Why I have a hard time bashing Mussina

Pouring fuel on the A-Rod fire
Rumors: Yanks to play exhibition at Virginia Tech on 3/18

The best part about clinching in blowout style is that you don’t have to talk about the game; we can just talk about the celebration afterwards. Before I get to the subject of this post, I’d like to point out my favorite moments of the postgame (best.postgame.ever.):

  • Edwar apparently likes dousing people with beer while they’re on camera. Guess the kid feels neglected.
  • There was a shot of Joba chugging a bottle of champagne. Less than 10 minutes later, he was being interviewed by Kim Jones, and actually kept his shit together. Bravo, Joba.
  • Melky must have been puking his guts out later on, seeing how much champagne he drank.
  • Four or five guys dousing Robinson Cano as Kim Jones interviewed him. We can only speculate, but yeah, they did that on purpose.
  • Joe Torre rambling on and on, sounding very drunk and very emotional. His head was flapping around so much during his interview that the skin under his chin was wobbling like a turkey.
  • Robinson Cano enjoying a cold Keystone Light. Really? Key Light? The Yanks couldn’t do better than that?
  • Mike Mussina and Shelley Duncan horsing around. I just wouldn’t expect those two to have much interaction.

The reason why I have a hard time bashing Mussina is explained on Pete’s blog:

“Mussina, who is not a party guy, celebrated with his teammates a bit then grabbed a beer and sat in Torre’s office with the coaches. The hard feelings are forgotten, there are more games to play now.”

This is a far cry from “Replace me? With who?” Once indignant about his removal from the rotation, Mussina apparently understands that it helped turn around his season. He got extra rest, had extra time to work on his delivery, and was able to get himself back into mental shape. So he chills with the people responsible. I have a certain admiration for that.

He’s gotta realize, though, that he can’t be effective pitching every five days over a six-month season; he’s older and his body is no longer up to the task. In a perfect coincidence, Joba Chamberlain won’t be able to go every five days over a six-month season next year because of innings pitched concerns. For that matter, same with Phil Hughes (Ian Kennedy has built up his innings and could go around 200 next year). Any chance the Yanks move outside the box and set up a six-man rotation, as to limit the innings of Mussina, Joba, and Hughes? Makes sense to me. It’s better than shuffling Joba between the rotation and the bullpen.

A few other lingering thoughts. Pettitte, scheduled to pitch Friday, would be lined up on normal rest for Game 2 if the series were to start on October 3. If it started on the fourth, he’d be on five days’ rest. Wang finishes his second straight season with 19 wins, and will be on either seven or eight days’ rest when the Yanks open the ALDS. Mussina goes tomorrow, and will start Game 3 on either eight or nine day’s rest — unless the Yanks go with Clemens there, in which case he’ll have nine or 10 days’ rest. Either way, I think Moose, despite his longing for routine, will benefit from the long layoff. Hughes makes his final regular season appearance today. He could be the Game 4 starter.

Finally: Anyone else willing to give Edwar another shot at the postseason roster after working with Mo? Hey, it worked for Vizcaino.

Update: Check out Yes Network on YouTube for all the video.

Pouring fuel on the A-Rod fire
Rumors: Yanks to play exhibition at Virginia Tech on 3/18
  • usty

    Torre was on Mike and the Mad Dog the other day and said that he’d go with Moose over Hughes in the 4th game.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

      I assumed that. My Hughes in Game 4 comment was more in regards to Clemens.

  • usty

    Sorry, misread that. Joe was pretty adamant that Clemens would be back for the playoffs and be the game 3 starter. Mike brought up some interesting points yesterday that based on which division series the yankees get (the one with extra day or not) that in the shorter series, he could see Joe going with Pettitte in game 1, Clemens in 2 and give Wang game 3 at home because of how much better he pitches there.

  • Andrew

    That definitely makes sense for the shorter series.

    But for the longer series, it’s a no-brainer. Wang pitches Game 1 on the road, true, but he pitches Game 4 at home, and Pettitte pitches Games 2 and 5 on the road, where he has been excellent. Clemens has been horrendous on the road this year, and excellent at home. Let’s just hope for Cleveland to end up with the best record, so they choose the longer schedule.

  • Jon

    I like the idea of a 6-man rotation, but there are some issues:

    – Wang is certainly strong enough to pitch on 4 days rest, and as a sinker baller, more rest could actually make him less effective. Also (less importantly) he may not be in favor of this because of it hurting his stats, and hence his future salary.

    – You effectively lose a roster spot.

    – Someone will get hurt – then what do you do? Move back to 5-man rotation and possibly screw people up? Or keep the 6-man rotation and have Karstens (or some other crap) in it? Think about the criticism that will attract.

    I’m not sure what’s better for the young guys. Ideally I think you start a young pitcher in the pen, then begin to stretch him out and transition him to the rotation, with a target of 160-170IP or so. But that’s tough to do when you’ve got 3 of these guys.

    So yeah, I think all things considered, a 6-man rotation is a good idea. In theory, the extra rest could allow them to pitch deeper into games, and offset the loss of your last bullpen arm (who would suck anyway).

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

      I’m going to elaborate on this more in the off-season, because that’s not at all what I mean by a six-man rotation. I’d still start Wang, Pettitte, and to a lesser extent Kennedy on normal rest. It’s Joba, Hughes, and Moose that I’d be juggling more than the top two guys.

    • Kyle

      Personally I would let Hughes start in AAA, let him work down there and make sure all his mechanics are good, then you line Joba up as your #5 and skip him when you get a chance.

      As for the playoffs, I like the idea of Hughes in the pen a lot, his fastball will play up as will his curve. He could be a very dangerous weapon

    • Tom

      Everyone brings up great points. I am not convinced that Chamberlain will be returned to the rotation. They will train him in the off-season to return to the starter’s role. That makes sense to give the team options. However, I feel Chamberlain would help the yankees more by being available more often as a late inning reliever more than a starter. He can shorten games with Rivera, and possibly be groomed as Rivera’s replacement. The Yankees will not base their rotation on three kids, even as good as these guys are. I can see one more year for Pettite, while Wang, Moose, IPK, and Hughes make up the rest of the rotation. Ohlendorf, Vizcaino(sp!!), Chamberlain, Ramirez, Rivera, etc. in the pen. Again only my opinion….

  • Count Zero

    I’m sorry, but leaving your #1 in the bag until game 3 because of his road/home split is retarded. So if you get to game 5, you go with your second best pitcher, Andy? Which isn’t too bad except that then if you win, you’re faced with the same decision in Game 1 of the ALDS…you going to save Wang for game 3 again? I mean if the logic made sense to you the first time around, then why doesn’t it make sense the second time around? If Wang is the right guy to pitch game 1 on the road in the ALCS, then why isn’t he the right guy to pitch game 1 on the road in the ALDS when game 1 is even more important than it is in the ALCS?

    You want your best chance to win in each game as it happens. You might be able to convince me that Andy’s playoff/big game experience goes in game 1 and Wang goes in game 2, but holding him until game 3 is just stupid. By then you could be down 2-0 and have your back against the wall.

  • kunaldo

    by the way, mientkiewicz’s interview was awesome

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

      He was in the zone. As a vet, he can’t let the cameras know that he’s drunk.

  • Frank

    Love this quote from A-Rod:

    “Home runs are not what’s going to win in October,” he said. “It’s going to be doing the little things, hitting balls the other way, taking walks. If you run into one or two, that’s awesome. But playing the little game is what’s going to be productive, for me and everyone.”

    I also like the idea of a six man rotation, but I don’t think they’ll do it and I don’t think they should. So many things can happen to pitching so it’s weird to plan for stuff that may not happen.

    I know we’d rather have Joba starting, but because of his innings limit, what about planning to get him 150-175 innings out of the pen? That’s maybe two innings every other game. He continues to build arm strength while providing a fantastic weapon. The only Rule you keep in place is you limit his back-to-back appearances. If Joe could do that for Farns for the last two years, they could certainly do it for Joba.

    Then you let Hughes and Moose alternate as the four and five as necessary to limit their innings and skip their turn every now and then. Kennedy as the three (cause he can throw 200 innings). And if an injury occurs, they still have ridiculous organizational depth (O-Kei!!!).

  • http://greenmen.org/skyking162 Sky

    I like the idea of counting on six starters, but not in a straight rotation. Let Mussins go every five days to start the season and let one of the young guys start in the bullpen. You’re bound to have an injury to a starter or an ineffective Mussins down the road. That’s when you can let the sixth guy into the rotation. It’s the old Earl Weaver approach.

  • http://greenmen.org/skyking162 Sky

    Oh, and I’d throw Igawa into the mix somehow, too. Give him two months in the rotation, pushing another young guy to the pen, and then replace him if he’s not up to par (earlier if he’s absolutely pounded, and not at all if he lives up to pre-2007 hype.)

  • Lex

    Well, looking at how many innings they’ve pitched this year, I’d start off next year with a five man rotation and hughes in the bullpen. Around the end of May they can go to a six man rotation to keep chamberlain’s overall innings down. That way Hughes and Chamberlain could each end up around 130-140 IP.

    Innings Pitched this year (so far):
    Hughes: 103.1
    Chamberlain: 112

  • Frank

    But, Lex, why would you do that when Joba has already shown he’s a fantastic bullpen arm while Hughes has shown he can be a decent starter? Why mess with both when you don’t have to mess with either?

  • tony from the bronx

    joe,i think you start the year with your 5 best starters.Just like the past pitchers always get hurt.Cashman did an interview with pp where he talks about our pitching depth and new org.philosphy.Cashman also said that by the time you finish a season you will need al least 20 pitchers in some form or another.I would start the year with Wang Petitte (if he comes back) Mussina,Hughes,Chamberlin,with Kennedy as the long man and then go from there

  • http://SportingGurus.com Adam A

    Yes, I would put Edwar on the post season roster, but let’s make one thing very clear: in a high leverage situation, only 2 relievers should be considered: Joba and Rivera. Vizcaino and Edwar can be the 3rd and 4th, with Ohlendorf as the 5th.

  • Jamie

    Can anyone PLEASE link all of the video from last night i feel lonely that i only get to see Arod, Jeter, and Torre’s reaction and celebration. SOMEONE PLEASE HELP!!!!

    they dont have it up on yankees.com or yesnetwork.com!!


      Somewhere, Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle are both enjoying a cold one and wondering what the fuss is all about.