Is Mrs. Mussina a factor?

Interview with Bill Cook of the Trenton Thunder
ALDS Game 2: ChiSox @ Rays

In an otherwise laughable column about the precarious state of the Yankees — does anyone really think the Dodgers would trade Matt Kemp for “the regressing Melky Cabrera and the unphenomenal phenom Ian Kennedy”? — Portfolio writer Franz Lidz drops something of a Mike Mussina bombshell on an unsuspecting fan base.

Relying an an anonymous official who works for one of the current playoff teams, Lidz reports:

Whether the New York Yankees resign Mike Mussina depends almost entirely on his wife, Jana.

The rejuvenated free agent—who, at 39, won 20 games for the first time in his 18-year career—wants to play next season in the new Yankee Stadium and possibly beyond, which would enable him to make a run at 300 career victories. (He’s 30 shy).

But Jana has been adamant that he retire to life on their spread in tiny Montoursville, Pennsylvania, where the family compound is a half-dozen Ruthian clouts from the road and Mike can walk into Elery W. Nau Hardware on Broad Street without having to sign an autograph.

This nugget seems to contradict everything we’ve heard about Moose’s talks about hanging it up. The beat writers all seem to think Moose wants to go out on his own terms and of his own volition. If his wife is involved in the decision — and that’s certainly not an unreasonable or unacceptable proposition — the picture changes a bit.

The Yankees could really use Mike Mussina’s presence in 2009 both on the field and in the clubhouse. If this report is true and accurate, perhaps they can work out a Roger Clemens-type agreement with Mussina that would allow him some leeway on days during which he isn’t scheduled to pitch. For what it’s worth, this injects a new element into an issue I had thought rested on the shoulders of Moose and only Moose.

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Interview with Bill Cook of the Trenton Thunder
ALDS Game 2: ChiSox @ Rays
  • steve (different one)

    WUUUH-PAAAAH!!!

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

    We should trade the regressing Melky Cabrera and unphenomenal phenom Ian Kennedy for veteran Matt Kemp.

    • radnom

      I don’t understand why Cashman didn’t pull the trigger on that when he had the chance.

      • Rich

        And you’re 100% sure he had the chance?

        • radnom

          …joke….

          • Steve H

            I think the Dodgers were going to throw in Kershaw too.

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

      I’ll drive them to L.A. myself.

      • Chris C.

        Yeah, MATT KEMP!! Just what the Yankees need! A guy who strikes out a million times and doesn’t draw walks.

        We already got that guy…….his name is Cano.

        Nevermind that it would actually be a lopsided trade that the Dodgers wouldn’t make anyway. The YAnkees need to start adding guys that fit the mold of a championship team…….guys whowill take walks, work pitching counts, and move runners over.

        Kemp, a nice player, is NOT that guy.

        • http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/profile.php?id=594331910&ref=name Jamal G.

          We already got that guy…….his name is Cano.

          Robinson Cano struck-out in 10.9% of his AB’s in 2008, that percentage is 16th best in all of baseball. Just because Cano does not have discipline at the plate does not mean he does not make a lot of contact. Actually, that’s probably his biggest problem. His ability to make contact with anything puts him at a disadvantage at times because he is able to make contact with horrid pitches, this making weak contact (in theory).

          • TheLastClown

            I was going to say that, but I was waiting for you to provide the numbers….thanks :)

          • Steve

            Bingo. Which is why his GB/Fly ball rates can be deceiving. When he’s hitting balls weakly, they’re outs. When he’s in a groove, he scorches the ball and gets loads of hits. The rates can look very similar, but watching him play and you see whats going on pretty quickly.

            In April, some were arguing his poor performance was all just “bad luck”. But watching him on a daily basis, it was obvious that simply wasn’t the case.

        • http://inmymothersbasement.blogspot.com Tremont

          Oh boy, here we go with the moving runners over. You know who should be moving runners over? Pitchers. That’s why they bunt. Position players are supposed to get hits.

          Also Kemp turned 24, like 10 days ago and he OPSed .799, while playing CF. Not phenomenal, but certainly valuable. There aren’t a half dozen CFs I would rather have for the next 4 years.

    • Chris C.

      I love how the Yankees should throw the sun and moon at AJ Burnett, but avoid Mark Teixeira.

      It should actually be the other way around.

      • Steve

        I agree that they should get Tex, but the #1 priority is starting pitching, and correctly so.

        But this is the yanks were talking about, it shouldn’t be an either/or. They can afford both.

        • Mike Pop

          Those are the 2 guys they should sign. Forget CC

  • Illustrious

    Actually, I saw a quote from Moose in a few different papers to the extent of “my wife would have liked me to retire five years ago.” My impression is that part of the reason he is considering retirement is the ability to go out on his own terms, but also that his wife/family doesn’t want him to stick around for the “three more years” necessary to pursue 300 wins.

    However, Moose’s brother doesn’t think Moose will retire.

    • Illustrious

      Here:

      “If your intention is to go for 300,” Mussina said, “if I’m in for one, then I’m in for three.”

      Mussina and his wife have two sons, ages 10 and 5, and a daughter in college. He adores his hometown, Montoursville, Pa., where he grew up and raises the family. There is not strong support at home to keep pitching.

      “Most of them are probably leaning towards me going home, I would say,” Mussina said. “My wife would have liked me to retire five years ago. But ultimately, it’s still up to me.”

      Link

      • Andy In Sunny Daytona

        Yeah, If I was a 10 year old kid, I would hate it if my Dad was a major leaguer. That would suck. All summer long I would have to be at the stadium hanging out with my heroes, playing catch with people like Jeter and A-Rod.
        Then school would start, and I would have to hear all the kids at school tease me about how rich my family is, and how sucky it is to have everything you could want.
        I’m sure a college age daughter would hate being stuck in Manhattan for the summer.

        • Illustrious

          I highly doubt it’s his two sons who want him to stop pitching. I think it’s every young boy’s dream to have their dad play baseball.

          • Jeremy

            Sarcasm.

            • Illustrious

              Yeah, I know. I was agreeing with the above poster.

              • Jeremy

                My mistake.

        • TheLastClown

          To be honest though, what your parents do isn’t always as cool to you as it seems to other people. I can see the kids wanting him home too, and the fact that it’s Mommy’s opinion certainly will color their feelings toward it.

  • Andy In Sunny Daytona

    I guess if everyone keeps saying the “Melky and IPK for…” scenario, maybe eventually, it will come true.
    Melky and IPK for Albert Pujols. (sssshhhhh)

    • Jack

      Yeah, like that will get it done. We’d at least need Ludwick with him.

      • UWS

        Ludwick??? Rasmus or bust. Be serious, man!

  • Bill R

    Mike should tell his wife to shut up or return her 15 fur coats and 3 Mercedes she got from his pitching. 300 would solidify him as a HOFer and she should just suck it up and go back to spending her days watching tv and spending his money.

    • Old Ranger

      You are not married are you? Good Sarcasm, I hope!
      Just pulling your chain, even though I would love to have said something like that…when I was young enough to run faster. 27/09.

      • Bill R

        No i’m only 25 not married.. Ya part of that was a joke, but part of it is serious, player wives get a free ride but yet complain they don’t get to spend time with them. They could be working at Wendy’s if they really wanted too. haha

        • Lanny

          I agree. Tell her what pays for your lifestyle and your kids lifestyles and eventually their kids.

          He wants to play 3 more years. He damn well should.

          • The Scout

            He and his family have more than enough money to support the lifestyle of their choice from now until doomsday, even if he never throws another pitch. Unless, of course, he had it all invested in, say, Lehman Brothers…

            • steve (different one

              seriously, i can’t believe this lady wants to spend time with her husband. the nerve.

              his first resposibility should be to us, a bunch of people he’s never met.

              • Bill R

                You couldn’t be more right!

              • Old Ranger

                Good shot! 27/09.

    • radnom

      Why are there no female baseball players?
      .
      .
      .
      .
      .
      .
      .
      .
      .
      .
      .
      .
      .
      .
      There are no baseball fields in between the bedroom and the kitchen.

      • Jack

        I like my women like I like my ovens. Hot, and in the kitchen cooking something.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

          I like my women like I like my coffee. Black and bitter.

          • radnom

            I like my women like I like my coffee.

            Ground up and in the freezer.

            • Andy In Sunny Daytona

              I like my women like I like my vodka.

              Russian and cheap.

            • ceciguante


              strong and black.

              that one really loses it’s zing after “ground up and in the freezer.” jesus! you just can’t follow it.

              • radnom

                There is really no going back once you take it there.

        • TheLastClown

          I like my women like I like my coffee….

          Covered in BEEEEES!!!!

          Anyone? Anyone?

          • http://inmymothersbasement.blogspot.com Tremont

            I like my women like I like my ziti, with concrete and tree sap.

            I stink at analogies

  • E-ROC

    I didn’t know having your husband retire was that serious.

    • UWS

      Put it this way: she’s probably sick and tired of having to sit in Montoursville, PA, while her husband goes around banging groupies. I love Moose, but I harbor no illusions.

      • Illustrious

        Mike Mussina seems WAY too boring for hooking up with groupies. (But if he is into that, I’m totally down.)

        • JohnnyC

          Same thing happened to Pettitte. That’s the real reason he went to Houston.

          • Illustrious

            Yeah, I know. But I still maintain that Moose seems like a total bore, except in those pictures of him with the Coronas.

            And even if his wife wants him to retire, he, unlike Pettitte, can hopefully remember who wears the pants. Yes, I’m a WOMAN and I’m saying this. Baseball wives can’t have it both ways: they enjoy their husband’s money while complaining about infidelity. Considering MLB players’ well-known penchant for cheating, I have zero sympathy when wives complain about their husband’s affairs. (Not saying this applies to Mike Mussina’s wife specifically. But still.)

    • whozat

      When he spends 8 months of the year (feb to oct) away from home, out late at night with attractive women who are 15 years younger than you…I could see how a wife could get tired of that.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      She’s a woman, everything’s more serious than it should be.

      ;)

      • UWS

        HEY!

      • mustang

        WOW !!!
        You got some big balls are you married? If yes do you want to stay married?
        What did I tell you the other day about walking softly?
        LOL

        I have to agree, you hit that shit on the head.
        LMAO

    • mustang

      I can see your not married.

      • E-ROC

        I am married actually. Thanx for asking.

        • mustang

          I didn’t mean anything bad by it just joking.
          Dude they always want you around it’s when they don’t that you’re in trouble.
          LOL

  • Jeremy

    Tell Ms. Moose there will be Times Sunday crosswords to do with your husband in 2012!

  • mustang

    “The Yankees could really use Mike Mussina’s presence in 2009 both on the field and in the clubhouse.”

    It’s funny how a dead Moose can rise from grave and be so needed with 20 wins.

  • ceciguante

    cherchez la femme!

    never count out the woman behind the man. remember how donnie baseball retired when his wife put her foot down?

  • ceciguante

    keep in mind that mussina is FROM montoursville, PA. this is some small town stuff, right here. my buddy is from williamsport, PA, grew up getting SMOKED by mussina in little league. said he was cocky as hell, and apparently was a terrific wide receiver too.

  • TheLastClown

    Why not trade Melky & IPK for:

    Mrs. Mussina
    Both sons
    Cuddly pet to be named later

    And then they could be part of the team, have family dinners after the games, and let the Moose pitch himself to the Hall.

    Plus, we could make a sitcom out of Melky & IPK taking care of the spread in Montoursville…….

    • Illustrious

      This wins. I bet Mussina’s sons have a higher likelihood of being legit MLB starters than IPK. (OK, not REALLY, but…)

  • http://inmymothersbasement.blogspot.com Tremont

    Moose’s wife should understand that the guy is close to making himself immortal. He isn’t even 40 yet. Why the big rush to spend the rest of his life trimming the hedges?

    • radnom

      Eh, is the hall of fame really worth 3 years with your family. 3 Years of your kids’ childhood that you can never get back?

      Maybe. It might be, but its not as clear cut a decision as some people are making it out to be. I see it as, if he still wants to play, thats what he should be doing. If he wants to spend time at home, but is tempted by the hall of fame, then he should stay home and raise the kids.

      • whozat

        Yeah. People are painting this like Moose is YEARNING to play for three more years, but his wife is being a bitch.

        That’s not what I saw when he was interviewed on the last day of the season. I saw a guy who’d definitely like to pitch for one more year, but would have a REALLY hard time walking away at 280+ wins. But he’s not that psyched on playing for the three more years it would almost certainly take to get to 300. And his wife would love for him to come home now.

        That’s my read on it. Which seems pretty reasonable. Especially since I can’t imagine the Yanks commit to him for three years. I wouldn’t. And so, he could face the situation where he goes 10-10 with a 4.90 ERA this year, and the Yanks really don’t want him back. But now he’s got 280 wins. So…now he’s stuck looking for other teams to catch on with? He’s explicitly said he’s not interested in doing that.

        • http://inmymothersbasement.blogspot.com Tremont

          a) I was taking this article at face value. If he wants to play, she should not get in the way.
          b) He could easily get a 2 year deal.

        • Illustrious

          I think the point of the article was to claim that the reason why he seemed ambivalent about pitching “three” more years is because his wife would prefer him not to, not because he just doesn’t feel like pitching anymore. (With that said, who knows if the writer is mostly just speculating.)

      • Old Ranger

        radnom–I hate to say this…
        You make a lot of sense, good for you…damn that hurt. 27/09.

  • Joey H.

    Whoever wrote that article is an asshole. He clearly doesn’t know too much

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  • Steve

    I’m sure his wife would like him to be around more, and at first that might seem nice, like she misses him. This is when Mike is contemplating retirement.

    But then reality settles in, and in the off season he realizes that his wife wants him around more so she can hand him all the projects she’s been dreaming up watching TV while he’s been away. Do the gardening, redo the kitchen, fix the garage door, clean up the basement, repaint the kids room, blah blah blah blah blah.

    This is when Mike runs to sign the first contract he gets his hands on.

  • sam

    come on, he has a family. did you really think that nobody else had a say in it? he’s not some sort of free-wheeling bachelor. obviously his family is important to him and his wife’s opinion matters. i never thought it was his decision to make alone.