From Newsday -
“I think he has to be there,” Mussina said of Pavano, when asked what the perennially injured righthander had to do to win back his teammates. “I think he has to pitch. I think he has to do his job. Just kind of be the new guy again, is the best way to put it.
“He’s been away a long time. He’s come and gone for periods of time, and he’s been real close, and everyone thought he was coming back and he didn’t. So he’s got to earn some trust from some players again, from a coaching staff and a manager and an organization.
“But if he can do it, we know he can pitch, and we know he can get people out. If he gets over those other hurdles, he’ll be an asset.”
Asked if he was surprised that the Yankees traded Johnson, Mussina replied: “I guess yes and no. He doesn’t seem like he has a lot of fun pitching in New York, and he certainly wears it on his sleeve. Even as poorly as he pitched, he found a way to win 17 games.”
Mussina believes that Johnson never adapted. “I think the expectations in New York – playing for the Yankees, all of the media coverage – the expectations are large,” Mussina said. “They’re high. Randy, his name is synonymous with 15 strikeouts, 20 wins. When you put on pinstripes, you’re expected to do that 35 times a year.
“Realistically, that’s not possible, but then again, you can’t fight it, either. You have to roll with it, and expect yourself to do well. I think he got a bad taste in his mouth and didn’t adjust to it. He had a tough two years of dealing with what he thought was OK, and what everybody else thought wasn’t good enough.”
From the YesNetwork Site -
Hughes is so coveted that the Yankees refused to include him in any deal at last season’s trade deadline, and some think he could steal the No. 5 starter’s job with a strong Grapefruit season.
Though Yankees senior vice president of baseball operations Mark Newman said on Tuesday there’s a chance that could happen, the Yankees want to see him further develop in Triple-A, and Mussina agrees.
“I don’t think they should be throwing him into the fire at 20 or 21 years old, but he’s not very far away,” Mussina said. “I hope they let the kid go out there and develop and be a strong major league pitcher when it’s time to ask him to be.”
I’ve always felt that one of the best things David Cone did for the Yankees was to be a mouthpiece for the players – always there for the media – so that other players would not be bothered with the chore. Cone was bright and knew what to say, etc., because he had been around (and he knew New York). Mussina has those skills too. It would be nice to see him be more like Cone was, as he’s doing here, on a more regular basis.