Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
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2006-06-26 10:17
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

Courtesy of Rich Lederer (via Lee Sinins I suspect), dig this:

                                 W       SO     
1    Cy Young                    511     2802
2    Walter Johnson              417     3509
3    Christy Mathewson           373     2502
4    Warren Spahn                363     2583
T5   Roger Clemens               341     4506   
T5   Tim Keefe                   341     2521
7    Steve Carlton               329     4136
T8   Nolan Ryan                  324     5714
T8   Don Sutton                  324     3574
10   Greg Maddux                 325     3101
11   Phil Niekro                 318     3342
12   Gaylord Perry               314     3534
13   Tom Seaver                  311     3640
14   Bert Blyleven               287     3701
15   Ferguson Jenkins            284     3192
16   Randy Johnson               271     4448
17   Bob Feller                  266     2581
18   Bob Gibson                  251     3117
19   Frank Tanana                240     2773
20   Mike Mussina                233     2500

Blyleven and Tanana are the only retired fellas on the list who are not in the Hall of Fame.

Comments
2006-06-26 10:50:05
1.   Cliff Corcoran
The presence of Tanana betrays the fallacy present here, which Bill James points out in his Hall of Fame book of many titles, and that is that you can chose arbitrary combinations of magic numbers to make almost anyone with a long enough career look like a Hall of Famer (such as Reggie Sanders and Steve Finley and their recent entry into the far more exclusive 300-300 club).

That said, I do believe Mussina is a borderline Hall of Famer who is currently in the process of deciding which side of that line he'll ultimately fall on. But these kinds of lists don't do anything to my mind to support his candidacy, especially as he's dead last on this one.

2006-06-26 11:00:31
2.   rbj
Which brings up the old question of whether a very good player who hangs around long enough is a HoF. Generally, I lean towards inclusion, because you do have to be good enough, long enough to pile up some of these stats. And I'm sure that every GM is just waiting to replace the guy with a much cheaper rookie who's just as good.
2006-06-26 11:22:01
3.   Cliff Corcoran
"I'm sure that every GM is just waiting to replace the guy with a much cheaper rookie who's just as good."

Which is why Scott Erickson, Terrence Long and Sandy Alomar Jr. have worn major league uniforms this year, or why Carlos Baerga hung around so long, or, forgive me, the Yankees resigned Bernie, or, or, or . . .

In my book, a Hall of Famer has to be better than good enough, he has to be one of the best at whatever it was he did. Mike Mussina was definitely one of the best pitchers of the past 15 years, which is why I think he has a shot and in fact has a better case than good-enough long-enough types such as Jim Kaat and Tommy John.

But while Moose was easily one of the best of his era, where he ranks all-time is less clear, that's why I don't think he's a shoe-in. Put in Pedro and Maddux and Johnson and Clemens and Mo first, then let's talk about Glavine, Moose, Schilling and Smoltz. I think Glavine's in at this point. The other three are still making their case.

2006-06-26 11:35:28
4.   joejoejoe
Top win% of list above.

1. Christy Mathewson .665
1. Roger Clemens .665
3. Randy Johnson .659
4. Mike Mussina .638
5. Greg Maddux .627
6. Bob Feller .621
7. Tom Seaver .603

Note: Pedro Martinez has 204 wins, 2971 K, .701 win%.

2006-06-26 11:48:10
5.   Count Zero
I agree with Cliff. On the negative side, I can point to: 0 20-win seasons, 0 Cy Young awards, 0 WS rings, 0 Post-Season awards.

I should also add that Tanana wouldn't get my vote either, although Blyleven might.

I would argue that Moose has an extended career of above average level...he needs at least 30 more wins, or an award, or a big WS victory to get in.

2006-06-26 11:49:36
6.   Rich Lederer
That list wasn't created to make Mussina look like a Hall of Famer. Instead, it was designed to show which pitchers (and how few) have won more games and struck out more batters than Moose. It is what it is. If anything, all of the pitchers ahead of Mike in both categories are, by definition, better than him--at least as it relates to those two categories.

Whether Mussina is a HOFer is a subject for debate. However, it is interesting to note that he has amassed career totals that are beginning to put him among a bunch of pitchers who have been or will be enshrined in Cooperstown.

2006-06-26 11:56:03
7.   rbj
3 Cliff I think all those guys signed for much less than what they used to make. I was being a bit simplistic; GMs will also consider the devil they know, rather than an unknown rookie. But faded stars who don't come down in salary significantly don't hang around. See, Sosa, Sammy.
2006-06-26 12:01:50
8.   Schteeve
Looking at wins or Winning Percentage when sizing up how good a pitcher is or was is really of very little interest to me, since of all the stats that get reported when assessing pitchers, Wins and Losses are the ones they have the least control over.
2006-06-26 12:13:43
9.   domvjr
Off the topic, The Phillies really stink, they are laying down for the Red Sox again! As RLYW, has showed, the Yanks lost some serious ground to Boston, in interleague play so far this year.
2006-06-26 12:25:15
10.   Dimelo
9 So? They are beating the teams they should beat. The Yanks played the Nationals, Phillies and Marlins, and they struggled with all three. The Yanks were leading the division when interleague started and they'll be 3 games back by the start of their game today. Who's fault is that? It's only the Yankees fault. I don't care about how other teams play against the Sox, simply put...if the Yankees take care of their house and their business then it doesn't matter what the Sawx do or don't do. I hate the excuse that other teams lay down for the Sawx and play hard against us.

Excuses are a sign of weakness.

2006-06-26 12:33:21
11.   domvjr
10.I agree with you. The Yanks have not taken care of business in interleague, and it could come back to bite them. I just wish these teams would play the Red Sox with the same intensity as they do the Yanks.
2006-06-26 12:55:57
12.   Dimelo
Do you really think those teams play the Sawx with less intensity than they play Yanks? I really don't see it that way. The Sawx can make the same case with the Blue Jays and how they play against the Yanks. I don't think it's that simple. I do feel like the Yankees have lost some of their intimidation factor that seemed to be present at the begining of the year.

That's why I think the Sheff injury is the hardest to swallow because he had a bit of that "bad-ass mother f'er" about him, kinda like what Paulie had. Ortiz and Manny still swing a great bat and they stand-up there and stare at their homeruns like "What?". The minute the Sawx lose some of that mojo then they'll know what it means to lose that intimidation factor. Jeter is intimidating but in a professional kind of way.

2006-06-26 13:21:43
13.   Chyll Will
12 I second that. You can pick out the "enforcer" on each contender or championship team; the one player either in the starting lineup or on the bench that made the opposing team jittery when they were on-deck or lurking in the dugout. Sheffield (was) that for this team; we don't really have that anymore, do we?
2006-06-26 13:22:21
14.   Zack
Papelbon just gave up a game tying HR to Utley...Double bonus for me as he's on my fantasy team!
2006-06-26 13:24:23
15.   JohnnyC
I actually do think teams "get up" for the Yankees and not others (including the Red Sox). But Dimelo is right...that's the Yankees' problem, nobody else's. Do we really need the Mets, say, to take care of business for us? Heck, we play those mofos in red stockings 19 times a year. Maybe if our manager could refrain from fielding a team that couldn't hit AAA pitching a couple of dozen times a year, we'd win a few more games (even sweep some damn series once in a blue moon). I'm sick of this house money stuff. When they say try to win 2 out of every three games, they don't mean it literally. Like win two, lose the next, win two, lost the next, etc. I wonder when in the last 10 days Francona or Guillen played a game with house money? Maybe they didn't get the memo from Baseball Management Central.
2006-06-26 13:35:38
16.   Zack
I'm fairly certain now that the Sox-Phillies game is going into extra innings that the Phillies will find a way to lose...
2006-06-26 15:21:39
17.   joejoejoe
I omitted Cy Young from my list of winning percentages @ .618.

I know it's not fashionable to look at Won-Loss record but it's a bit much to dismiss winning. The entire purpose of taking the mound is winning and to suggest any individual game is just a compendium of stats denies the humanity of the players. Moose gets it coming and going - people don't want to recognize his W-L record but Roger Clemens has his 2001 Cy Young Award for going 20-3 while Mussina pitched better in every sabremetric category but ended up a snakebit 17-11.

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