Thursday, April 17, 2008

It's amazing that in a world full of unanswerable questions, the biggest one on my mind right now has nothing to do with Bruce Springsteen's recent endorsement of Barrack Obama. This isn't so much a political complaint as a logical complaint. Given his recent track record, you'd think the Boss might go a different route, and endorse a candidate he didn't want to win, what with the fact that he hasn't backed a winner in what seems like a generation. But that's just me.

The real unanswered question of 2008 has to be why in the name of all that is good, just and holy is Mike Mussina still pitching. And more to the point, why did he think it was a good idea to pitch to Manny Ramirez. Generally, I like irony, and even those things we claim are ironic when they're mere coincidences. Not so much tonight.

The Red Sox under Dan Duquette's inspired regime brought Manny to town at what looked like a ludicrous price because, and only because, they were outbid by the Yankees in the Mike Mussina sweepstakes. Then, it looked like a panic move. Now it looks far too good.

Even with my extensive capacity to describe things that anger me, I am at a loss for words here. In the last season and a half, Mike Mussina hasn't aged. He hasn't decayed. He's fossilized. I would feel more comfortable taking the mound myself in a big game than letting Mussina pitch against a middle school girls' softball team. I was shocked to find that his ERA is still only 5.75.

There was always something funny about Mussina's career. Has another pitcher who won so many games in his career ever been so invisible? I know he played most of the best years of his career in Baltimore, but not all of those Oriole teams were horrible. A few made the playoffs. Ripken broke Gehrig's consecutive games played record. People paid some attention to Baltimore then.

And what do we really know about Mussina after a long and fairly successful career? He throws a knuckle curve. He won a surprising number of games when you look at his career stats. And right now he sucks so much it's not even funny. For the love of God, he was replaced in this game in the fourth inning by Jonathan Albaladejo. Now maybe this season will go down in history as the start of something bug for Jonathan Albaladejo, but it will surely be the sad finish to what was once a good career for Mike Mussina. And I'm pissed that he got two shots at the Red Sox before the curtain fell.

Apropos of nothing in particular, I also came across this interesting piece, attributing the reason the Mets acquired Johann Santana while the Red Sox and Yankees backed off in the end to the fact that the Mets turned a 30 million dollar profit last year while the Red Sox lost nearly 20 million and the Yankees lost almost $50 million. I just don't see how, even with their gargantuan payrolls, that the Red Sox and Yankees lost money last season.

The Mets landed Santana because they were desperate. They didn't make the playoffs. The Yankees did. The Yankees had the inside track on sports headlines in the offseason and in the early stages of this season with Joe Girardi replacing Joe Torre after over a decade of managing the Bronx Bombers. In order to stay even remotely relevant after last season's catastrophic collapse, the Mets had to make a big splash. They were more willing to part with prospects than the Yankees were to surrender young talent, some of whom have already played well at the big league level.

Assuming the Yankees don't come back tonight, they'll be 1 game down in the standings and 3 games down in the season series to the hated Red Sox. It's far too early to panic, since the Yankees are as young as they've been in a long time. They should get better as the season goes along, especially considering what Girardi was able to do with a younger, far less talented group in his one season in Florida. But when Bartolo Colon and Curt Schilling come back for the Red Sox, they'll still be fat and old.

And has any one asked why Schilling can blog and create new mods for his disturbing cyberLARPing fetish when he hasn't thrown a baseball yet this season? How will all the king's horses and all the king's men put Humpty Dumpty back together again if he's allowing himself to be distracted from his rehab? And as the presidential race heats up after the conventions, won't Schilling be distracted further by his efforts to keep McCain from winning by helping his campaign?

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