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October 20, 2009

The season that was...May

If you read nothing more, leave now knowing that May brought with it two things…mustaches and Ron Villone.

I can explain.

The third annual
Mustache May celebration kicked off on the first day of May (imagine that!) and with it came your “’stache of the Day”, an endorsement from The American Mustache Institute, an appearance on WGN Radio and interviews with Hall of Famer Fergie Jenkins and the king of all lip sweaters…Rollie Fingers.

Villone lived up to his moniker “Suitcase” early in the month, when he suited up for the Nationals, his Major League record-tying twelfth team. After the call up from Syracuse, he tied fellow journeyman, pitcher Mike Morgan.

Close on their heels is Matt Stairs.

Stairs is currently enjoying another playoff run with Philadelphia, his eleventh team.

And while not exactly a “milestone”, the Cubs did something pretty cool and pretty monumental on May 3. Before the “North Siders” took the field against the Marlins, they retired number 31 for both Fergie Jenkins and Greg Maddux.

Each hurler won a Cy Young Award and combined for 300 victories while wearing the pinstriped 31. Maddux would have his 31 retired by the Braves in July.

On May 17, future Hall of Famer Ivan Rodriguez became another in a seemingly long line of players that would circle the bases for the 300th time.

For his career, “Pudge” Rodriguez has hit 298 of his 305 homers as a catcher, good for seventh among backstops on the all-time list.

About a week later, Jason Giambi came out of hibernation to finally hit his 400th career home run.

When The Hall initially previewed
American League West milestones, thought was that “the Giambino” would have surpassed 400 sometime in Mid-April. Unfortunately, a terrible slump pushed back the milestone to May 23.

Giambi finished up his season with 409 home runs and found himself with the Rockies. All-time, he is sitting at 43 on the career homers list, having passed up Hall of Famers Al Kaline (399) and Duke Snider (407) in 2009.

After six attempt to achieve the milestone, Phillies pitcher Jamie Moyer locked down win Number 250 on May 31 against the Nationals.

Granted, Moyer finished up the year coming out of the bullpen and facing down the first surgery of his long career, could we be looking at a guy who, with 258 wins, could take up residency in Cooperstown?

Consider this, Moyer has fifteen seasons with double-digit wins and all but one was achieved after the age of 30. And of the 40 pitchers with more victories, only Phil Niekro (17) had more double-digit wins seasons after they turned 30.

What about the 10 other lefties with more than 250 wins?

All but four (Tom Glavine, Randy Johnson, Tommy John and Jim Kaat) are in the Hall of Fame. Glavine (with 305 wins) and Johnson (303) will get there and you certainly can make a case for John and Kaat making it in someday courtesy of Veterans Committee.

So let me know…does Moyer have what it takes to get enshrined?

I’m on the fence (hedging toward “no”) when you look at the big picture, but when you consider those he pitched against…you could do much, much worse.

Yesterday...we broke down
April. Join me tomorrow when we look at, naturally, June.

BallHype: hype it up!

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