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Wednesday Bird Droppings: Where Mike Mussina is a Hall of Famer

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In other news: the O’s might still make a big international splash and breaking down the potential starting pitchers.

Toronto Blue Jays v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

Good morning, Birdland!

It happened! Maybe even a year sooner than some expected. Mike Mussina, with 76.7 percent of the vote, has been given his rightful place in the Baseball Hall of Fame. One of the best pitchers in Orioles history will be enshrined among the game’s greats. Congratulations, Moose!

The natural progression of discussion once a player is voted into the Hall is to debate which cap they should wear on their plaque. For Mussina, that means a choice between the O’s and the New York Yankees. According to the pitcher himself, that decision is up in the air.

If we are being fair and basing it entirely on performance, it’s not even close. Mussina should go in as an Oriole.

The righty spent 10 seasons in Baltimore. During that time, he was an all-star six times, a four-time Gold Glover and finished in the top five of Cy Young voting five times. If stats are more your thing, Mussina had a 3.53 ERA, 130 ERA+, 3.63 FIP and 1.175 WHIP while tossing 2009.1 innings over 288 games in the black and orange.

Mussina played eight seasons as a Yankee. He threw 1553 innings and compiled a 3.88 ERA, 114 ERA+, 3.50 FIP and 1.212 WHIP while earning noticeably less silverware (two Gold Gloves. That’s it.) in pinstripes.

Links

Mike Mussina elected to Baseball Hall of Fame - Camden Chat
Finally!

Cuban Defector SS Yolbert Sanchez Cleared to Sign - FanGraphs
This could potentially be a big deal for the Orioles. The organization lacks middle infield talent in the upper minors. Sanchez is 22 years old and seen as an above-average thrower, fielder and runner. If Mike Elias really wants Sanchez, he can have him. The O’s still have more international money than anyone else, and there aren’t many other big prospects to sign.

How one reluctant extra scouting trip landed Mike Mussina on the Orioles - The Athletic
The Orioles drafted Mussina twice, out of high school in 1987 and again out of Stanford in 1990. Seems like they got that one right both times.

For now, Orioles potential starters are familiar ones - Baltimore Baseball
As with just about every other player-related move the O’s have made this off-season, the starting pitching situation isn’t too exciting. But it could be. The Orioles should experiment with openers, six-man rotations, handcuffing pitchers and anything else that might seem interesting. What’s the worst that could happen?

Orioles birthdays and history

Is it your birthday? Happy Birthday!

The late Chico Carrasquel was born on this day in 1926. The infielder spent 114 games with the Orioles during the 1959 season. Utilityman Marty Brown, a nine-game member of the 1990 O’s, turns 56 today. Outfielder Sherman Obando, a .269/.304/.362 hitter over 47 games with the O’s between ‘93 and ‘95, is 49. Charlie Greene, an Orioles catcher for 18 games in the late 90’s, turns 48. And finally, Cord Phelps, a three-game infielder in 2014, is 32.

2010 - Miguel Tejada signs a one-year deal with the Orioles worth $6 million. This marks the beginning of Tejada’s second stint in Baltimore after he spent 2004 - 2007 as the team’s shortstop.

2014 - Grant Balfour signs a two-year, $12 million deal with the Tampa Bay Rays. He had agreed to a contract with the Orioles earlier in the offseason, but the deal was negated when the pitcher failed his physical. Balfour would appear in 70 games for the Rays over the next two seasons, compiling a 5.00 ERA and 75 ERA+, resulting in him being released in April of 2015.