FanDuel - WFBC

August 29, 2007

Mussina or Kennedy?: Ian Kennedy AAA call-up and former USC trojan is set to replace 247 game winner Mike Mussina in the Yankees rotation

posted by kyrilmitch_76 to baseball at 05:08 AM - 23 comments

Mussina has struggled giving up 19 earned runs in his last 9.2 innings over three starts for a 17.69 era. As a GM or manager when do you pull the trigger on a struggling legend?

posted by kyrilmitch_76 at 05:12 AM on August 29

They're in a dogfight for the wild card. I'd do it now without hesitation. Moose knows he's not doing the job and doesn't have the confidence in his pitches right now. Sit him, and give Kennedy a shot.

posted by bigmickfan at 06:22 AM on August 29

I'm sure some Yankee fan is going to come in and list all of the rookies who have contributed to Torre-era Yankees teams, but this seems like bizzaro Joe Torre world to me. Trusting rookies in key spots? Just seems out of character for him, but obviously the right thing to do if you have better personnel down on the farm than is pitching at the big league level. Reminds me of the Cardinals last year, where LaRussa (another manager who would rather have an experienced veteran on the roster than a youngster who might have a better skill set) was forced to replaced ineffective veterans with rookies or other young players in key bullpen and other roles as a result of injuries -- with the end result being that the best personnel actually ended up in the right roles. This decision for Torre is made easier by the fact that rosters expand on Saturday, meaning he can do this without moving Mussina down to the minors or making some ill-advised roster move to keep Mussina in a (presumably) non-playing role with the big club.

posted by holden at 07:09 AM on August 29

As a GM or manager when do you pull the trigger on a struggling legend? Michael Kay called. He wants his hyperbole back. This is how $200 million rosters are rebuilt. Next week A-Rod is going to start losing time to Eric Duncan. Plus, it's never too early to start getting Mussina bullpen-ready for Roger Clemens' inevitable second-inning playoff groin pull.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 10:33 AM on August 29

I did read somewhere along the lines that the bullpen move was the plan and not a trip to Columbus. I must say I am lost on the Michael Kay referance but if you can no longer use hyperbole when referencing sports than I am not sure how I will discuss the evil empire, the greatest home run hitter ever, or the worst game ever played.

posted by kyrilmitch_76 at 10:55 AM on August 29

I think he's hurt and trying to work through it. I don't think the wagon wheels just fall off like that without a reason... At least, they don't three quarters into the season. But man, I have been surprised by the legions of Yankee fans who are quick to totally abandon the good ship Mussina. Between calling for his demotion, or retirement, I can't help but picture a bunch of mini-Steinbrenners running around in turtlenecks. It's 3 fucking starts - get a grip.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 11:44 AM on August 29

Kyrilmitch: I think you took my comment more personally than it was ever intended. I was merely commenting that use of the word "legend" for guys like Mussina is usually reserved for Yankees broadcasters. If you want to think of him as a legend, that is totally fine by me. I am a big Mussina fan. But man, I have been surprised by the legions of Yankee fans who are quick to totally abandon the good ship Mussina. That said, looking objectively at his career, nothing sums it up better than his status as the winningest pitcher without a 20-win season. No Cy Young Awards (he finished second once) and despite a very respectable mid-3.00 ERA he has a losing record in the post-season. Probably his most memorable game as a Yankee was a relief appearance in the 2003 ALCS, an appearance made necessary in part by the two losses in his series starts. I'm not throwing Moose under a bus. I love the guy, and I'm wishing hard for him to get it back together, get that velocity back up a couple notches, and become a factor down the stretch and (hope against hope) into October. The problem is that the Yankees are on the outside of the playoff bubble looking in, and while, yeah, it was only three games, it could be that any one of them will end up the difference between playing in October or not. Don't make this out to be a Yankees thing. A 5.00+ ERA and $11 million salary doesn't cut it with any fan base. Some teams give up on players who barely make half that. How long would Blue Jays fans hang in with Halladay if he was getting blown out throwing 10 KPH below average consistently and the Jays were breathing on a wild card spot?

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 01:52 PM on August 29

How long would Blue Jays fans hang in with Halladay if he was getting blown out throwing 10 KPH below average consistently and the Jays were breathing on a wild card spot? Are you kidding? There are Blue Jays fans out there who still want to figure out how to trade for Jimmy Key. Today.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 02:36 PM on August 29

A dollar* says the Yankees outbid them if Ian Kennedy goes belly-up. I'm waiting for Ron Guidry to make a trip to the mound, take the ball from the pitcher, and stay there.** *That's a Canadian dollar. I'm on a budget. **Ron Guidry turned 57 yesterday. When I heard that news, I got so upset my back locked up.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 02:43 PM on August 29

Moose has been killing me on my fantasy team all season. I've been a fan of his since the baltimore days and can't bring myself to let him go. I guess thats why I suck at it. Everytime I see what looks like a sure fire win,(i've given up on expecting k's), he'll toss me up a nifty little 10.5 ERA and a loss.

posted by louisville_slugger at 03:15 PM on August 29

I'm just glad somebody else questioned calling Moose a "legend." I'm all for hyperbole, but legendary status takes more than 247 victories and a career 3.70 ERA. Well, for me it does, but I'm a hardass. Moose is a class act, though, and even though it pains me to think good thoughts about a Yankee, I also hope he's able to get it together next year, when he's in Texas, or Chicago, or Baltimore, or wherever the hell Cashman sends him.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 04:26 PM on August 29

No offense taken, just taking a joke to far. Its funny, as a diehard sox fan I was trying to be an objective journalist but if no one is on the "Mussina as Legend Bandwagon" please don't let me be the one to start it.

posted by kyrilmitch_76 at 04:56 PM on August 29

If I had a mini-steinbrenner in a turtleneck would he do errands like vaccuuming, mow the lawn etc... or would he just stand in the corner and bitch about what a terrible job I was doing with my life? Just curious.

posted by kyrilmitch_76 at 05:00 PM on August 29

Neither. He'd sign someone else to a multimillion dollar contract who would then replace you.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 05:26 PM on August 29

How long would Blue Jays fans hang in with Halladay if he was getting blown out throwing 10 KPH below average consistently and the Jays were breathing on a wild card spot? The fans wouldn't give up on Halladay, simply because he's a better pitcher than Mussina for the past 5 years. He's also 8 years younger, so the idea that he's reached the end of his career is a bit silly. He's also NEVER put up 3 games that bad (IP < 6, er> 5) since 2000, when he had completely lost his mechanics and got sent down to A ball to work it out (which he did, came back and has been one of the top 5 starting pitchers in the AL since then). And it's not like it's just 3 starts of ugly for Mussina. He's been brutal (7.09 ERA) since the All-Star break (9 starts). I'm just upset that Kennedy is going to start because he could lose his "rookie" status and I won't be able to hang on to him in my Scoresheet league for 2008.

posted by grum@work at 06:18 PM on August 29

as a diehard sox fan I was trying to be an objective journalist but if no one is on the "Mussina as Legend Bandwagon" please don't let me be the one to start it. As a Sox fan I have to agree with this and (thankfully) grum: Mussina has been a mess most of the year (the good times seem more like the abberation). Having said that, I have a hard time not thinking of Mussina as something close to legendary. The no 20-win seasons thing is a red herring. He was deadly against the Sox the whole time with the Os and not much nicer with the Yanks. As I remember, he pitched 8 2/3 of a perfect game against the Sox (broken up by America's Sweetheart). Like a 20 win season, it's hard to discount the greatness just because he missed an arbitrary standard. That said, I hope he's cooked.

posted by yerfatma at 06:24 PM on August 29

A dollar* says the Yankees outbid them if Ian Kennedy goes belly-up. I'm waiting for Ron Guidry to make a trip to the mound, take the ball from the pitcher, and stay there.** *That's a Canadian dollar. I'm on a budget. The Canadian dollar is trading at .9423 U.S. today. You might just as well wager a greenback.

posted by tommytrump at 07:29 PM on August 29

And it's not like it's just 3 starts of ugly for Mussina. He's been brutal (7.09 ERA) since the All-Star break (9 starts). Mussina has been a mess most of the year (the good times seem more like the abberation). I have to disagree here. His post All-Star numbers before the last three disasters were: 4-1, 4.25, with four "quality" starts out of six (and one start was a single out shy of being "quality," having allowed only one run, and the other was an instance where he faced the same team in consecutive starts, an unprecedentedly common occurrence that has been hurting lots of pitchers all year -- thanks, schedule-makers, for another really crappy job). Given that two of his three recent disasters were against the Tigers, one could say, well, the Tigers own him, and in between he just had a bad day. But it isn't that -- you can tell by his velocity, his pitch location, and his body language. The train has just come clear off the tracks and the Yanks just don't have any more time for him to sort it out. His early season injury was the hamstring on his left (landing) leg, which I really doubt is the problem here. The fans wouldn't give up on Halladay, simply because he's a better pitcher than Mussina for the past 5 years. I don't believe for an instant that the Jays fans would abandon him completely, but if he went totally south like Mussina has -- and started looking beaten from pitch one every time he went out -- wouldn't they be itchy to get him the heck out of the rotation until somebody could fix the problem? I think the calls for Mussina's retirement now are due to his age, but if this happened four years ago I can see the same calls for demotion (with, of course, the odd death wishes) if he had spit the bit like he has. I mean, it's painful. The Canadian dollar is trading at .9423 U.S. today. You might just as well wager a greenback. I have a fondness for nickels.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 03:05 AM on August 30

The Canadian dollar is trading at .9423 U.S. today. You might just as well wager a greenback. 6 or 7 years ago it was around .65-.70. Shucks, what changed?

posted by DudeDykstra at 12:14 PM on August 31

Shucks, what changed? Not to get all political but my money is on the policies of our current Administration.

posted by billsaysthis at 08:23 PM on August 31

Kind of ignores the rise of China and trends in global credit. It also supposes the administration has a lot of say in what the Federal Reserve does. I'm all for blaming problems on the current administration, but I don't think that's one they're on the hook for.

posted by yerfatma at 12:46 PM on September 01

It's 3 fucking starts - get a grip. I don't know. He looks pretty toasted to me. Maybe he's hurt. But he looks like a better candidate for the national league. Moose is a class act Is he really? Not to pile on the guy, and I'm sure he's as classy as the next guy, but to call him out as a 'class act'? I haven't followed his career that close, but I do know he's famous for making excuses after losses and he couldn't seem to quit complaining after torre's 1000 win. There's also a lot of rumors about the guy that I won't get into. Anyway, he's a smart guy, and clean cut, and I'm thinking that may be swaying opinions.

posted by justgary at 05:04 PM on September 02

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