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Where the 15 Minutes of Fame Never End
Well, it looks like Mark Mulder retired today. It makes me wonder, will we be talking about Mulder as an Obscure Athlete in three years? He was the second overall pick by the A’s in 1998. Mulder, of course, was part of Oakland’s famed “Big Three” back in the early 00’s. There was a time in baseball where all three of those guys could realistically compete for the Cy Young award.
From 2001-2005ish, Mulder put up arguably ace-like numbers; until about halfway through the 2005 campaign. His WHIP for that time period wasn’t higher than 1.38, which is staggering. Oakland ended up trading Mulder after 2004 to St. Louis for a package consisting of: Dan Haren, Kiko Calero, and Daric Barton. Make no mistake about it, this turned out to be quite the haul for the A’s. Just another reason why I love Billy Beane, because he just knows much more than you do. Like he’s trading you a pitcher, just don’t take it.
Suffering from rotator cuff issues and the norm of any declining pitcher, Mulder began to struggle more in 2006. He made only 17 starts and managed to have an ERA of 7.14 with a nice 1.70 WHIP. Mulder was obviously not the same pitcher after the injuries, and was up for free agency in the 2007 offseason with St. Louis giving him a 2 year $13 million dollar contract. He went on to pitch a total of 12.2 innings throughout the duration of that contract and hasn’t been in the big leagues since. Despite several attempts to rehab his arm, it fell short for Mulder.
Now, it’s up to you, will Mark Mulder be an Obscure Athlete someday?