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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Death Of The 300 Game Winner? Not Yet

NY Yankee, and Raiders fan CC Sabathia on the Raiders sideline.
Courtesy - Raiders/Tony Gonzales

Sunday night, I, like many of you around the country
tuned in to ESPN to watch what could have been a
match up for the ages, 9-3 C.C. Sabathia vs 11-1
R.A. Dickey, clearly we didn't get it. What I did
come away with though, is that we may still see a
300 game winner in our lifetime.

What with all the pitch counts, innings limits, and
five man rotations, it seemed as though it would be
next to impossible to ever have a legitimate shot
at a 300 game winner. That's when I heard one of
the announcers spew another fact, and that was that
at the age of 31 (as of today), C.C. Sabathia has
185 wins, and that in turn immediately reminded me
that he has been averaging 20 wins a season for the
past three seasons, and on his way to another 20 this
year. If we then take a realistic estimate, and say
that he will pitch 6 more seasons after this, and
again modestly say that with highs in the beginning
and lows near the end he could average 17 wins per
year, he would be at 300 without any real problem.
Of course he would need to stay off the DL, and
remain with the Yankees or a team like the Yankees
that can steal a win or two for you now and then.
Even with that even if he only averages 14 per
year, all he has to do is what every fading star
does when they're near such a milestone, hang on
for dear life, find a team that craves being part
of your history and experience and average 7-10
wins for the next 2-3 seasons.

I looked at the active pitchers ahead of C.C., and
though there are four, they are no major threat to
get there either before him or at all. Jamie Moyer
at 86 years of age has 269 wins, is out of baseball,
and will retire any decade now. Andy Petitte is
next up with 243 w's, but he should be crying for
his Mommy any day now and return to Texas to be with
his family. Roy Halladay and Tim Hudson are both
ahead of Sabathia with 192 and 187 wins respectively,
but they are both older than C.C. at 35 and 36 years
of age, and at this stage do not appear as durable,
or have enough time left to make up the ground needed
to pull off such an amazing and arduous task.

So though I think that the death of the 300 game winner
as we know it may be a bit premature to announce, it
is likely that last very last one may very well be in
our midst as we speak. If teams keep limiting guys
like Stephen Strasburg to 100 pitches and 160 innings
per year you better get a ticket to any game Sabathia
pitches from now on, you are likely to be watching the
last of it's kind in the way of 300 game winners.

Don't Believe In Plays, Believe In Players - Al Davis

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