Sabathia: Keep an eye on 300 wins
You never really know athletes you cover or cheer for, even the ones in your own town. So making judgments on a guy who stops by once a year is fool’s gold. But C.C. Sabathia certainly comes across as a solid guy.
Down to Earth. Humble. Friendly. Heck, just the fact that he comes to the Warren Spahn Awards Gala every year — three straight years now — shows some solid character in the guy. Lot of guys who shine on the pitching mound of Yankee Stadium would say no to a January trip to Oklahoma City.
But here’s what I learned yesterday researching some Sabathia stuff for my column. The guy could make a run at 300 wins.
It’s become common to claim the 300 club is about to close, that we’ll see no more members join the fraternity in in the next generation. Only 24 pitchers have reached 300, the most recent being Randy Johnson (2009), Tom Glavine (2007), Greg Maddux (2004) and Roger Clemens (2003).
Nobody else is within sniffing distance of 300. Heck, no one else is within a Polo Grounds home run of 300.
The remarkable Mike Mussina retired after the 2008 season, a year in which he went 20-9. At the age of 39, he had 270 wins. Hang on for three more years, get 10 wins a year, and Mussina would have been there. He was the last chance for probably a decade. David Wells is the next-highest winner on the recently-retired list, with 239 victories. He retired at age 44 in 2007. Curt Schilling retired after the 2007 season at age 4o; he had 216 wins.
Among active pitchers, Jamie Moyer is the closest, with 258 victories. But Moyer is 46 years old. He’d have to win 11 games a year until he’s 50. I guess it’s possible. Moyer the last three seasons with the Phillies — a real ballteam, not some franchise just filling out a roster — has gone 14-12, 16-7, 12-10. That’s 42 wins the last three years. Get 42 wins the NEXT three years, and Moyer will reach 300. He also will smash all known age barriers in baseball.
Past Moyer, there’s no one. Here are the next four active victory leaders:
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