In our top 50 players in Baltimore sports history, we are getting to the point in the list here on The Baltimore Wire where readers should know almost every remaining player; so page down through this and let me know if you agree or disagree:
20. Mike Mussina, SP, Baltimore Orioles
In 1992, Mussina’s first full season with the Orioles, he finished with an 18-5 record and a 2.54 ERA in 241 innings. His .783 win-loss percentage led the league, and his 1.79 BB/9 was second best behind Chris Bosio. His four shutouts were tied for 2nd in the league behind only Boston’s Roger Clemens. In 1993, Mussina struggled with shoulder soreness but still managed to win 14 games while posting the 7th-best winning percentage in the American League.
Mussina returned to form in ’94, winning and striking out 99 batters in the strike-shortened season. He finished tied for 2nd in the league in wins, and his 3.06 ERA placed him 4th. In 1995, Mussina lead the league with 19 wins and had one of his finest statistical seasons. He struck out 158 batters in 221.2 innings, allowing only 81 earned runs for an ERA of 3.29. Mussina led the league with four shutouts, and he also allowed a league-low 2.03 BB/9, while his 1.069 WHIP was 2nd only to Seattle’s Randy Johnson.
He won 19 games again in ’96, 15 in ’97, 13 in ’98, 18 in ’99, and an Orioles-career low 11 in 2000. He won four consecutive gold gloves from 1996 through 1999 and finished top six in American League Cy Young voting six times with the Orioles. He played eight seasons with the Yankees following his years with the O’s. Mussina finished his career with 270 wins, 153 losses, and 2,813 strikeouts while pitching to a WHIP of 1.19 and an ERA of 3.68.
19. Joe Flacco, QB, Baltimore Ravens
Flacco is the most controversial and perhaps the most hated player in the NFL right now. I really don’t understand all the hate. What has he done wrong? All he does is win. Sure his numbers aren’t great, but who cares?
Speaking of those numbers let’s take a look at them. In Flacco’s six years he has never thrown for over 4,000 yards. In fact, he has only thrown for over 3,900 once, and that was in his worst season. He has also never thrown more than 25 touchdowns in a single season. His passes rating and completion percentage have never finished top ten in the league ever in his career. Wow Mr. Friedman, why in heaven’s name did you put him at number 19 on the list?
The answer is in his win-loss percentage. In Flacco’s six years, he has never had a losing season and has won a playoff game in five of his six years. He has won nine playoff games and one Super Bowl in just six seasons, which is absolutely incredible. If I’m a GM looking to draft or acquire a franchise quarterback, that’s the guy I want, not some guy that throws for 4,500 yards every year and doesn’t win a single playoff game, e.g. Tony Romo.