Friday, February 16, 2007

Mussina Rips Crutch. Torre's Family Matters.

Mussina ripped Pavano yesterday, but I had not yet read the actual quotes until last night. I had initially assumed that Yankee beat guys had taken things out of context, hoping to find a story where there wasn't one. Mussina's words, however, were brutally honest.

When Pavano said the media has pursued a non-story and that his teammates are not as distant as columnists have portrayed, Moose shot back:

"He's only looking at it from his perspective. We're looking at it from our perspective, those of us that have been through both years. We want him to go out there and show that he wants to do this," Mussina said. "It got to a point where we just didn't even want to hear about it or talk about it anymore."

The extent of how much Pavano must do to regain respect was evident when Mussina was asked whether he would give Pavano the benefit of the doubt that he's going to do all he can to pitch.

"No, not just yet. Not yet, no," Mussina replied. "I want to see that he wants to do it."

Mikey questioned Pavano's ability to play through pain - something Moose, Sheffield, Giambi and Damon did throughout the season. When Pavano explained each injury led to another, making his return increasingly out of reach, Moose had another bullet in the chamber:

"I'm looking at from a perspective of just the way each thing happened and the timing of it and just piecing all those things together," Mussina said. "You get to form your own evaluation. It didn't look good. From a player's and a teammate's standpoint, it didn't look good. Was everything just coincidence over and over again? I don't know."

Good. It's about time one of the high-profile arms in the Yankee rotation took a defined stand on Pavano's inability to take the ball every fifth day. For two years now, the Yankees have collectively turned the other cheek to Crutch's lack of discipline, heart and teamwork.

*Joe Torre has had a tough life. Whether facing domestic violence growing up or medical issues within his family, Torre never seems to unravel. Unfortunately, some guys have all the luck - others not as much. (Excluding an MVP as a player & four rings as skipper)

Frank Torre, Joe's brother & former major leaguer, is in need of a kidney transplant.

The 75-year-old, who spent seven seasons with the Milwaukee Braves and Philadelphia Phillies from 1956-63, had a heart transplant in October 1996. The following day he watched from his hospital bed as his brother, Joe, managed the Yankees to victory in the World Series clincher against Atlanta.

"I talked to him yesterday. He sounded good yesterday," Joe Torre said Thursday. "His heart is working on the 11th year now. With all the rest of the medication you have to take, the rest of the organs take a beating. That's what it comes down to."

Joe Torre said his brother, who lives in Palm Beach Gardens, likely would learn next week whether one of his relatives was a match for a kidney transplant. If there is no match, he would go on a transplant list and have to wait, a process that Joe said could take a year.

The Palm Beach Post reported Thursday that Frank Torre's daughter, Elizabeth, might be a match.

"My heart is only 38 years old," Frank Torre told the newspaper, laughing. "The problem is, my body's 75. I'll be the bionic man by the time they're done with me."

At least he still has a sense of humor. Another tough break for the Torre clan, let us all hope Frank dodges another bullet, returning himself to good health for another run.

*Maybe Jon Lieber is not getting traded this Spring. With five other starters already aligned - Garcia, Hamels, Moyer, Myers, Eaton - Lieber seemed like the odd man out. However, the former Yankee (ditched inexplicably for Jaret Wright) may find himself another role with Philadelphia.

ESPN believes GM Pat Gillick may place Lieber in the bullpen. What was his response? Surprisingly unselfish if not selfless: "I've pitched in the bullpen. Wherever he needs me to go is where I'll go."

No comments: