Hoffman is Great. Now Let’s Talk About Mussina.
Trevor Hoffman was really great at baseball. He deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. It’s good to see that the voters got it right, and that Trevor Hoffman is heading to the Hall of Fame.
It’s a wonderful occasion, and it calls for celebration. I’m glad the good people here at the Kept Faith have decided to honor the occasion with a week of celebrating him. I’ve enjoyed reading and hearing everyone’s memories of him, and learning what he meant to the fans of one of the 30 cities lucky enough to have a baseball team. That is at least part of the reason that the Hall of Fame exists.
Hoffman was really great, and he deserves the celebration.
More specifically, Hoffman is the second best closer to ever live, and we can no longer talk about baseball without discussing closers. It’s been that way my entire life, so the idea that he should be punished for playing that position is actually pretty strange, if you think about it. His changeup was fantastic, and baseball fans who go to a baseball museum in 30 years should have the chance to learn about that wonderful changeup of his.
But now we must talk about Mike Mussina.
Why isn’t Mike Mussina in the Hall of Fame?
It’s stupid that he isn’t.
To pick one metric – which is by no means the only one that matters, but is at least as good as any other and probably the best if we could only use one – let’s look at WAR.
Mike Mussina accumulated over 82 WAR in his career, just over half of that coming while playing for the Baltimore Orioles.
Hoffman – who we have already established is a fantastic baseball player, who uncontroversially deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, and whose Hall entry we have duly celebrated – accumulated 28 WAR in his career.
Perhaps you have some issues with WAR. I, too, have some issues with WAR. It isn’t perfect. It is a blunt instrument that isn’t great at distinguishing subtle differences between similarly accomplished players.
Maybe it’s off by something like 10 or 20 percent. Heck, maybe it’s off by 50 percent on any given player.
But by WAR, Mike Mussina is 300 percent better than Trevor Hoffman. Dock your 10, or 20, or 50 percent margin of error, and run the comparison again. What’s it say now?
That Mike Mussina should be in the god damn Hall of Fame.
It would be stupid to have a Hall of Fame without Trevor Hoffman.
It’s stupid to have a Hall of Fame without Mike Mussina.
Let’s stop being stupid.