• Moose Math

    Posted by on August 23rd, 2007 · Comments (8)

    Ben K. at RAB takes a moment to praise Mike Mussina.

    On the flips side, I can understand why some see Mussina as the poster child of the post-2000 ringless Yankees.

    But, in truth, Moose was the Yankees best starter in 2001 and 2003 – and those were the only two seasons, post-2000, where the Yankees won the pennant. You do have to tip your cap to Mussina for his efforts on those two flags.

    Here’s something about Moose the Yankee:

    His ERA marks pitching in the Bronx, with 2007 to date:

    2001 3.11
    2002 4.25
    2003 3.04
    2004 3.94
    2005 3.52
    2006 3.19
    2007 5.51

    His ERA marks on the road, with 2007 to date:

    2001 3.19
    2002 3.83
    2003 3.81
    2004 5.25
    2005 5.34
    2006 3.83
    2007 4.88

    If Mussina had pitched better on the road, during 2004 and 2005, we might be talking about him having one of the best six year runs (during 2001-2006), pitching-wise, in Yankees history.

    Why he had road woes from 2004 to 2005, is anyone’s guess. So, what’s your guess?

    Comments on Moose Math

    1. JeremyM
      August 23rd, 2007 | 10:41 pm

      Just want to say that I’ve been a huge Moose fan, and it sucks to see what’s happened to him. I don’t know why he’s faded so badly, but it’s not like he has the biggest frame, he probably didn’t use PEDs, and he hasn’t done a good job adjusting to his loss of velocity. (As far as the velocity, didn’t he change his offseason routine a few years ago? Wonder if that’s part of the problem?)

      His best bet at this point is probably to try to go the NL next year, but I think the Yanks will have to eat some salary to make it happen. Maybe he can have a late resurgence like Tom Glavine did- Glavine looked like toast a few years ago and bounced back reasonably well.

      I do have a gut feeling that he’ll bounce back and have some better starts from here on out, the man has hit rock bottom and I think he’ll rise up a little bit. Even Cone had a somewhat decent year for Boston after hitting the bottom in 2000, and I don’t think Mussina’s arm is nearly as thrashed as Cone’s was.

      Anyway, I supported the extension and will admit that I was wrong, but I’d rather be wrong about Mussina than Pavano. And I still say the Yanks sweep the Sox if they pitched Moose (on full rest) in game 4 of the 04 ALCS instead of El Duque…..

    2. baileywalk
      August 23rd, 2007 | 11:41 pm

      he probably didn’t use PEDs

      There’s this thing called age. Unless your name is Barry Bonds, it normally catches up to you. Why bring PEDs into the Mussina discussion? Mussina is 37 years old. He’s been a very good pitcher for a very long time. He was one of the best pitchers in baseball as recently as 2003. After that season, he hurt his elbow. Whatever he did to it sapped his fastball. He bounced back for an excellent 2006, but he’s not having the same results this year.

      Whether Mussina retires, heads to the NL, or whatever he does next year, I think he’ll be remembered as one of the best pitchers of his generation. He might be tagged as Mr. Almost (almost won twenty, almost pitched a perfect game, almost won a ring, etc.), but he’s had a great career.

    3. MJ
      August 24th, 2007 | 8:49 am

      Why bring PEDs into the Mussina discussion?
      Because it’s a reality of the game at this point. Even if I know in my heart of hearts that someone didn’t use PED’s (someone like Mariano Rivera), it doesn’t mean that the taint of suspicion doesn’t fall on everyone from this era. We may not like it, but it’s simply the state of affairs.

      As Jason Giambi said, the entire institution of baseball, from owners, to GM’s, to agents, to players themselves need to own up to their hand in the subterfuge. The collateral damage is the reputation of those individuals that chose not to participate. But life has always been about the innocent being dragged in with the guilty.

    4. rbj
      August 24th, 2007 | 10:00 am

      I’d just add in the media (ESPN: “Chicks dig the long ball”) and us fans as well. Very few reported on the whispers of steroids and they were shunted aside.

      I like Moose, and thought the Yankees were set when they signed him. It is either age or else something is bothering him this year (mentally or physically). It just seems that he’s letting those close calls that don’t go his way bother him much more this year. Maybe trying to use that as an excuse?

    5. JeremyM
      August 24th, 2007 | 11:34 am

      There’s this thing called age.


      Exactly bailey, that’s why I said he “probably” (like 99.99%) didn’t use PEDs. I wasn’t trying to insinuate that he did use them.

    6. baileywalk
      August 24th, 2007 | 1:16 pm

      Bringing PEDs into the discussion is absurd. And that’s why I said what I said, Jeremy. I don’t agree with MJ in the least. Just because Giambi and Bonds and Sheffield and a bunch of other guys did ‘roids doesn’t mean that anyone who slows down, late in their career, should suddenly get painted with the “steroids” brush. I find it ridiculous that now when a 37-year-old pitcher loses velocity people scratch their chin and muse, “Hmm, could it be steroids?” Mussina is just an example of what happens to a pitcher when he DOESN’T use ‘roids. His velocity and strength slowly slip away. Mussina has had a normal decline of his skill.

      That’s what amuses me about people who say Clemens is on steroids. The truth is, Clemens has slowly declined too and simply reinvented himself as a different type of pitcher. Barry Bonds was stronger at forty than he was at thirty. That wasn’t true of Clemens in the least.

      I just think people are in too much of a habit to throw out the steroids claim on just about every player — no matter who they are or what the situation. If we’re going to accuse every pitcher past 35 who declines of using ‘roids, then we will have to literally accuse every pitcher past 35.

    7. MJ
      August 24th, 2007 | 1:22 pm

      Bailey somewhat misunderstood what Jeremy and I said. No one accused Mussina of using steroids. Jeremy said he didn’t think Moose used them and I said that, fairly or not, it’s something that all players have to deal with at this point.

      No one said Moose used them and no one said that he was suspected. You’re not reading what I wrote carefully enough. All I said was that the crimes of the few (or the many, whichever you believe) have an unwarranted residual effect on the innocent.

    8. baileywalk
      August 24th, 2007 | 10:29 pm

      MJ, Jeremy said “[Mussina] probably didn’t use PEDs.” Saying someone “probably” didn’t do something suggests the possibility that he could have.

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