Why Mike Mussina keeps getting hosed in the Hall of Fame voting

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Last winter, just before the Hall of Fame voting results, Matthew did a good comp of Curt Schilling, John Smoltz and Mike Mussina, finding that all three of them had fantastic Hall of Fame cases. Mussina’s, however, was probably the strongest and, among the three, Smoltz’s probably the weakest, even if only mildly so.

So of course it seems like the three of them have Hall of Fame voting results that are the opposite of that. Smoltz is in and Schilling has more support than Mussina. Viva democracy, I guess.

Today Graham Womack of The Sporting News talks about Mussina and why his case, at least from the perspective of armchair analysis of voters, is so tough:

There’s a school of thought that if one needs to think about whether a player is a Hall of Famer, they probably are not one. By this kind of simple gut analysis that many voters seem to still favor, Mussina is no easy selection. That he pitched in an era that boasted several elite pitchers — Randy Johnson, Greg Maddux, and Pedro Martinez coming quickly to mind — hasn’t helped his cause either.

I get it, at least on some vague level. Not that much hardware or any one trait — apart from consistent greatness, which apparently doesn’t matter too much to a lot of voters — that sticks out like Smoltz’s save totals and presence on those Braves teams of the 90s and Schilling’s World Series heroics. Of course that saying Womack quotes about “needing to think about it” is the dumbest thing ever, even if it flows nicely with the majority of sports analysis you see. Why think when you can just react, right?

Astros’ Verlander to have elbow surgery, miss rest of season

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Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander will undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the rest of the season.

The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner announced the news Saturday on his Instagram account in a 1½-minute video.

“In my simulated game a couple days ago, I felt something in my elbow, and after looking at my MRI and conversing with some of the best doctors in the world, we’ve determined that Tommy John surgery is my best option,” Verlander said.

He threw to hitters on Wednesday for the first time since he was injured in the team’s opener on July 24. He threw 50 pitches in the bullpen before throwing about 25 pitches to hitters in two simulated innings.

“I tried as hard as I could to come back and play this season,” Verlander said. “Unfortunately, my body just didn’t cooperate.”

Verlander has been on the injured list with a right forearm strain. He went 21-6 with a 2.58 ERA in 2019.

“Obviously, this is not good news,” Verlander said. “However, I’m going to handle this the only way I know how. I’m optimistic. I’m going to put my head down, work hard, attack this rehab and hopefully, come out the other side better for it.

“I truly believe everything that everything happens for a reason, and although 2020 has sucked, hopefully, when this rehab process is all said and done, this will allow me to charge through the end of my career and be healthy as long as I want and pitch as long as I want and accomplish some of the goals that I want in my career.”

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