Thursday, August 25, 2005

At The Crossroads

Here’s a lil somethin’ somethin’ about Mike Mussina. This is a story of a pitcher, a pitcher who began his career in the least humble of fashions, hurling at Stanford and graduating one of our nation’s most prestigious universities in a mere three years.

He can mop up in Scrabble, run the table in Trivial Pursuit, and still have enough left over to make Major League hitters look foolish with a knucklecurve so bitter you’d think the baseball gods themselves crafted it and handed it down.

But there is a metamorphosis going on in front of our eyes that proves that Kafka wasn’t a Yankees fan. It doesn’t happen every game, and the effects seem to reverse themselves once Moose hits the showers.

Ladies and gentlemen, Mike Mussina is aging before our eyes. He goes into his games like he’s in the prime of his career, fastball getting up to 90, curveball biting and knucklecurve safely tucked away in his back pocket, ready to break out and devastate hitters standing opposite him. But come the fifth inning, he’s mixing his Metamucil and popping a Viagra.

Of course, I wouldn’t be saying this if last night was the first time it happened. Remember back on August 3rd when he pulled the same aging stunt against the Indians?

There are other explanations for this phenomenon. Mussina, like Willie Brown in Crossroads (not the Britney Spears movie, the 1986 one with the Karate Kid), he could have struck a deal with the Devil, his soul for a nasty knucklecurve. And now Beelzebub is beginning to collect slowly, proving that he as well is not a Yankees fan.

Whatever the reason may be, I think Mikey has a task at hand: figuring out how he can enter the Second Season (so frequently mentioned it now warrants caps) like he entered the 2001 season. Because until he finds “it”, he’s of no use to Joe Torre or the team. (What an asshole. What an incredible asshole).

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How we long for Mike Mussina circa 2001 – or 1996. Hell, as long as he’s not pitching like he did in the first half of ’04, I think we’d be content. Alas, he’s beginning to regain that form, and it’s starting to scare us Yankees Faithful. This is emboldened by my next paragraph.

How we long for Randy Johnson circa 2004 – or 2002, or any other year he won the Cy Young. Hell, as long as he’s not pitching like he did in ’03, I think we’d be content. Alas, he’s been looking like that guy, injures (though not as serious) and all.

And how about Moose and Unit both committing their latest gaffes in a single inning? If I have any words of praise for Randy, it’s that at least he not only finished the inning, but the game. Moose, on the other hand, couldn’t pitch himself out of a jam, and it cost him eight runs. Eight. This is getting to be ri-goddamn-diculous.

As I have said as recently as this week, it’s theirs for the taking, but nothing is going to come of this recent surge if 1) Randy and Moose can’t hold down their spots and 2) they can’t recover from losses like last night.

I’ll be intently watching on GameCast. Stupid employment.