Is Mike Mussina a Hall of Famer?

Posted Wednesday January 15, 2014 at 12:54:59 am in Real Sports

The Baseball Writers' Association of America voted in Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and Frank Thomas from the 2013 class. Mike Mussina was on the ballot, yet he only received 20.3% of the vote.

Ladies and gentlemen, the fact that Mussina received just 20.3% while Tom Glavine received 91.9% just shows how much of a joke Hall of Fame voting actually is. I could go on for ages talking about the inadequacies of not only the voting process, but also some of the actual voters...but I want to focus on Mike Mussina.

First and foremost, Mike Mussina SHOULD be a Hall of Famer. And I contend that if Tom Glavine received 91.9% of the vote, then Mike Mussina deserved a much better fate on his first year on the ballot.

Before talking about Mussina's stats, accolades, and all of that...I just want to put out Tom Glavine's numbers over the course of his career:

3.54 ERA, 1.314 WHIP, 118 ERA+, 10 ASG's, 2 Cy Youngs, 6 Cy Young finishes in the top 6

Now, those numbers are largely impressive. Especially considering that Tom Glavine's peak was very, very good (1991-1998):

2.96 ERA, 1.243 WHIP, 138 ERA+, 6 ASG's, 2 Cy Youngs, 5 Cy Young finishes in the top 6

Glavine's career spanned 22 years. Just putting that out there. I'm a big fan of Tom Glavine, and I agree that he's a Hall of Famer. But, I believe that if Glavine got in, Mussina should have as well.

Let's look into Mussina's numbers.

Moose's career spanned 18 years all spent in the AL East. It's notable to mention that because the AL East is a much tougher division than the NL East (Tom Glavine's body of work as a Brave and Met).

His career numbers:

3.68 ERA, 1.192 WHIP, 123 ERA+, 5 ASG's, 7 GG's, 9 Cy Young finishes in the top 6

His career numbers are actually better than Glavine's. But there's one notable stat that I didn't mention (largely, because it sucks). And that's W-L record.

  • Tom Glavine: 305-203 (.600 win pecentage)
  • Mike Mussina: 270-153 (.638 win percentage)

Glavine has the magical 300 number, whereas Mussina fell 30 wins short. Personally it wouldn't (doesn't) shock me that the BWAA puts a lot of weight on a pitcher's W-L record. But let's not forget that Glavine pitched 4 additional seasons and in an easier league (and division). Had Mussina pitched for another 3-4 years, he'd have reached the 300 plateau, IMHO.

Oh, and I'm sure the BWAA focused on another meaningless stat: number of 20+ win seasons. In case you want that number:

  • Tom Glavine: 5
  • Mike Mussina: 1 (his final season: 2008)

I do think it's important to note that Mussina had 5 18-19 win seasons. But apparently 18 and 19 aren't as gaudy as 20. But I digress.

Worthless stats aside, Mike Mussina's peak was from 1991-2001. Those stats:

3.49 ERA, 1.164 WHIP, 131 ERA+, 5 ASG's, 5 GG's, 8 Cy Young votes in the top 6

Now, let's compare to Glavine's peak:

  • Glavine: 2.96 ERA, 1.243 WHIP, 138 ERA+, 6 ASG's, 0 GG's, 2 Cy Youngs, 5 Cy Young finishes in the top 6
  • Mussina: 3.49 ERA, 1.164 WHIP, 131 ERA+, 5 ASG's, 5 GG's, 0 Cy Youngs, 8 Cy Young finishes in the top 6

Very similar, although Glavine had a better ERA (by more than half a run) and 2Cy Youngs to go along with it.

How about we compare careers?

  • Glavine: 3.54 ERA, 1.314 WHIP, 118 ERA+, 10 ASG's, 0 GG's, 2 Cy Youngs, 6 Cy Young finishes in the top 6
  • Mussina: 3.68 ERA, 1.192 WHIP, 123 ERA+, 5 ASG's, 7 GG's, 0 Cy Youngs, 9 Cy Young finishes in the top 6

If you love ERA+, you'll notice he was 5% better than Glavine over the length of his career.

So why is Glavine in the HOF, but Mussina isn't? I think it's mostly on his W-L record and number of 20 game seasons. Maybe his 2 Cy Youngs play into it, but Mussina's 9 finishes in the top 6 is pretty damn impressive, too.

Taking all of that into account, Glavine's 91.9% of the vote compared to Mussina's 20.3% is laughable. Mussina deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. Period.

Finally, when/if he makes the Hall of Fame, he 100% (for sure!) needs to go in as an Oriole. I wanted to write another article explaining why, but I'll just leave these numbers here for the audience:

  • As an Oriole (1991-2000, 10 years): 3.53 ERA, 130 ERA+, 1.175 WHIP, 5 ASG's, 4 GG's, 7 Cy Young finishes in the top 6, 147-81 record, .645 win percentage
  • As a Yankee (2001-2008, 8 years): 3.88 ERA, 114 ERA+, 1.212 WHIP, 0 ASG's, 3 GG's, 2 Cy Young finishes in the top 6, 123-72 record, .631 win percentage

So, yeah. Mike Mussina is a Hall of Famer. And he deserves to go in as an Oriole.

The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer’s view