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The Long Climb to Greatness

Posted By Alex Belth On August 25, 2008 @ 10:30 am In Bronx Banter | Comments Disabled

Jonah Keri weighs in on Mike Mussina’s fine career over at ESPN [1]:

Mussina deserves to be a Hall of Famer, even if he never wins 20 games in a season, or 300 in his career for that matter.

If you insist on using wins as a barometer, you could argue that only six pitchers in major league history have as many wins as Mussina, with a higher winning percentage: Hall of Famers Lefty Grove, Christy Mathewson, Grover Cleveland Alexander and Jim Palmer, and Roger Clemens and Randy Johnson, two of the 10 best pitchers of all time. If you’re into fancier analysis, you could point to the Gray Ink, Hall of Fame Standards and Hall of Fame Monitor tests, all of which show Mussina with more than enough credentials to surpass the average player already enshrined in Cooperstown.

But the argument over Mussina’s candidacy based on his (in)ability to win 20 games in a season raises a bigger issue: Baseball’s media and fans (mostly the media) butcher the numbers in their attempts to evaluate a player’s accomplishments, or his overall worth.

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[1] Jonah Keri weighs in on Mike Mussina’s fine career over at ESPN: http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3550167

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