It’s no secret around here that I am no fan of Mike Mussina’s. While he has put up some huge seasons for the Yanks and has turned in some stellar games over the years, I’ve long questioned his desire and drive on the mound.
Too many times, I’ve seen Mike Mussina grow flustered with his fielders after an error or with his pitches after he doesn’t get a close call from an umpire. Too many times, I’ve seen Mussina squander away a lead because he’s just given up. Maybe it’s his drive for perfection just manifesting itself; maybe it’s 3000+ Big League innings coming home to roost.
But whatever the cause or the symptoms, something about Mike Mussina just rubs me the wrong way.
So enter Andy Pettitte and the HGH/Mitchell Report scandal. In discussions with the media yesterday, Mike Mussina shared his thoughts on the topic. Generally, he was very supportive of Andy but realistic. Pettitte, Mussina said, will face some trying times this season, especially when he pitches in Boston and if he struggles out of the gate. But the best part was Mussina’s money quote.
“However it happens, he has to be able to go out there and pitch,” Mike Mussina said of Pettitte. “He has to find a way to deal with it. I don’t think he will be able to do his job properly if he has to answer questions all season long.”
So many times over the last three seasons, I’ve yelled at the TV with Mussina on the mound. I’ve pled, begged, shouted and just plain stated: Mike Mussina has to find a way to deal with it. Sure, Jeter made a bad throw, Giambi made a bad scoop, the pitch was on the black. But just deal with it.
I got a chuckle out of Mussina’s quote today, and then I thought to myself, “Hey, Mike, take your own advice. It’s for the good of the team too.”