Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Mussina On Pavano, Rotation

The Man from Stan-ford spoke to about the 2007 rotation, Carl Pavano, Randy Johnson and being the oldest player on the team.

On Carl the Krutch:
"I think [Pavano] has to do his job and kind of be a new guy again. That's the best way to put it," Mussina said in New York, where he was honored at the 27th annual Thurman Munson Awards dinner. "He's been away a long time. There were periods of time when he got real close, and everybody thought he was going to come back, and he didn't.

"He's got to earn some trust from some players again, and from the coaching staff and the manager and the organization. If he can do it, we know he can pitch and we know he can get people out. If he gets over those hurdles, he'll be an asset."
On the '07 rotation:
"If our staff goes out there healthy and pitches, we're going to be good," Mussina

The staff surrounding Mussina in the first days of camp at Legends Field might take some getting used to. Re-acquainting with Andy Pettitte won't be much of an issue, but Mussina will be curious to see up close what both Pavano and newcomer KeiIgawa can provide.
On G-Unit:
Mussina seemed to allude that Johnson "doesn't seem like he has a lot of fun pitching in New York, and he certainly wears it on his sleeve."

Simply put, Johnson never was able to completely adjust to life in the big city.

"I just think that the expectations that New York posed with the Yankees -- all the media coverage -- the expectations are large and high," Mussina said. "Randy's name is synonymous with 15 strikeouts and 20 wins and Cy Young Awards and all this stuff.

"When you put on the pinstripes, you're expected to do that 35 times a year. Realistically, that's not possible, but you can't fight it either. You have to roll with it and expect to do well. I just think he got a bad taste in his mouth."

Mussina can be blunt at times and the topic of Pavano brings out the straight-shooter in Moose. Over the past two years of absenteeism Pavano has earned himself a lot of doubters and many of them are in his own clubhouse. It will take more than an impressive Spring to regain trust in the locker room. If he ever returns to the major league level again and begins to pitch with the same success seen in 2004, everything else will become unimportant.

As for Randy, Mussina paints a pretty ugly portrait. This is to be expected when the subject is a grump approaching his mid-40s. "Wearing" his distaste for New York on his sleeve shows how much Johnson enjoyed pitching here - confirmed by the fraternity-party atmosphere during his reintroduction as a Diamondback. G-Unit is probably about as miserable a locker-room influence there is, only further lauding the reacquisition of Andy P.

Random Mussina Link.

No comments: