Seems that Jonah Keri thinks Moose is a HOF'er. And ya know what, he makes a pretty good case.
Earlier this year, I thought that Moose was impressive but not an All-Star. Seems, also, that my thoughts were similarly familar to those claiming Moose wasn't a HOF'er: Good but not great. Others have better, more impressive numbers. Others have achieved certain milestones. blah, blah, blah.
Everyone from stat-literate writers like Rob Neyer to members of the blogosphere to the mainstream media agrees: If Mike Mussina wins four more games this season, he's punched his ticket to the Hall of Fame.Keri rightfully noted the Base 10 Problem, among others:
The article isn't new today (came out on Saturday), but I thought it was worth noting.
Baseball writers constantly overstate the importance of multiples of 10, obsessing over 20 wins in a season, or 300 wins, 500 homers or 3,000 hits in a career -- as if 19, 299, 499 or 2,999 are vastly inferior totals.
Mussina won 19 games two years in a row, in 1995 and 1996. Yet somehow the impact of those seasons is diminished because he couldn't get to a multiple of 10. It's doubly ridiculous when you combine the Base 10 problem with the context problem. On Sept. 28, 1996, Mussina threw eight terrific innings against the Blue Jays, allowing just four hits, two walks and one run, while striking out nine. Armando Benitez entered the game in the ninth and promptly squandered the Orioles' one-run lead. Baltimore went on to win the game 3-2 in 10 innings. But because of Benitez's lousy performance, Mussina didn't get the win -- the one that would have been his 20th of the year.
Really? Mussina doesn't belong in the Hall of Fame because of Armando Benitez?