Saturday, May 03, 2008

Yankees 6, Mariners 1

I forgot Abreu.

And, I guess, Moose.

Mike Mussina, proud owner of 254 career wins--and about as many IQ points--will, in all likelihood, get to the Hall of Fame before his ex-teammate Rocket.

Chances are, Moose will retire with:

*Zero Cy Youngs
*Zero 20-win seasons
*Zero World Championships
*Zero No-hitters . . .

Though this last one is painful, folks. Moose has twice come within one out of a no-no, the last instance on Labor Day Sunday, 2001. This was the final game of a three-game Fenway series the in which Yankees had entered with a 6 1/2 game lead over Boston and had won the first two games, and so now led by 8 1/2 games--in other words, the regular season was over. The Labor Day Sunday night game, hyped for a week by ESPN, was basically a non-event . . .

Except that Moose, brought in to essentially replace David Cone, was painting the corners; and David Cone, brought in by the Sox to compete with Moose, was scarcely worse. The game was 0-0 through the better part of the games, with Moose not allowing a runner, and with Cone, though allowing his modicum of runners, not allowing a run.

(Intermission. Was there ever a pitcher who had less concern for the long-term effects of his actions than David Cone? I mean, the Hall of Fame is filled with pitchers who begged out in the late innings, or sat out wiht any kind of arm twinge: Jim Palmer, Steve Carlton, Don Sutton. There is a whole would-be wing of the Hall for pitchers who pitched through all kinds of pain and hated to be pulled: Luis Tiant, Mike Flanagan, Mike Boddicker, Vida Blue, Bret Saberhagen. Cone is their patron saint. I have always thought that Cone's first infant words had to be, "Skip, I can get this guy.")

Anyway, Moose retired 26 Red Sox in a row. Then Carl Everett--the anti-Moose in every way imaginable--gets a base hit. This was Mussina's career in a nutshell: admirable, praiseworthy, and just coming short of any definable benchmark. We may remember that 2001 was the year the Yankees came within two outs of winning the world series against the Diamondbacks . . . another story, sure.

Anyway, if Moose has another 12 or so wins in that right arm of his, the Yanks may yet make this close.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

And as for Moooooose : what a face. Yum.