Monday, August 30, 2004

Whiny Moose

Second Delay Angers Mussina (Newsday.com, Baumbach): "there was an additional 15-minute delay to accommodate the ceremony for Cheek, who broadcast 4,306 straight games before sitting out a game in June because of his father's funeral. He then learned he had a brain tumor and recently underwent surgery.

'I congratulate the man who got 4,300 games, but sitting for 15 extra minutes before the game was supposed to start - that was worse,' said Mussina, whose second pitch of the game was hit over the centerfield fence by leadoff hitter Reed Johnson. 'When they say 2:15 and it's 2:25 and they're still on the field ... I don't want to take anything away from him. That's a tremendous accomplishment. But tell us 2:30 instead of 2:15. That's all.'

It was unclear whether Mussina fully understood the gravity of Cheek's medical
situation."

This is why I've always stayed kind of cold about the Moose -- there's a whininess and lack of tact that makes Mussina unlikeable. This time he's complaining about an extra 15 minutes spent by the SkyDome crowd honoring Tom Cheek, the Jays' longtime radio voice, who has a brain tumor.

It's not quite Lou Gehrig's farewell speech, maybe, but I'm sure it was an important and emotional moment for Cheek, his family, the Blue Jays, and their fans. Ceremonies go long all the time at Yankee Stadium and elsewhere. Why can't Mussina just deal with the minor inconvenience, like everyone else does?

Watching individuals deal with adversity is the big appeal of sport. Mike Mussina's definitive "Yankee Moment" so far -- coming in in relief in Game 7 of the ALCS -- was appealing precisely because it was unscheduled, unprepared, and inconvenient. He was called upon unexpectedly and came up big. Yankee fans loved him for that.

This year, he started off by complaining about the Japan trip. A lot. Now he's whining because a pregame ceremony went long, after a power outage at SkyDome. I know these kinds of things are annoying, but complaining about them is so weak. It shows no character.

The big irony of it is, doesn't seem like the delay affected Mike at all. He was totally effective for the first six innings -- up until the very moment I started watching the game. Then he got shelled, of course.

Following Mussina was Paul Quantrill. Quantrill came in with the Yanks trailing 3-2, 2 men on, 1 out. Assisted by a Derek Jeter error, Quantrill left the game 6-2 Jays. Q's becoming a big problem, since the starters aren't going 7 innings, and there's only so much pitching Tom Gordon and Mariano Rivera can do.

So what do you guys think? Is Moose a candidate for Most Annoying Yankee? Is Quantrill going to right the ship, or do we have to count on a trade for a reliever who can make it through the 6th and 7th innings?

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