As expected, New York Yankees pitcher Mike Mussina has decided to retire, according to a baseball source with knowledge of the situation. Mussina informed the Yankees last week he would give them a decision by the end of this week.
Mussina, who turns 40 next month, spent the last eight seasons with the Yankees after pitching for the Baltimore Orioles for the first 10 years of his career. His 270 wins rank second among all active right-handers, behind only Greg Maddux. In the final start of his career, he pitched six shutout innings against the Boston Red Sox to finish off the first 20-win season of his career.
As I wrote at the end of the season, it's probably a good political move for him to hang it up, because whereas never having won 20 could have been an irrational liability for his Hall of Fame chances, winning 20 in his last season may be an irrational asset. Now, instead of knocking him for not having attained a rather arbitrary milestone, the writers will credit Mussina for having achieved an arbitrary milestone, all because Xavier Nady hit a three run homer off of Matsuzaka in the fourth inning of a meaningless game on the last day of the season.
(thanks to reader Chris Lagrow for the heads up)