The next 300-game winner? How about Jamie Moyer?


When Tom Glavine won his 300th game in 2007 dozens of short-sighted columnists wrote about how he’d be “the last 300-game winner.” He wasn’t, of course. In fact, less than two years later Randy Johnson won his 300th, which resulted in even more columns claiming he’d be the last to join the club.
One of my many pet peeves is the increasing tendency to say something is either “the greatest thing ever” or “the last thing ever” because usually neither is true. In the case of 300 wins it’s silly to think no one will ever accomplish that feat again when multiple pitchers who began their careers in the 1980s–with the same five-man rotations and similar workloads–have done so. As they say, ever is a really long time.
Glavine joined the club in 2007, followed by Johnson in 2009, and before that it was Greg Maddux in 2004 and Roger Clemens in 2003. There will be more 300-game winners, but it may take a while because Jamie Moyer is the only active pitcher with as many as 240 wins. Or maybe Moyer can actually become the next 300-game winner. He tossed seven innings of two-run ball against the Blue Jays yesterday for his 267th victory.
Obviously at age 47 even 33 more wins is a lot to ask for, but Moyer probably has a better chance than most people seem to believe. Which is basically to say he has some chance. Moyer is 9-6 with a 4.30 ERA this season and we’re not quite at the halfway point, so he looks capable of another 6-8 wins in the second half. That would leave him about 25 wins short of 300.
He’s not under contract for next season and that hurts, because 47-year-olds can collapse in a hurry and we’ve seen several elderly stars go unsigned in recent years. However, if Moyer finishes this year with 15 wins and a sub-4.50 ERA presumably the Phillies would welcome him back on a one-year deal that could get him into the 285-290 range heading into 2012.
At that point he’d be 49 years old and Moyer isn’t exactly dominant enough that he can stand to see his skills decline much more and remain effective, but once a pitcher gets into the “countdown” range of 285-290 wins they usually stick around long enough to reach 300. In fact, only five pitchers since 1900 have more than 275 wins but fewer than 300 wins. Moyer as a 300-game winner? It’s not as crazy as you might think.

Kenny Lofton, Carlos Baerga to throw out first pitches in Games 1 and 2

CLEVELAND - OCTOBER 05:  Kenny Lofton #7 of the Cleveland Indians runs to first base against the New York Yankees during Game Two of the American League Divisional Series at Jacobs Field on October 5, 2007 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
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Major League Baseball just announced the details for the ceremonial and off-field stuff in connection with Games 1 and 2 of the World Series. The one most people were wondering about was the ceremonial first pitch. Sorry, Charlie Sheen fans. Sorry fans of “Major League” in general. Two real baseball stars are handing first pitch duties: Kenny Lofton before Game 1, Carlos Baerga for Game 2.

Lofton needs no introduction. He should be a Hall of Famer but is criminally overlooked, perhaps because he bounced around to a lot of different clubs. He made his name in Cleveland, however, doing three separate tours with the Indians, leading the AL in stolen bases for five straight years early in his career and putting up a line of .300/.375/.426 in ten seasons on the shores of Lake Erie.

Baerga played for the Tribe between 1990 and 1996 and was, for a time, quite the superstar, even if people don’t talk about him much anymore. His career fell off pretty quickly in that way that often happens for second basemen and/or stars who end up on the Mets, but there was a time when he was perhaps the biggest star on some excellent Indians teams. People had “will Carlos Baerga be a Hall of Famer?” conversations and stuff. The mid-90s were a special time.

Beyond the first pitches, the National Anthem will be sung by Rachel Platten before Game 1 and by the group Locash before Game 2. As I am an old man out of touch with most things, I have no idea who they are, but I am sure their fans are passionate and their renditions of the Anthem will be fine and non-controversial. Fox, MLB and the folks at major record labels are pretty good about that sort of thing and everyone will be especially vigilant in light of what happened with that Canadian tenors group at the All-Star Game. If nothing else, I bet you pick up the check for the Anthem performance after the song, and not before these days.

I guess the White Sox don’t count

CHICAGO - APRIL 04: General Manager Ken Williams of the Chicago White Sox shows off his World Series Championship ring during ceremonies prior to the start of a game against the Cleveland Indians on April 4, 2006 at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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I realize everyone is super excited about the Cubs being in the World Series for the first time since 1945, with the chance to win it for the first time since 1908. But you’d think folks would remember that it’s just the Cubs — and not Chicago as a whole — who have been away from the Fall Classic for so long.

I know their recent struggles makes it seem like a long, long time ago, but the White Sox won the World Series in 2005. They were in the World Series in 1959 too. You wouldn’t know that, though, if you looked at some prominent media outlets:





I understand the impulse to tell the “a whole city is coming together!” story every time stuff like this happens, but there are a lot of White Sox fans in Chicago. A good number of them don’t give a crap about the Cubs. Many even resent them for being the glory franchise in the city in the eyes of many. They certainly don’t feel like there’s a championship drought afoot, and I imagine they’re somewhat cranky about having their team’s glory plastered over like this.