Happy to be retired, Mussina doesn’t miss playing

Mike Mussina went out on his terms and he hasn’t looked back.

The 270-game winner sat down in the press conference room at Yankee Stadium for about 20 minutes on Thursday with reporters, brought in to make the ceremonial first toss of the season for his former team, and – even as he enters his third season of retirement – Mussina doesn’t hesitate to call it like he sees it.

Mussina was asked if, on any level, he misses the day-to-day life of playing Major League Baseball. It would have been easy for Mussina to simply answer, sure, and I think everyone would have accepted that.

But Mussina offered an answer that provides a better window into what it’s like behind the scenes as a big league player, and it was interesting to hear from that perspective, spoken so truthfully. Asked if he wishes, in any way, that he would have kept going after his 20-win season in 2008, Mussina replied:

“I’ve got to be honest – no, I don’t miss it. I know what these guys have been doing for the last couple of months in Florida, I know what they were doing for the couple of months before they went to Florida in preparation for all this. Today is the first day of a six-month-plus haul that takes you all over the country at all kinds of hours – flights, buses, hotels, rain delays, bad food, whatever you can think of.

“I know what it’s about. To not have to get up and do laundry the first day of a homestand so I can be ready for the last day when I have to pack, to not have to live out of my suitcase half of the six months, you can just slow the pace down. It’s really a welcome change after, shoot, counting going to college, 20 years of doing it the other way. Eventually you just tell yourself it’s time to do something different. I’m really enjoying doing something different.

“Everybody says this and you don’t know how it’s possible – how can you be busier when you’re retired? I’m busier than when I played. There’s so many things that have to get done in a day. I still have kids that are 12 and under, and there’s a lot to do, a lot to take care of. A lot of responsibility and a lot of coaching. It’s great. I don’t have one day where I don’t lay down when the day is over and take the deepest sigh, ‘OK, I made it through another day, let’s go get some rest and do it again tomorrow.’ It’s great.”

11 Comments

I thought Mussina was an excellent pitcher while with the Yanks, but no way is he a HOFer. He played on a team which also had endless monetary resources which allowed them an unfair advantage, one which allowed the Yanks to get themselves just about any player they wanted to help make them make themselves the best team in baseball and make it very difficult for any team, including the Red Sox, to compete with them not just on the field but in FA as well. To think that the Yankees money didn’t play a major role in his success is absolutely wrong. IF he had spent his entire career with the Orioles would any of us be talking about him as a HOFer? Not likely. In short, Mussina is NOT a HOFer.

Like

to yankeefan4ever- Sorry but the Yankee’s money had nothing to do with Mussina’s caliber of pitching. Mussina’s best years in terms of winning percentage were with the Orioles- where he played against the big AL East teams with money such as the Yankees and Red Sox. He won 7 gold gloves- 4 of them with the Orioles. He was in the top 5 in Cy Young voting 5 times with the Orioles and only twice as a Yankee. I was a Mussina fan from the beginning and only rooted for the Yankees while he was there. In his 8 years with the Yankees, their money never got him what I’m sure he went there hoping to get- a championship. Check your stats, my friend.

Like

Im with you Brian. And now, I think, we’re gonna see the same in CC, Swisher & Mark. This Yankee team makes me proud to be one of their fans

Like

Pingback: Top Posts — WordPress.com

Mike Mussina, Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter – these three men are what real players and real men should be like.

Like

Always liked Johnny Damon’s argument for Mussina’s Hall candidacy… dug from the archive here: http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20081121&content_id=3688054&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb

Earlier this year, Yankees outfielder Johnny Damon created a convincing argument for Mussina’s Hall of Fame candidacy, pointing out that Mussina pitched his entire career in the AL East during a time period where the Yankees won six pennants and four World Series, while the Red Sox won two titles and the Blue Jays won a pair.

“There are some pretty good teams that have won a World Series coming out of this division, and he has been able to pile up some wins with minimal losses,” Damon said.

Now, add to that the fact that Mussina did it in the era of performance-enhancing drugs. As far as I could tell, Moose’s preferred booster of choice seemed to be Mountain Dew.

Like

First Class all the way!

Like

Mussina name should and hopefully be along side of the many names that are part of our New York Yankee History,I was so blessed to have watched Mike pitch and I wish you the best Mike Mussina Enjoy your RETIREMENT..

Like

When the time comes to consider Mike Mussina for the Hall of Fame, I hope the sports writers look at the full picture of the man and the context of his accomplishments. Though on paper his Hall of Fame stats may appear border line, we could use more men of the caliber of Mike Mussina in Cooperstown.

Like

Always has been, always will be, a class act. We miss you, Mike.

Like

I always thought that Mike Mussina was an outstanding person – one who should be a role model for young kids. Not just because of his tremendous talent but because of who he is. IN a day when we constantly see stories about spoiled athletes behaving like petulant children, it is refreshing to see a clas individual who is thankful for his athletic gift but even more thankful for the real gifts in his life – his family and friends.

Like

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 39,605 other followers

%d bloggers like this: