While researching this comment, I came across some interesting information that makes me believe the Yanks were duped into giving Mike Mussina a contract longer and for more money than he deserved. Now, I don’t think Mike Mussina himself was responsible for that duping. Rather, the Yankees were simply blind to Mussina’s performance.
One year ago today, Mike Mussina was 9-3 with a 3.28 ERA. He had an 8.0 K/9 IP ratio and was averaging 6.2 innings per start. Since then, Mussina has gone 9-9 with a 4.32 ERA. His K/9 IP is down to 6.8 and he now averages fewer than 5.2 innings per start. That is an across-the-board decline that shows no indication of letting up. Moose is, obviously, one year older today than he was a year ago, and old pitchers don’t get better.
The Yankees paid for the Mike Mussina that pitched for them from April through June of 2006. They are stuck with a declining Mike Mussina for this year and beyond. For those of you expecting Mike Mussina to be Mike Mussina of old, you should probably just expect an old Mike Mussina instead.