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COOPERSTOWN Juan Lagares Jersey , N.Y. (AP) — Two months after he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, Mike Mussina still had a hard time believing his good fortune.“Gratifying is a good word,” Mussina said Thursday after touring baseball’s shrine to prepare for his July induction. “I’m an example of someone that didn’t win a ton of individual awards, I never won a World Series, and I never won 20 games in one season as a starter until the very last season.“There’s a lot of players out there who are going to play their careers similar to mine, so it’s an example of the fact that you don’t have to win five Cy Young Awards and strike out 4,000 people as a pitcher to be able to be thought of as one of the best that ever played.”Mussina, who was born in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, split his career between the Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees and finished his career with a 270-153 record.“I did a lot of almost stuff, but now I get to say that I went to the Hall of Fame instead of almost going to the Hall of Fame,” he said. “Winning 19 games a couple years and being runner-up in the Cy Young and being in the World Series and not winning the World Series, I wish those things turned out differently. Those things didn’t happen, but things turned out OK.”Also elected in January were pitchers Roy Halladay and Mariano Rivera and designated hitter Edgar Martinez. Lee Smith and Harold Baines were elected in December by a veterans committee.The 50-year-old Mussina received 76.7 percent of the vote in his sixth year on the ballot, just above the 75 percent threshold.“I haven’t really figured it all out yet. To be honest, the whole thing was a surprise this year Travis d'Arnaud Jersey ,” Mussina said. “When they called me at the end of basketball practice, I was still in the gym. The phone rang and it said ‘New York’ on my phone. I was like, ‘Oh man, this is .’ It was just surprising to me. I wasn’t really mentally ready for it, so it’s been a little chaotic and crazy.“It’s exciting and I’m really looking forward to it, coming back in July and being a part of it.”Mussina, a right-hander, pitched for 18 major league seasons, the first 10 spent with Baltimore. A five-time All-Star and seven-time Gold Glove winner, he won at least 10 games 17 times. His 2,813 strikeouts ranked 19th on the all-time list when he retired and he became the oldest first-time 20-game winner when he reached the milestone at age 39 in 2008, his final season in the majors.“I played in an era when there was a lot of good pitchers, and I pitched against a lot of guys that have plaques that are already here, and I probably pitched against guys who are going to have a chance to be here,” said Mussina, who was accompanied by his wife Noah Syndergaard Jersey , Jana. “I’m fortunate that I played in that era, that I played with guys that have achieved a lot in this game. I’m just proud and honored to be considered one of them.”Asked about his induction speech, Mussina smiled and said: “It’s going. It hasn’t gone very far. I’ve got four months. I might be a college guy and study late or cram for it. I’m not allowed to wing it, I will tell you that. I can’t show up and just talk. They won’t let me do that.“I don’t know really how it’s going to go, how I’m going to be, how I’m going to feel. Am I going to laugh the whole time? Am I going to cry? I just don’t know.“We’ll see.” Dylan Buell/Getty ImagesWashington Nationals general manager and president of baseball operations Mike Rizzo sees manager Davey Martinez as part of the team in 2019 despite what has been a massively disappointing 2018 campaign."I haven't considered any other scenario," Rizzo said Wednesday when asked whether Martinez would return for next season, per MASN's Mark Zuckerman.Rizzo added he doesn't plan on executing a full-scale rebuild in the offseason."The core is in place to have a championship club," he said, perZuckerman.Granted, some of Rizzo's belief may hinge on whether the Nationals re-sign Bryce Harper, who's a free agent in the winter. Although he's Washington's only big star headed for free agency, he'd leave a big hole in the lineup if he were to sign elsewhere.Regarding Martinez, there's only so much blame to place on a manager for a team that has encountered as much bad luck as the Nationals have.According toBaseball Prospectus, Washington has a .549 third-order winning percentage, which would put the team at 76 wins and right in the National League playoff hunt. Nationals relievers are also 26th in FIP (4.48) http://www.metsfanproshop.com/authentic-...bow-jersey , perFanGraphs. Yadier Molina's two-out, two-strike grand slam in the top of the ninth in Tuesday night's 11-8 Washington loss to the St. Louis Cardinals sums up the bullpen's fortunes this year.Joe Sheehan joe_sheehanAt the end of the day, I believed in the #Nationals?chances more than anyone employed by the team did. An 0-2, two-out grand slam. Uncle.Martinez may have a hand in the team's failure to close out games, though."Martinez's ability to handle a pitching staff emerged as the primary concern in the Nationals clubhouse in the first part of this season, according to on- and off-the-record conversations with players and those familiar with this team inner workings," theWashington Post'sChelsea Janesreported in July.Specifically, Nationals players were worried Martinez was pushing the relievers too hard.TheWashington Post'sBarrySvrlugaalso questioned whether Martinez was capably handling the team in the clubhouse, highlighting the trade ofBrandon Kintzler as an example of the team going out of its way to show support for the manager and send a message. According toSvrluga, the team dealt Kintzler because "he had been too critical of the club inner workings and clubhouse culture."With the season still going on, Rizzo has little reason to undermine Martinez's position by allowing for the possibility he could be out of a job in the offseason.Firing Martinez after just one year would be a surprising move, but it wouldn't be too hard in seeing the Nationals' justification for doing so with how much things have unraveled so quickly.
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