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Farewell, Moose

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Exitfare already posted a fanpost on this, but I felt compelled to write something myself.

As this season ended it was always a very real possibility that Mike Mussina would retire. We all speculated that he'd like to stick around for a few more years to get three hundred wins (he will end his career with 270), and that speculation seemed true when he filed for free agency. But at the age of 39 and 11 months, after 18 seasons in the majors, he decided enough was enough.

When I got in my car this evening the first thing that flashed on my XM radio was, "Report: Mike Mussina to retire," and I'll be honest, it caught me off guard how emotional I felt. I sat in the parking lot looking at those words flash across the screen and I welled up with emotion. Since he'd declared free agency, I'd harbored this fantasy that Mussina would sign a three year deal with the O's and during those three years he'd get his 300th win and also the WS ring he's been chasing his whole career. I knew it wouldn't happen, but I wanted it to so badly.

Mike Mussina is a player from my childhood and one of my all time favorites. As a very young child I went to baseball games and watched them on tv with my dad, but I didn't start to truly get into baseball until my early teen years. I was 12 years old when Mike Mussina came up to the bigs and I came of age with him, Cal, and Brady. To me, those are the good old days.

I know there are a lot of mixed feelings about Mike Mussina here in Birdland. But I hope that if you are one of those who was never able to come to terms with his departure, you'll set that aside for a moment and remember the 10 amazing seasons Mike Mussina spent as a Baltimore Oriole. He was a great pitcher with a great career, and now that he's retired none of my childhood favorites are still in the game.

Mike Mussina's stats as a Baltimore Oriole:

147 81 45 467 1535 1.18 2.09 6.87

Along with those numbers are 5 All Star games and 4 Gold Gloves. No Cy Youngs, but he finished in the top 5 five times as an Oriole.