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

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Mussina unplugged

As some of you know, acclaimed author John Feinstein wrote a book entitled "A Season on the Black" about Mike Mussina and Tom Glavine's 2007 seasons.

Ken Davidoff was kind enough to read the book for me, and he pulled out some interesting information from Mussina:

You probably won't be shocked to learn of Mussina's contempt for the always-injured Pavano, but you'll laugh nonetheless. When Mussina was negotiating a new contract with the Yankees in October 2006, Brian Cashman offered him a two-year, $18-million package.

"Brian, you're not paying me less than you're paying Carl Pavano," Mussina responded. "Don't insult me." Mussina wound up re-signing for two years and $23 million.

In February 2007, after Mussina publicly crushed Pavano in an attempt to make the dim-witted Pavano understand how little credibility he had in the Yankees' clubhouse, the two pitcher held a meeting in a small room in (then) Legends Field. I remember standing outside that room, in the main area of the clubhouse, wondering what they were saying. Mussina was kind enough to tell Feinstein.

"Were you quoted accurately in the papers today?" Pavano asked Mussina.

"Absolutely," Mussina responded.
That's not a shock at all. Mussina made it clear he was not thrilled with Pavano, but it's still funny to see him admit to what went on in the private meeting.

This part is a little less funny:
This is particularly odd: Mussina felt that Joe Torre was making a mistake by starting Chien-Ming Wang over Mussina in Game 4 of last year's American League Division Series. So during batting practice before Game 3, Mussina approached Wang in the outfield.

"Can you start tomorrow?" Mussina asked Wang.

"No, Mike," Wang responded, pointing at Mussina. "You pitch tomorrow." Wang apparently thought that Mussina was starting Game 4, and Andy Pettitte Game 5. Unfortunately for Yankees fans, it turned out, Wang was mistaken.
How did Wang not know he was starting the next day? Before Game 3, the Yankees were down 2-0 in the series, and each game to be played would be an elimination game. This is disheartening and embarrassing, if anything.

Remember that if the Yankees don't make the playoffs, that Game 4 embarrassment - Wang's solid one inning pitched - will be the last playoff game ever played at Yankee Stadium.


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