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Mussina Retires

As noted in the comments by BBM, Mike Mussina has decided to hang up his spikes, fresh off his first 20-win campaign.

I first saw the news a few hours ago on a TV at the grocery store (of all places), and I greeted it with a shrug. Then I tried to conjure up some sense of wistful emotion, some sense of fondness for his time in black-and-orange.

No luck.

As far as I’m concerned, Mussina isn’t an Oriole and may as well have never been one. He pitched here, yes, but lots of guys did that. I didn’t feel any particular fondness when Randy Myers retired, either.

Mussina’s decision to leave the team made sense, but to leave the team and head to the Yankees was unconscionable. I believed then and still believe now that he chose the Yankees at least in part to stick it to Peter Angelos, but in doing so he also stuck it to all of us.

I nursed my anger about that for several years, but after awhile it just made sense that he was a Yankee. If you think about it, he always was the type.

His retirement is news here because it has to be, but I wish it wasn’t. He’s all yours, New York. Buy him a gold watch, throw a parade, hang a plaque, whatever. History and I both regard him as a Yankee, and as such I see no need to look back on his accomplishments.

Except, of course, to happily note that he never did get that ring.

23 comments to Mussina Retires

  • Greg

    He has more wins as an Oriole than as a Yankee, if it makes you feel better. If he decides to be an Oriole if he gets in the HOF, how will you feel?

  • Big Ben's Motorcycle

    lol @ comparing mike mussina’s legacy to randy myers’.

    i mean, really.

    honestly man, if you could examine mussina’s brainwaves during that time and compare them to mine you’d probably discover the reason that he left, and the reason i stopped caring about the orioles anymore.

  • neal s

    @Greg: if I’m being honest then, yeah, I’d have to reconsider. That said, the decision about which cap a player wears in the HoF is made by the hall itself and not the player (it’s the Dave Winfield rule). So it would all depend on how Mussina handled it, and if he gave me a reason to change my mind then I’d certainly do just that.

    @BBM: you must remember, from the times we talked about it in the past (and from the post itself) that my issue was never with him leaving, it was with where he went and why. I don’t have a quote to back it up, but I believe that he went to the Yankees in part to twist the knife. I can’t hang with that.

  • neal s

    Also, I didn’t compare Mussina’s legacy to Randy Myers. I was just pointing out another quality pitcher who played here but to whom I feel no special Oriole-related attachment.

  • dan the man

    I have more feelings towards Branden Fahey than I do towards Mike Mussina because Mike Mussina is not a Baltimore Oriole. That said, I don’t hold any grudges towards the guy. He was a good Yankee as far as Yankees go.

  • dan the man

    Sorry… BrandOn Fahey.

  • Tomás

    I consider Jesse Orosco as more of an Oriole than Mussina.

    I can understand him hating Angelos, but damn, he really stuck it to the rest of us too.

  • Tomás

    Nice!

    Did anyone else notice the recent Dugout concerning the Orioles and their unis? The Wire references just haven’t gotten old to me yet. lol

  • Big Ben's Motorcycle

    this might be the last post i make on the subject but the mike mussina scenario is pretty simple in my opinion. imagine if you:

    work hard your whole life, always saying and doing the right things. excel at what you do perhaps more than anyone in your workplace. always show loyalty to your employer and represent them in a way that makes your team, organization, and city proud REGARDLESS OF THE ENDLESS GAFFES AND WARNING SIGNS that have cascaded from your club for a couple of years.

    watch as a boorish, immature, violent cancer who hates fans and teammates waltzes in as the highest paid player in baseball history and completely turns the team upside down right before your walk year.

    all you want is market value. you let your team know that. they have every opportunity to do right by you considering that they’re willing to pay the guy who tries to run over trick or treaters on halloween right?

    wrong. they were never even close.

    if i were mussina i would have signed with the ’69 mets if i could have.

  • Big Ben's Motorcycle

    so i write that, go to cnnsi.com and find this:

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/writers/john_donovan/11/19/mussina/index.html?eref=T1

    he hardly signed some ridiculous contract that the orioles couldn’t have matched.

    i guess my only point is it’s easy to paint him as some benedict arnold but this is seriously one case where i feel that some fans here have a hard time thinking rationally.

  • CharlatanFisk1570

    Mussina leaving the Orioles was the smartest move of his life.

    Period.

    Only a moron would have stayed here and wallowed in the misery that has been Orioles baseball over the last 8 years.

    If you were on the Titantic and it was on the way down and someone said, “hey, you can hop on this boat coming in right now and save your life…or you can wait around for a couple of hours and another boat MIGHT be buzzing back by in about 10 hours” — which one would you get on?

    And the first boat offers you $14 million a year for 6 years to get on while the second boat – we’ll call it “Charlantans – offers you $9 million a year to get on…

    Which one ya gettin’ on?

    Yeah, I harbor a lot of resentment towards Mussina. Not.

  • random dude

    I agree with BBM and good Ol’ Charlatan Fisk (good work on the name, AiR). The only thing I wanted to add is that Mussina had also already taken one hometown discount to remain an Oriole, and took a lot of heat from the players union for doing so.

  • random dude

    Oh, and that very baseball card was one of my favorites growing up. Still have it, somewhere.

  • Greg

    Mussina never voiced ill will towards the Orioles, even though he could have. He simply went where he felt appreciated, and this all goes on the Orioles front office. I don’t understand how you can hate Mussina for leaving to be a Yankee; they embraced him, we didn’t.

  • sci

    I used to be very angry at Mussina. Now I just don’t care. I have nothing against the guy, really. He’s not hateable by any means. (Not that he’s that likeable as a person either. He’s just boring.)

    I just can’t really bring myself to celebrate his career. In a lot of ways he’s kind of the symbol for why the Orioles haven’t been competitive for a decade, isn’t he?

  • Greg

    He’s not the symbol for it, he’s a result of it. He’s the first example of a long line of malcontented Orioles players who just wanted to play as an Oriole, win games and get paid fairly without a lot of jumping through hoops, but the Orioles made that scenario unecessarily difficult to happen. Mussina, Tejada, Huff, Bedard and to a lesser extent now Roberts and Markakis … good Orioles who seem like they just can’t wait to get out of the organization because the Orioles front office hasn’t had any sort of vision, no plan for the future, no incentive to reward good behavior and punish bad play. No where else in the league would a team deal with Daniel Cabrera for as long as we have. There’s just no one else to fit in his spot, and I can’t blame any player for being malcontented for that reason. Why should Brian Roberts play all-star caliber second base when Daniel Cabrera can’t field a slow rolling bunt up the middle.

    If you are a good Oriole player, you want out. If you are anyone else on the Orioles, you are generally just happy to have a job anywhere because you aren’t that good. And even then, I don’t think Payton and Millar were all that thrilled to be spending their twilight years in Baltimore.

  • CBGB

    Ease back brother, Mike is just a person. Have a little empathy.

  • J.D.G.W.

    A petty and bitter assessment.

  • Big Ben's Motorcycle

    so everyone digs mussina except for neal?

    kinda surprising.

  • neal s

    I knew I’d be in the minority on this, actually. It’s funny how people read things that aren’t there though. I don’t recall disparaging the man on a personal level. All I’m saying is I have no particular desire to celebrate his Oriole-related accomplishments, because in my mind (and, I suspect, in the annals of history) he retires as a Yankee through and through.

  • dan the man

    Bruce Cunningham and Mark Viviano both think he was an absolute jerk off the field. Much worse than Erik Bedard, apparently. Just a mean guy to people. It was apparent that it such an effort for Mussina to make it to fan events or charitable events. Seems like a chump to me.

    I don’t give a shit about Mike Mussina, he’s a New York Yankees baseball player, not a Baltimore Orioles baseball player. I mean, right? We’re talking about a guy that plays for the Yankees, here.

  • CharlatanFisk 1570

    Mussina really wasn’t a jerk.

    He was just smarter than nearly everyone else in the room. That’s a Stanford education for you, I guess.

    And, because of that, he didn’t feel the need to participate in idle chat or talk about things that really didn’t interest him. If you could engage HIM, he was motivated to talk. Otherwise, he wasn’t.

    He’s involved in a lot of charitable endeavors in New York and in Montoursville, PA, where he lives.

    That just sets the record straight – somewhat at least.

    He wasn’t a chump. Not at all.

    He just wasn’t a guy who enjoyed small talk in the locker room.

    To borrow a line from “Fletch” — “he doesn’t say much, he just gives you that looooook…”

  • Big Ben's Motorcycle

    thanks for the info Dr. Rosenpenis