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A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News


Enjoy Montoursville, Moose

Posted by: Peter Abraham - Posted in Misc on Nov 20, 2008 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Young men with lots of money tend to wear expensive clothing. That is not to say it’s always tasteful, however.

For just about all of the Yankees, especially the younger ones, the t-shirt of choice is made by the designer Christian Audigier. These run for around $175. You read that right, $175.

Mike Mussina found this endlessly hilarious.

As teammates would come into the clubhouse, Mussina would invariably roll his eyes when somebody walked by wearing one of the gaudy designer t-shirts. “I wouldn’t sleep in that,” he said one day, pointing at the shirt one rookie was wearing. “I’m serious.”

The Moose gets his t-shirts on line and they cost $20. One day he would come in wearing a Sanford and Son shirt, the next day would be The A-Team. He wasn’t out to impress anybody.

I think that’s why he retired. He wasn’t out to impress anybody. Perhaps you or I would be motivated by the idea of winning 300 games or making another $10 million or winning a championship. But Mussina was more interested in spending time with his wife and sons. Brycen is 9 and Peyton is 4 and he wants to watch them grow up. They’re at that age now where having their dad around all the time means something.

A lot of ballplayers say how much their families mean to them and to some extent it’s probably true. But living the life and making some bank usually wins out. By walking away while still healthy and still able to pitch at a high level, Mussina shows that he really means it.

The Yankees will say the right things about him, but Mussina will not be missed by many in the clubhouse. For years, his closest friend on the team was bullpen catcher Mike Borzello. The Moose liked to read, work on crossword puzzles and search on line for old cars to purchase and fix up. If the Yankees had a day off, he immediately went home to Pennsylvania. In the eight years he spent with the Yankees, he probably went into Manhattan 10 times. He had a house in Westchester and he knew how to get to Yankee Stadium. That’s all he really cared to know. He liked his privacy.

A few people have e-mailed asking if Mussina will become a coach or a broadcaster. Forget it; he will be a ghost as far as baseball is concerned. Mussina is not somebody who wants to sit around talking about the old days or trying to teach some kid (in a $175 t-shirt) how to throw a curveball.

He did not suffer fools well, especially reporters who asked silly questions. (“What do you want now?” he would say at first before smiling) But if you had a story to write and you needed some perspective, nobody was better to talk to. He also was one of the few Yankees you could engage in a conversation about something other than baseball. For those of us who write about the team, it’s a loss. Not having the Moose and The Big G around will cut down on the laughs.

Back in 2002 or 2003, I was assigned to cover a game Mussina pitched in. He took the loss and when reporters gathered around his locker afterward, nobody was sure what to ask for a few seconds. Mussina looked over the crowd and simply said, “Bueller? Bueller?”

If you get that, you get the Moose.

Here’s hoping that in five or six years, Mussina gets inducted in the Hall of Fame. Now that would be a good speech.

————

T-Kep loves the Moose, too. So does Mark Feinsand.

 
 

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41 Responses to “Enjoy Montoursville, Moose”

  1. Garym November 20th, 2008 at 11:48 am

    Pete,well said. I will miss seeing the Moose in post game interviews because i always got a kick out of him. You are right im sure there aren’t many players who will really care and Girardi also,they will all say the right things but I give the man credit,he went out on his terms after a wonderful season and he really does care more about family and this proves it. He truly is one of the nicer guys left in sports in that way.

  2. Dan November 20th, 2008 at 11:51 am

    It’s going to be weird not having him around, but you have to really respect the guy.

  3. Whitey Fraud November 20th, 2008 at 11:51 am

    “Brycen” and “Peyton”?

    Good thing Dad will be around.

    I recommended martial arts training, too.

  4. ANSKY November 20th, 2008 at 11:52 am

    An old teacher of mine used to say ‘a smart feller among fart smellers’

  5. rackem November 20th, 2008 at 11:53 am

    Pete,

    On Mark Mussina’s blog he just posted, he says Moose’s elbow was bothering him. You just said he was healthy, but do you think maybe his injury played a role in his decision?

    “Are you hurting”? I asked.
    “My elbow’s bothering me,” he replied.
    “For how long”? I continued.
    “Six weeks,” he deadpanned.
    “Is it that bad”? I said.
    “It’s not like a knife,” he explained, “but it hurts.”
    “Can you pitch?” was my last question.
    “I can get through two more starts.”

  6. j2 November 20th, 2008 at 11:53 am

    Nice, tribute. I love reading the oddities about players.

  7. vin November 20th, 2008 at 11:55 am

    Excellent post, Pete. Very fitting tribute/recap.

  8. SCRANTON November 20th, 2008 at 11:56 am

    Nice read Pete.

  9. mel November 20th, 2008 at 11:58 am

    Good post, Pete.

    Such a complex person. But like any intelligent person, he chooses to keep it simple.

  10. Bill from NJ November 20th, 2008 at 11:59 am

    great post pete

  11. RayMagnetic November 20th, 2008 at 12:00 pm

    Okay, so I just went on the Christian Audigier website to take a look at the clothing on there.

    It’s one thing to buy expensive clothing, but that website has some of the ugliest things that I have ever seen in my life.

    Even the wallets they sell are ugly.

  12. KennyH123 November 20th, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    Good stuff. But I read that he already wants to be a spring training instructor for the Yanks and plans on being in Tampa in February.

    So much for being a “ghost” when it comes to baseball.

  13. bodhisattva November 20th, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    That is a moving piece of writing.

    I’ll never forget the “stay there!” command to Torre, attempting to come up the dugout stairs to take Mussina out.

    …Or the excruciating pause, the narrowing of the eyes, and the little groan of protest before he actually answers the soundbite YES questions…hilarious and unforgettable Moose.

  14. mcccc November 20th, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    what??

  15. Ed - (slacking in class now) November 20th, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    Moose likes to keep it old school. :)

  16. RhapsodyInBlue November 20th, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    RayMagnetic

    I did the same, I agree.

  17. vin November 20th, 2008 at 12:04 pm

    “So much for being a “ghost” when it comes to baseball.”

    Koufax shows up at Vero Beach every year, and he’s still considered to be one of the biggest ghosts out there.

  18. E-Man November 20th, 2008 at 12:04 pm

    I wish Girardi would retire instead.

  19. gayle November 20th, 2008 at 12:07 pm

    Great post. Actually went back and re-read some of the Feinstein book last night and found one of my favorite hysterical quotes from Moose from the 2007 season.

    It was the day of the Mets game at the Stadium and Joel Sherman was hanging in the clubhouse trying to get some quote and he approached Moose (this is after Miguel Cairo tried to lay out some tape boundaries so he could get some privacy). of course Sherman gave him a hard time about it like he should be worried about other things other than closing off reporters BUT

    When Sherman asked Moose about how it was announced that Igawa had pitched on flat ground from 90 feet (remember he was coming off an injury) Moose said that’s great he must be on the Carl Pavano plan. Then went on to say how he never sees Pavano but knows he is on the team as his car is still parked next to his.

    Once again I recommend the Feinstein book for anyone that likes Moose,likes pitching or wants some insight into the game on both the personal and professional side (especially in this time of free agency) as there is great background on union involvement in the pressuring of players to take certain deals. BOTH Glavine and Moose are big union people.

  20. rackem November 20th, 2008 at 12:10 pm

    Come on who wouldn’t want a hat like this?

    http://www.edhardyshop.com/Pho.....e=H3_10040

  21. j2 November 20th, 2008 at 12:12 pm

    Gayle, Thanks for the book tip. Do you have the title?

  22. jessica(Let's Go Yankees) November 20th, 2008 at 12:13 pm

    Back in 2002 or 2003, I was assigned to cover a game Mussina pitched in. He took the loss and when reporters gathered around his locker afterward, nobody was sure what to ask for a few seconds. Mussina looked over the crowd and simply said, “Bueller? Bueller?”

    If you get that, you get the Moose.

    Can someone explain this for me? Thanks.

  23. rackem November 20th, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    If you have never seen the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, I suggest renting it. And then you will understand.

  24. Joey's Poodle November 20th, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    The ineffable Moose will be quite active in baseball. He’s a mainstay on the Board of Little League, which headquarters in Williamsport, PA, where Moose was born and not far from where he lives today.

  25. jessica(Let's Go Yankees) November 20th, 2008 at 12:27 pm

    Thanks, rackem.

  26. Bronx Jeers November 20th, 2008 at 12:30 pm

    Nice Eulogy.

    Based on his post game (which was usually entertaining in itself), I guess we could see how his demeanor might rub some of the more younger at heart the wrong way. Still, his darker side had a bit of the trickster to it as opposed to say a Randy Johnson who just seemed to be flat out mean.

    I certainly will miss watching that curve fall over the plate. Hopefully he’ll soften up a bit in his retirement and pop in for an Old Timers Game.

  27. gayle November 20th, 2008 at 12:33 pm

    J2

    The name of the book is Living on the Black

  28. jimmy27 November 20th, 2008 at 12:35 pm

    Great job Pete.
    So who will be the Laureate of the clubhouse now?

    I wonder if Moose has a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California in his collection
    - so choice, if you have the means I highly suggest picking one up –

    it seems that the writers like Moose – that will be enough to put him over the top and into Hall – IMO

  29. Sam November 20th, 2008 at 12:38 pm

    It is good to hear when people can see beneath the surface. Michael Kay has been killing Moose for a long time because he is grouchy. But there is a lot more to Moose than your average ballplayer, and that should be considered a good thing. You could tell he was an interesting guy with a good sense of humor when he did interviews with M&MD. It is too bad the average fan hears mostly the negative stuff on Moose, but those who really watch the Yanks and listen to him can tell he was a good person to have around because he saw things differently.

  30. Ziny November 20th, 2008 at 12:42 pm

    He will be missed.. :-(

    I loved watching him being interviewed. He’s pretty smart for a baseball player.

    Grest post Pete!

  31. steve November 20th, 2008 at 12:49 pm

    offer arbitration anyway(he’ll decline) this way if he pulls a brett favre and unretires and signs elsewhere , yanks will get draft picks

  32. j2 November 20th, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    Thanks, Gayle!

  33. Jason November 20th, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    ive seen arod wear Ed Hardy Tshirts

  34. bigjf November 20th, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    He’s a HOF in my book. I don’t know if he’ll be in 5 years from now, but hopefully not too long after that. It’s one thing to criticize a “compiler,” as Francesa put it, but it’s another to have longevity over a long prosperous career, one which Moose spent 18 years in the AL East.

  35. Bostowned November 20th, 2008 at 1:17 pm

    Moose was always my favorite pitcher. Even in his tough 2007 season. He proved in 08 that he still could pitch and Im proud to say I seen every start. First pitch in the new stadium?

    Long live the Moose!

  36. Rodney November 20th, 2008 at 1:17 pm

    man, hearing that the moose feels the same about those ed hardy losers is going to make me miss him even more. I hope he gets into the hall of fame, he’s always been a class act in my book.

  37. rover November 20th, 2008 at 1:42 pm

    Moose took his job seriously did it more than well. I never felt he took himself to be all that. A quality a great many spoiled modern day athletes ougtha try emulating. Decent dude, great pitcher,Heres to the Hall. Moose deserves it.

  38. rover November 20th, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    Now he needs to compete with Palmer for total underwear sales.

  39. saucY November 20th, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    nice post pete

    didn’t realize those ed hardy shirts were so expensive. i thought they were okay, but now knowing how much they cost, i probably won’t look at people wearing them the same way again. :|

  40. chaossolver November 20th, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    bye moose… now i need to find a new favorite pitcher…

  41. Khoa November 20th, 2008 at 4:40 pm

    What a great post Pete. Nice intro (the tees).


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