• Ian Kennedy To Replace Mike Mussina In Rotation

    Posted by on August 29th, 2007 · Comments (14)

    From Peter Abraham -

    That Mike Mussina would get removed from the rotation after a string of poor starts was no surprise. That a 22-year-old will be inserted into the heat of a pennant race was.

    Mussina is out and right-hander Ian Kennedy will start against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays on Saturday.

    “This was very difficult for me,” said manager Joe Torre, who broke the news to Mussina before last night’s 5-3 victory against the Red Sox. “We’ve counted on this guy every year for as long as he’s been here.”

    Mussina left without speaking to reporters, his career at a crossroads after 247 victories over 17 seasons.

    But the Yankees had little choice. Mussina is 8-10 with a 5.53 ERA. The 38-year-old right-hander has lost his last three starts, allowing 19 earned runs and 25 hits in 9 2/3 innings.

    Never listen to Joe Torre.

    Speaking of listening, I heard Ron Guidry on X-M Radio (MLB Home Plate) this morning talking about Mussina. Gator said that Moose’s issue is about not following a game plan that he needs to follow to be successful. He said that Mike broke from the plan against the Angels and the Tigers.

    Gator mentioned the first batter of the Tigers’ game – Curtis Granderson. He said that Mussina was told that Granderson handles the fastball well and has problems with breaking pitches. But, Guidry said, when Moose had Granderson, 0-2, to start the game, he threw him a fastball instead of a curve and Granderson singled to center. And, that it just kept rolling, downhill, from there.

    Basically, Gator said that Mussina needs to realize that he’s a breaking ball pitcher and not a fastball pitcher…and that Moose needs to work from a game plan that plays into that model.

    Pretty telling stuff, if you ask me. Sounds like Mussina and the Yankees are not on the same page.

    At the least, I expect Ian Kennedy to throw whatever signal Posada flashes on Saturday.

    Comments on Ian Kennedy To Replace Mike Mussina In Rotation

    1. Raf
      August 29th, 2007 | 8:32 am

      At the least, I expect Ian Kennedy to throw whatever signal Posada flashes on Saturday.
      ====================

      [Crash calls for a curve ball, Ebby shakes off the pitch twice]
      Crash Davis: [stands up] Hey! HEY!
      [walks to meet Ebby at the mound]
      Crash Davis: Why are you shaking me off?
      Ebby Calvin LaLoosh: [Gets in Crash's face] I want to give him the heat and announce my presence with authority!
      Crash Davis: Announce your fucking presence with authority? This guy is a first ball, fast ball hitter!
      Ebby Calvin LaLoosh: Well he hasn’t seen my heat!
      Crash Davis: [pauses] Allright meat, show him your heat.
      [Walks back towards the box]
      Crash Davis: [to the batter] Fast ball.

    2. August 29th, 2007 | 9:26 am

      Too quick for me, Raf :-)

      Man I love Bull Durham. Speaking of the actual Durham Bulls, I may have a bit of a dilemma- my local Bulls could be taking on the SWB Yanks in the playoffs- is it okay to root for the home team against the baby Yanks?

    3. rbj
      August 29th, 2007 | 10:10 am

      mehmettski, I’m in the same boat. I live in Toledo these days, so I have to go with the Mudhens.

    4. August 29th, 2007 | 10:17 am

      ~~~is it okay to root for the home team against the baby Yanks?~~~

      Interesting question.

      I’ll answer it with another question. Say you lived in another town, outside of NY, and that town had a MLB team there and you went to a lot of their games, maybe even had a cap and/or shirt with their name on it,…and the Yankees were playing the team in your town, in an exhibition game, would you root for the Yankees or against them? Again, it’s an exhibition game. What would you consider acceptable?

      If you say, I root for the Yankees no matter what, then I think you have to root for the baby Yanks here too…to be consistent, no?

    5. bobo
      August 29th, 2007 | 10:58 am

      “He said that Mussina was told that Granderson handles the fastball well and has problems with breaking pitches. But, Guidry said, when Moose had Granderson, 0-2, to start the game, he threw him a fastball instead of a curve and Granderson singled to center.”

      But what did Posada call for?

    6. August 29th, 2007 | 12:00 pm

      bobo – at the end of the day, Mussina has the right to shake off what Posada calls for…no?

    7. baileywalk
      August 29th, 2007 | 12:26 pm

      Doesn’t Gator’s quote totally contradict what Torre said a few starts back? He said something along the lines of “even if your fastball is diminished, you have to believe in it and trust it.” Also, the idea that Moose still thinks he’s a “fastball pitcher” is kind of ridiculous. I think one of the things most noted about the first Detroit game was that Moose looked “scared” and tried to junk-ball his way through the lineup. Moose, in a sense, was never a “fastball pitcher” — it was always about that curveball.

      Moose’s rep was always as an intelligent guy who out-thought hitters and who knew a hitter’s weaknesses. Now Gator is shredding that image to say that Moose is going out there not knowing what to throw to get guys out? That sounds like bull. The more obvious issue is that he’s throwing his fastball at 86 without perfect control and his changeup has abandoned him. If Mussina is having mechanical issues — and he might be — then they should work on it while Moose’s doppelganger (Kennedy) takes his place. (Kind of ironic that the guy everyone compares to Moose is taking his spot in the rotation.) Of course, Gator doesn’t seem to work on mechanics with pitchers. The only thing he seems capable of teaching anyone is how to throw a slider.

    8. Joel
      August 29th, 2007 | 12:29 pm

      Does anyone here seriously think that Mike Mussina does not realize that he is not a fastball pitcher?

      I love Ron Guidry. But after 247 wins pitching his entire career in the AL East in the steroids era I think Mike Mussina has earned the right to figure this out for himself.

    9. Pete
      August 29th, 2007 | 12:58 pm

      It’s what I suspected of Mussina all along – he’s a stubborn ass who’s going to do whatever he wants regardless of result. Well guess what, Moose – you’re playing for the Yankees who can eat your entire salary if need be. Cashman called his bluff and it was beautiful.

      I wonder, though, how much the Gator factor plays into Mussina’s mentality – he seems like the type of guy to not give a ‘n00b’ pitching coach the proper due, even if the guy’s a former Cy Young and borderline HOF’er.

      Clemens & Pettite are entirely different animals, mostly because they seem to have more respect for the traditions of this team. Plus Andy probably trained under Guidry in the spring every year since he came up.

    10. Raf
      August 29th, 2007 | 2:45 pm

      bobo – at the end of the day, Mussina has the right to shake off what Posada calls for…no?
      ========
      He does. Doesn’t mean that he will.

      I don’t know if that’s the case here, but I doubt it would be.

    11. sju38621
      August 29th, 2007 | 2:48 pm

      are we calling up kennedy before saturday so he is eligible for the post-season roster?

    12. Raf
      August 29th, 2007 | 3:30 pm

      are we calling up kennedy before saturday so he is eligible for the post-season roster?
      ==========
      I doubt it. Who’s going on the DL, or being sent down?

    13. August 29th, 2007 | 4:16 pm

      He can be called up, 9/1, with no need to send someone down – and still be on the post-season roster. He can replace Pavano who is on the DL.

      Like when K-Rod joined the Angels in 2002.

    14. Raf
      August 29th, 2007 | 4:23 pm

      Yeah, but that move has to be approved by Selig. Don’t think he’ll let it happen, and that loophole may have been closed after 2002.

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