In Thursday's invective laden tirade against Mike Mussina, Mr. Grudge stated in a very un-Mr. Grudge like tone about Mussina: "He's an intense player who's quick to criticize others, has finicky habits about getting ready for his starts, and his skills are diminishing. That's not to mention that he's a bad "clubhouse guy" who keeps to himself and huddles over crossword puzzles with a haughty air or self-assurance."
It's time to apologize, if not to Mussina, who will never, ever read this column, but to my readers for absolutely blowing it. It’s one thing to make bad predictions about a game or an entire season; but, to personally attack a player simply because he hasn’t performed up to his usual level is unprofessional. Mussina did an excellent job of pitching last night and needs to be congratulated. Many people kept telling me that Mussina will come around, and this writer turned into a spoiled Yankee fan, tossing a fit because his favorite team is in the toilet. Mussina has not been the only problem the Yankees had with the few bad starts he produced. And, if the team didn’t sink to the bottom of the AL East in the standings, his performance in those games would not have mattered. With that said Mr. Grudge vows to return to his usual, objective self and not go off on emotional outbursts when one player turns in a bad performance for one game, like Josh Phelps for instance. Just kidding.
After all of my apologizing in the previous paragraphs, my support of Alex Rodriguez has been consistent from the inception of this blog. Mr. Grudge was the one making the case to keep him when everyone else wants to send him back to Texas, or some other baseball version of Siberia. There was one article I wrote criticizing him for wanting to opt out of his contract; but, by and large, my support for him has been constant throughout. This writer believed then, and still does now that A-Rod is a keeper. I've heard others tell me that in spite of the terrific season he is having, including the grand slam he had in the ninth inning against the White Sox Thursday that they'd like to see him do that in the post season. This writer's answer is that the Yankees have a very deep hole to climb out of to even think of getting to the post season, and Alex Rodriguez is one guy that can make that happen. Forget the post season; let's see them get to .500 first. Keep hitting them out of the park, Alex, and mea culpa, Mussina.