Let the knee-jerk overreaction to a four-game series (Really, we're talking about two bad losses. Two.) continue. Murray Chass knows why the Yankees haven't won a championship in six years: Mike Mussina
.Nothing against Mike Mussina, but he is the symbol of the Yankees’ failure to win the World Series the last six years. If George Steinbrenner is seeking a scapegoat, make it Mussina.
First off, the article begins "Nothing against Mike Mussina," but the very next sentence basically says, "Hey, fuck you, Mike Mussina." And pretty much the whole thing is one big Mussina-bash. But nothing against you, Mike.
Let's get to the numbers. Reader Pandrew has done some of the legwork for us.This is what Mike Mussina has done since 2001:
W/L - 92-53
ERA - 3.80 (#1 among Yankees' starters since 2001, minimum 400 IP)
WHIP - 1.179 (#1)
K/BB - 4.11 (#1)
IP/GS - 6.42
K/9 - 7.77 (#3 behind Clemens (8.80) and Johnson ( 8.01))
Thanks, Pandrew. In Murray Chass' world, these concrete, objective results don't matter at all.
I think Murray Chass lives in a Jules Verne-style whimsically constructed aboveground submarine.Mussina joined the Yankees as a free agent six years ago. The only other players who have been with the team that long have a bunch of World Series rings: Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada.
This is a true fact. Those other four players were around a little longer, so they got those rings. What's your point?
Mussina is the ringleader of the anti-World Series champions: Jason Giambi, Hideki Matsui, Gary Sheffield, Alex Rodriguez, Jaret Wright, Carl Pavano, Randy Johnson, Johnny Damon, Kyle Farnsworth.
From everything I've seen and read about the Yankees, Mussina is not a ringleader in any discernible way. He's just a guy who shows up every so often and pitches and gives you an above-average ERA. Also, Gary Sheffield, Carl Pavano, Randy Johnson and Johnny Damon have World Series rings.
And you suddenly think Hideki Matsui is some sort of cancerous loser? Harsh, dude. He seems to be trying to me.
Mussina, like some players on that list, is a pitcher, and the lack of strong pitching has undermined the Yankees’ chances of winning the World Series.
In spite of Mike Mussina's general positive contributions, yes.Mussina pitched his division series game against the Tigers just well enough to lose.
I hate -- hate hate hate -- that meaningless cliche. We've gone over this before. This is a dumb, equally meaningless thought experiment, but bear with me. Mussina allowed four runs through seven innings. Not great, but let's assume for one second that Mussina decided, hey, I don't really care about pitching excellence today. I'm going to mail it in and just hope my team scores enough to win. I, Mike Mussina, am going to pitch just well enough to win. Mike pulls up the Yahoo! MLB team stats page
and clicks to sort the teams by runs scored
. Well, what do you know? My boys the Yankees are first! Bully for them. They scored 930 runs this year. Mike goes to Google
and enters 930/162 into the search field, and he finds out that the Yankees averaged 5.74074074
runs per game this year. So Mike figures, I go seven innings, give up four runs, let Farnsy cough up another one in the eighth, and we still win by 0.74074074 runs! I'm a hero!
What he does not do: give up six runs, which would, on an average Yankee day, be just good enough to lose. (Hypothetical Mike Mussina doesn't care who the opposing pitcher is. Hypothetical Mike Mussina isn't much of a sabermetrician.)A genuinely top-notch pitcher finds a way to win. Mussina finds a way to lose.
Really? Is that why he's 239-134 in his career with a 3.63 ERA?The outcome of the game last week left him with a 7-8 postseason record, indicating he is not the pitcher to come up big when something big is needed.
I forgot. The playoffs are the only true Measure of a Man. Real Men come up big. They Find a Way to Win. I hate when people Capitalize Things to Emphasize Them.
(In the 21 postseason games before this year, Mike Mussina posted a 3.30 ERA, a third of a run better than his regular season mark.)
Chien-Ming Wang, playing his first full season in the major leagues, was the Yankees’ only reliable starter this season, and he came through again in the playoff opener.
Define "reliable." In the Murray-Chass Oxford-Webster Collegiate dictionary, reliable is defined as Asian.
(Mike Mussina had a better ERA, WHIP, K/BB, K/9, and Whiteness Ratio than Chien-Ming Wang this year. He spoke marginally better English.)That left Wright as the pitcher to put his finger in the dike.
HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA! Finger in the dike.
Labels: mike mussina, murray chass, yankees