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#3 Prospect - Chris Tillman - RHP


Tony-OH

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You are entitled to your opinion, though I definitely feel you have some bias because you didn't like him personally and felt betrayed when he left the Orioles.

I just don't agree at all with your statement that he was a "tin man." Mussina had 10 full seasons with the Orioles. In those 10 years he was in the top 10 in IP six times (including a 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th) and the top 10 in complete games 5 times.

Have a look at his 1995 season. That year he threw games of 140, 138, 134, 133, and 130 pitches, and 8 other games over 120 pitches. If an Oriole pitcher throws even one game like that now we're ready to call the manager insane!

In those 10 years Mussina received Cy Young votes in 7 of them, and was an all-star 5 times. If that isn't a no. 1 starter then the term is meaningless.

I'm sure my thoughts on Mussina are probably biased because of my dislike for the guy, but I still know way too many Mussina stories from people close to him to ever call him a true number one. the fact that the guy left a situation where he was the no doubt ace to become a number 2 or 3 tells me everything I need to know about his heart or lack thereof.

Mussina was a gifted pitcher who I have to grudgingly accept is probably a HOF guy. But there are a lot of guys in the hall of fame who weren't aces.

Mussina had ace seasons no doubt, and when he was at his best with the Orioles he could be that kind of guy, but he was also the kind of guy that pulled himself out of the games and then would get PO'd at the bullpen for blowing things. He would have won 20 games several times with the Orioles had he had a little more gumption.

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You can certainly build an argument that Mussina was an ace at one time, but he's a tinman who never wanted the pressure of being the guy. He's the guy who pulled himself out of close games here in Baltimore and then would pout when the bullpen blew his wins.

Part of being a true number one ace is attitude as well. There are lots of very good pitchers like Mussina who have had number one starter season, but that doesn't mean they were true aces.

Really a lot of this is semantics. Mussina had a plus fastball back in the day and two plus pitches in his knuckle-curve and changeup. I guess if I take away the fact that he left a team to become a number 2 or 3 starter on another team, then you can build a better case for him as an ace in my opinion.

Who are those non-ace pitchers with a number one starter season that are going to or in the Hall of Fame?

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I'm sure my thoughts on Mussina are probably biased because of my dislike for the guy, but I still know way too many Mussina stories from people close to him to ever call him a true number one. the fact that the guy left a situation where he was the no doubt ace to become a number 2 or 3 tells me everything I need to know about his heart or lack thereof.

Mussina was a gifted pitcher who I have to grudgingly accept is probably a HOF guy. But there are a lot of guys in the hall of fame who weren't aces.

Mussina had ace seasons no doubt, and when he was at his best with the Orioles he could be that kind of guy, but he was also the kind of guy that pulled himself out of the games and then would get PO'd at the bullpen for blowing things. He would have won 20 games several times with the Orioles had he had a little more gumption.

One of these days, when I have even more time to waste on projects like this than I already spend, I'm going to go through every game Mussina pitched for the O's and break down just how many more he might have won if he had stayed in the game. Until then, all I can do is repeat what I said before - his complete games and innings pitched were among the highest in the league when he was here, and he had many games where he threw a number of pitches that bordered on the insane.

As to his decision to leave the O's, it had nothing to do with running away from being a no. 1 starter. It had to do with the fact that Angelos treated him badly during negotiations, the Orioles decided to head into major rebuilding mode, and the Yankees offered him a package that was far more than the Orioles had ever offered, and in fact far more than Mussina had demanded from the O's.

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