams. Mussina played on losing Oriole teams in 1991, 1992, 1995, 1998, 1999 and 2000 -- most of his career with the Orioles. As to Marichal, he played with the Giants from 1960 to 1973. In that entire span they had ONE losing season (1972). He then had one year cups of coffee with the Red Sox and Dodgers when they were very good. So let's review:

Martinez played on 2 losing teams in 21 years.

Marichal played on 1 losing team in 15 years.

Mussina played on 6 losing teams in 17 years.

In that context, Mussina's .631 winning percentage is more impressive than Marichal's identical winning percentage and far, far outshines the .559 winning percentage amassed by Martinez.

3. Needless to say, you are wrong that Marichal never pitched in the postseason. He pitched in the 1962 world series (the Giants lost) and lost a game in the 1971 playoffs. Frankly, he pitched well both times, but that is beside the point. The point was that if one of the criticisms of Mussina is that his team never won a world series, the same is true of Marichal.

So the next time you make an argument, how about basing it on fact, not top-of-the head impressions that are just flat-out wrong?

The thing is, I don't disagree with you at all that Marichal belongs in the Hall of Fame, and that Martinez does not. But you undercut your better arguments a lot when you just make stuff up.

By the way, I do think there are good, fact-based arguments that Marichal should rank ahead of Mussina, though it is debatable. Those arguments would be:

1. 9 all-star appearances for Marichal compared to 5 for Mussina.

2. 3 seasons of 25+ wins (led the league in 2 of those years), which even after adjusting for 4-man vs. 5-man rotation, were arguably more impressive than any single season Mussina had. (Mussina led the league with 19 wins in 1995, a year in which teams played only a 144 game schedule due to the strike.)

3. Won the ERA title in 1969; Mussina never won one.

Arguments in Moose's favor:

1. 6 gold glove awards (none for Marichal).

2. Will end his career with more wins, perhaps significantly more depending on how his career finishes out.

3. Very memorable performance in the 1997 playoffs in which he beat Randy Johnson twice, struck out 41 batters in 29 innings and pitched 8 innings of 1-hit shutout ball in the deciding game, which the O's lost in extra innings.

Okay, your research proves me wrong. I was going by memory and did not realize that Marichal pitched in the post season. I still think he is and always will be a superior pitcher to Mike Mussina. However, regarding Martinez, I also think he may have been a long reliever early in his career whereas Mussina was always a starter (not 100% sure of this) and if so that would have a bearing on his having fewer wins and a lower winning percentage (possibly). I concede I was way wrong on his playing with lesser caliber teams than Mussina. However, I do wonder about their comparative run support. I just think those two (Martinez and Mussina) are very similar pitchers and comparable. In fact, I think Martinez may have a better shot at getting the HOF as he did pitch a perfect game, which is quite a feat.

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Okay, your research proves me wrong. I was going by memory and did not realize that Marichal pitched in the post season. I still think he is and always will be a superior pitcher to Mike Mussina. However, regarding Martinez, I also think he may have been a long reliever early in his career whereas Mussina was always a starter (not 100% sure of this) and if so that would have a bearing on his having fewer wins and a lower winning percentage (possibly). I concede I was way wrong on his playing with lesser caliber teams than Mussina. However, I do wonder about their comparative run support. I just think those two (Martinez and Mussina) are very similar pitchers and comparable. In fact, I think Martinez may have a better shot at getting the HOF as he did pitch a perfect game, which is quite a feat.

I think I have said enough on this topic, but to answer one question you had, Martinez did occasionally pitch in relief (562 starts vs. 130 relief appearances, including 76 with the Orioles). His last year with Atlanta he was primarily a reliever. However, Mussina has pitched fewer starts (562 to 493) and fewer innings (3999.2 to 3310.2) while racking up the same number of wins.

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I did a little research on this for this same debate on another board. I don't know stats as well as a lot of you guys, but I understand basic milestones for pitchers, and I decided to see how Mussina's career stacks up to every other pitcher (besides Negro Leaguers) in the Hall of Fame right now.

Obviously there are other important factors, but I looked at 20-win seasons, World Series victories and records in those World Series, overall wins, no-hitters, and Cy Young Awards.

Mike Mussina: 0 World Series victories, 244 wins, 0 20-win seasons, 0 no-hitters, 0 Cy Young Awards.

Grover Cleveland Alexander (20 seasons): 1 World Series victory (1926 when he went 2-0), 373 wins, 9 20+ win seasons.

Chief Bender (16 seasons): 3 World Series victories (1910, 1911, 1913 with a combined 5-2 record), 212 wins, 2 20+ win seasons, 1 no-hitter

Three-Finger Brown (14 seasons): 2 World Series victories (1907, 1908 with a combined 3-0 record, 2 complete games, and a 0.00 ERA), 239 wins, 6 20+ win seasons

Jim Bunning (17 seasons): 224 wins, 1 20+ win season, 2 no-hitters (1 perfect game)

Steve Carlton (24 seasons): 2 World Series victories (1967, 1980, 2-0 in 1980 World Series), 319 wins, 6 20+ win seasons, 4 Cy Young Awards

Jack Chesbro (11 seasons): 198 wins, 5 20+ win seasons (41 wins in 1904)

John Clarkson (13 seasons, pre-World Series): 328 wins, 6 30+ win seasons (seasons of 53 and 49 included), 1 no-hitter

Stan Coveleski (14 seasons): 1 World Series victory (3-0 in 1920), 215 wins, 5 20+ win seasons

Dizzy Dean (12 season): 1 World Series victory (2-1 in 1934), 150 wins, 4 20+ win seasons

Don Drysdale (14 seasons): 3 World Series victories (1959, 1963, 1965, combined 3-1 record), 209 wins, 2 20+ win seasons, 1 Cy Young Award

Dennis Eckersley (24 seasons): 1 World Series victory (1989, 1 save), 197 wins, 390 saves, 1 20+ win season, 1 no-hitter, 1 Cy Young Award

Red Faber (20 seasons): 1 World Series victory (3-1 in 1917), 254 wins, 4 20+ win seasons

Bob Feller (18 seasons): 1 World Series victory (0-2 in 1948), 266 wins, 6 20+ win seasons, 3 no-hitters

Rollie Fingers (17 seasons): 3 World Series victories (1972, 1973, 1974 with 2-2 combined record and 6 saves), 114 wins and 341 saves, contributed to 1 no-hitter, 1 Cy Young Award

Whitey Ford (16 seasons): 6 World Series victories (5-4 in 1950, 1953, 1956, 1958, 1961, 1962), 236 wins, 1 Cy Young Award

Pud Galvin (15 seasons pre-World Series): 364 wins, 10 20+ win seasons (2 over 40), 2 no-hitters

Bob Gibson (17 seasons): 2 World Series victores (5-1 in 1964, 1967), 251 wins, 5 20+ win seasons, 1 no-hitter, 2 Cy Young Awards

Lefty Gomez (14 seasons): 5 World Series victories (6-0 in 1933, 1936, 1937, 1938, 1939), 189 wins, 8 20+ win seasons

Burleigh Grimes (20 seasons): 1 World Series victory (2-0 in 1932), 270 wins

Lefty Grove (17 season): 2 World Series victories (1929 and 1930, 2-1 in 1930), 300 wins

Jesse Haines (19 seasons): 2 World Series victories (1926 and 1934, 2-0 in 1926), 210 wins, 3 20+ win seasons, 1 no-hitter

Waite Hoyt (20 seasons): 3 World Series victories (3-0 in 1923, 1927, 1928), 237 wins, 2 20+ win seasons

Carl Hubbell (16 seasons): 1 World Series victory (2-0 in 1933), 253 wins, 5 20+ win seasons, 1 no-hitter

Catfish Hunter (15 seasons): 5 World Series victories (5-2 in 1972, 1973, 1974, 1977, 1978), 224 wins, 5 20+ win seasons, 1 perfect game no-hitter, 1 Cy Young Award

Ferguson Jenkins (19 seasons): 284 wins, 7 20+ win seasons, 1 Cy Young Award

Walter Johnson (21 seasons): 1 World Series victory (1-2 with 2.25 ERA in 1924), 417 wins, 12 20+ win seasons, 1 no-hitter

Addie Joss (9 seasons): 160 wins, 4 20+ win seasons, 2 no-hitters including 1 perfect game

Tim Keefe (14 seasons pre-World Series): 342 wins, 6 30+ win seasons

Sandy Koufax (12 seasons): 2 World Series victorise (2-2 in 1959, 1965, no World Series ERA over 1.50 in 4 World Series appearances), 165 wins, 3 20+ win seasons, 4 no-hitters including 1 perfect game, 3 Cy Young Awards

Bob Lemon (15 seasons): 1 World Series victory (2-0 in 1948), 207 wins, 7 20+ win seasons, 1 no-hitter

Ted Lyons (21 seasons): 260 wins, 3 20+ win seasons, 1 no-hitter

Juan Marichal (16 seasons): 243 wins, 6 20+ win seasons, 1 no-hitter

Rube Marquard (18 seasons): 201 wins, 3 20+ win seasons, 1 no-hitter

Christy Mathewson (17 seasons): 1 World Series victory (3-0 with 3 CG SHOs in 1905), 373 wins, 13 20+ win seasons, 4 30+ win seasons, 2 no-hitters

Joe McGinnity (10 seasons): 1 World Series victory (1-1 in 1905), 246 wins, 8 20+ win seasons

Hal Newhouser (17 seasons): 1 World Series victory (2-1 in 1945), 207 wins, 4 20+ win seasons, 2 MVP awards

Kid Nichols (16 seasons, mostly pre-World Series): 361 wins, 11 20+ win seasons including first 10 seasons in big leagues

Phil Niekro (25 seasons): 318 wins, 3 20+ win seasons, 1 no-hitter

Jim Palmer (19 seasons): 3 World Series victories (3-0 in 1966, 1970, 1983), 268 wins, 8 20+ win seasons, 1 no-hitter, 3 Cy Young Awards

Herb Pennock (22 seasons): 3 World Series victories (3-0 in 1923, 1927, 1932), 240 wins, 2 20+ win seasons

Gaylord Perry (22 seasons): 314 wins, 5 20+ win seasons, 1 no-hitter, 2 Cy Young Awards

Eddie Plank (17 seasons): 2 World Series victories (2-2 in 1911, 1913), 326 wins, 8 20+ win seasons

Old Hoss Radbourn (12 seasons pre-World Series): 309 wins, 9 20+ win seasons including a 59-win season, 1 no-hitter

Eppa Rixey (21 seasons): 266 wins, 4 20+ win seasons

Robin Roberts (20 seasons): 286 wins, 6 20+ win seasons

Red Ruffing (22 seasons): 6 World Series victories (6-1 combined in 1932, 1936, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1941), 273 wins, 4 20+ win seasons

Amos Rusie (10 seasons, pre-World Series): 246 wins, 8 20+ win seasons, 4 30+ win seasons, 1 no-hitter

Nolan Ryan (27 seasons): 1 World Series victory (0.00 ERA in 1.2 innings in 1969), 324 wins, 2 20+ win seasons, 7 no-hitters

Tom Seaver (20 seasons): 1 World Series victory (1-1 in 1969), 311 wins, 5 20+ win seasons, 1 no-hitter, 3 Cy Young Awards

Warren Spahn (21 seasons): 1 World Series victory (1-1 in 1957), 363 wins (most by any lefthander), 13 20+ win seasons, 2 no-hitters, 1 Cy Young Award

Bruce Sutter (12 seasons): 1 World Series victory (1-0, 2 saves in 1982), 300 saves (led the league 5 times), 1 Cy Young Award

Don Sutton (23 seasons): 324 wins, 1 20+ win season

Dazzy Vance (16 seasons): 1 World Series victory (0.00 ERA in 1.1 innings in 1934), 197 wins, 3 20+ win seasons, 1 no-hitter

Rube Waddell (13 seasons): 193 wins, 4 20+ win seasons, 1 no-hitter (game shortened after 5 innings)

Ed Walsh (14 seasons): 1 World Series victory (2-0 in 1906), 195 wins, 4 20+ win seasons, 1 no-hitter

Mickey Welch (13 seasons pre-World Series): 307 wins, 9 20+ win seasons

Hoyt Wilhelm (21 seasons): 143 wins, 227 saves, 1 no-hitter

Vic Willis (13 seasons): 1 World Series victory (0-1 in 1909), 249 wins, 8 20+ win seasons, 1 no-hitter

Early Wynn (23 seasons): 300 wins, 5 20+ win seasons, 1 Cy Young Award

Cy Young (22 seasons, half pre-World Series): 1 World Series victory (2-1 in 1903), 511 victories, 15 20+ win seasons, 3 no-hitters including 1 perfect game, Cy Young Award named after him.

Obviously no-hitters are the least important of my criteria, although I think had Moose completed a couple of his (especially a perfect game), that would have been a major plus, considering that he probably had a 20-win season taken away by the strike. But he was 4 wins away in 1994, and I personally refuse to assume that many wins.

Every single starting pitcher in the Hall of Fame has a 20-win season. And all except Sutton have two, and Sutton also compiled 300 victories. Eckersley, who spent a good amount of time as a starter, also has one 20-win season.

In other words, I know these are basic statistics and not the SABR stuff a lot of you guys are great at analyzing, but Mike Mussina fails to live up to these basic pitching benchmarks on all counts. And every single starting pitcher in the Hall of Fame does not fail.

He most certainly can finish strong and get in...I am not at all discounting that. But if he retired at the end of this year, or spent only a couple more mediocre seasons, I cannot personally put him in a class with these pitchers.

Add to that the fact that he will likely be retiring at the same time as so many other great pitchers (see the "Which of these pitchers belong" thread) and I think that will work against him in the short-term, at least.

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I think I have said enough on this topic, but to answer one question you had, Martinez did occasionally pitch in relief (562 starts vs. 130 relief appearances, including 76 with the Orioles). His last year with Atlanta he was primarily a reliever. However, Mussina has pitched fewer starts (562 to 493) and fewer innings (3999.2 to 3310.2) while racking up the same number of wins.

Yeah, but as a reliever you don't always have the same opportunity for a win as a starter. For example how many of those relief innings by Martinez were in long relief (four or more innings) where normally the starter got knocked out and the chances of the long man picking up a win are logically not going to be all that good?

I think fewer wins could actually be meaningless under this scenario as a measure of Martinez versus Mussina, simply because he didn't have the same opportunity to garner a win as Mussina has as always pitching as a starter. Then again, perhaps I am just biased as I like Martinez better as he didn't go become a MFY!

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Yeah, but as a reliever you don't always have the same opportunity for a win as a starter. For example how many of those relief innings by Martinez were in long relief (four or more innings) where normally the starter got knocked out and the chances of the long man picking up a win are logically not going to be all that good?

I think fewer wins could actually be meaningless under this scenario as a measure of Martinez versus Mussina, simply because he didn't have the same opportunity to garner a win as Mussina has as always pitching as a starter. Then again, perhaps I am just biased as I like Martinez better as he didn't go become a MFY!

I'm missing your point. Forget Martinez's 130 relief appearances. Apart from that, he made 562 starts, to Mussina's 493. So, he has 69 extra starts plus 130 relief appearances, but the same number of wins.

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I did a little research on this for this same debate on another board. I don't know stats as well as a lot of you guys, but I understand basic milestones for pitchers, and I decided to see how Mussina's career stacks up to every other pitcher (besides Negro Leaguers) in the Hall of Fame right now....

Every single starting pitcher in the Hall of Fame has a 20-win season. And all except Sutton have two, and Sutton also compiled 300 victories. Eckersley, who spent a good amount of time as a starter, also has one 20-win season.

In other words, I know these are basic statistics and not the SABR stuff a lot of you guys are great at analyzing, but Mike Mussina fails to live up to these basic pitching benchmarks on all counts. And every single starting pitcher in the Hall of Fame does not fail.

You make a very strong point, one that I expect the HOF voters will weigh when they consider Mussina. However, the way starting pitchers are used has changed dramatically in the last 20 years. The pitchers who will be retiring about now are really the first ones who played their entire career in the era of the 5-man rotation, and very heavy use of relief pitchers.

Look at it this way: in a four man rotation a pitcher will start 40 times a year. If he wins half the games he starts, he wins 20 games. Nowadays, in a five man rotation, starters get only 32-34 starts a year. If they win half, that's 16-17 wins.

Then there is the complete game phenomenon. It used to be common for really good starters to rack up 20 complete games or more, all of which resulted in a decision for the starter, one way or the other. But now, even great starters often have 5 or fewer complete games, and as a result, a lower percentage of their starts result in decisions one way or the other. Fewer decisions = fewer wins.

Hence, last year there wasn't a single 20-game winner in MLB, and the National League had no pitcher who won more than 16 games!

In fact, assuming Mussina achieves 250 wins, he may be the last pitcher to do that for a very, very long time. The players behind him are either probably too old to reach 250 or are so far away from that figure that it would take 7-10 years to reach that plateau, if they ever do:

6. David Wells* (44) 235

7. Jamie Moyer* (44) 225

8. Curt Schilling (40) 213

9. Kenny Rogers* (42) 210

10. Pedro Martinez (35) 206

11. John Smoltz (40) 203

12. Andy Pettitte* (35) 193

13. Tim Wakefield (40) 164

(nobody else is over 150)

So, eventually the 20-win criterion is going to go the way of the dinosaur, and 250 wins will be viewed in much the way that 300 wins is looked at today. I doubt Mussina gets in on the first ballot, but eventually his candidacy is going to look very good.

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