"Now, what is this site about, how Joe Torre ruined pitchers' arms? Is that it?"
-Michael Kay, August 18, 2009

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

More on Mussina the teacher

There were reports earlier this month that Mike Mussina has been tutoring Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy.

Kat O'Brien
has quotes from Mussina, Hughes and Kennedy about Mussina's new hat in today's Newsday.

"I think circumstances play out whatever your role's going to be," Mussina said. "This is just the way it has played out now. We've got some young kids on the pitching staff that people are expecting a lot from. I've been lucky enough to be doing this for a long time, and I've been doing it in New York for, this is my eighth year. So if I can tell them anything, show them anything, give them any help I can, that's what I should be doing."

The sharing of wisdom does not come through a 20-minute daily tutorial.

"That's not how it works," Mussina said. Instead, it's something more organic. A conversation that begins as a discussion of dinner the night before or a movie watched winds up morphing into baseball talk, and some little tidbit is shared.

"It's been good," Hughes said. "He's opened up a little bit more. If I have a question about something, I'll ask him."

"I can talk to these guys and try to be the big brother type of thing," Mussina said, "but there's also a time when you've got to focus and work on what you need to work on. At the time, I had no idea what was going on. I had forgotten how to pitch. I had to figure out how to straighten myself out first, so that was kind of what I was focusing on."

"You can be a little intimidated about asking for help at first," Kennedy said, but Mussina has countered that by making sure they know he is there for them.
Maybe Mussina has a coaching job in his future after he retires. It's good to know that the young guys have someone to look up to on the team. There have been stories about how Bernie Williams was tortured when he was a rookie. The Yankees' success this season depends on how the "Big Three" fares, so any advice and positive reinforcement they can get, the better.


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