Joe Torre’s book seems to be getting a lot of people embroiled in controversy. The latest to be ripped by media personalities (if you consider Michael Kay a personality) is Mike Mussina, for the comments that he made about Mariano RIvera in Joe Torre’s book. From Mike “Tiny” Lupica:
“We were up 3-0 and Mo (Rivera) came in again with the lead and lost it. He lost it again. As great as he is, and it’s amazing what he does, if you start the evaluation again since I got here, he has accomplished nothing in comparison to what he accomplished in the four years before. He blew the World Series in ’01. He lost the Boston series. He didn’t lose it himself but we had a chance to win in the ninth and sweep them, and he doesn’t do it there.”
The tone here isn’t angry, the way the tone of this book isn’t angry, despite the coverage it has gotten. These are tough opinions, but honest ones.
“I know you look at everything (Rivera’s) done and it’s been awesome,” Mussina continues. “I’ll admit that. But it hadn’t been the same in those couple of years. That’s what I remember about the ’04 series.”
Moose has always been a blunt speaker, and he certainly does not pull any punches here. The statement that he makes is true. If Rivera pitches in the postseasons of 2001 and 2004 like he did in the dynasty years (ie. perfectly), players like Giambi, Mussina, and A-Rod would have a title. Those teams reached the ninth inning with a chance to hand the ball to Mo and win or go to the World Series, and Mo did not come through. Nobody is perfect, and imperfections from a closer are usually amplified due to their dramatically flipping the outcome of the game. Mariano still remains the greatest closer and possibly postseason pitcher of all time, and Moose never questions that. In regard to the veracity of the comments, Moose is entirely safe from criticism.
The real question is, regardless of whether the comments were true, should they have been made? Not everything that is true needs to be said in public, particularly when we consider the supposed sanctity of the teammate relationship. Ultimately, Moose probably should have kept his mouth shut, but Mariano is going to be the one to determine whether the comments were inappropriate. Knowing Mo, he will likely defuse the situation by agreeing with Mussina’s assessment, and another Torre book/Radio blowhard created controversy will dissipate.
What do you think? Was Moose right? Should he have made those comments?