Moose Points Finger at…Rivera?

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?

0 thoughts on “Moose Points Finger at…Rivera?

  1. Tom Gaffney

    Oh my God, Moose. You mean that Mariano isn’t completely absolutely and totally perfect? You’re right, that 0.77 career post-season ERA is just awful, especially compared to your 3.42 ERA in the playoffs. You just made me happy that you retired. Good riddance.

  2. J-Gao

    When was this quote said?
    It’s not like Mussina just said it recently. It was likely after a devastating loss like the ones he mentioned. Mussina speaks only the truth, and, frankly, he’s right. Moose isn’t saying he’s better. They’re both professionals and will realize that it’s just facts. I’ll bet that Rivera will be classy and just say that Moose is right.
    Besides, I have a feeling Mussina’s got it in for closers. I mean, he’d have more than just 1 20-win season and a better HOF case if the Baltimore guys didn’t blow it. But if I missed my 2 chances at a WS title, I’d be pretty pissed, too.
    Let’s not turn this into a big deal and pretend like Mussina’s acting like Curt Schilling.

    • Moshe Mandel

      I have to agree with you. Moose was right, if a bit too blunt. That being said, he certainly had plenty of time to reflect on 2004 prior to the quote, so I am not sure you can just pin it on sheer emotion coming through.

  3. paul d

    disgusting behavior, by a pitcher who didn’t even have the guts to protect his hitters. you mussina, are a major part of the reason (including torre) why the yankees lost to the sox. the sox essentially bullied the yankees that year (and the previous year to a lesser extent). torre’s arrogance (into thinking the yankees were talented enough to just stand by and still win) and your cowardice were two major reasons why those idiots (sox)believed they could beat us. congrats on winning 20 games. i for one, was shocked that you did it. your career was a career of “almosts”. you almost won a world series, you almost pitched a perfect game, you almost won 20 games on several occasions. no wonder you retired, you finally accomplished a goal. so next time you want to criticize a guy who the major you got to the series in the first place, takea look in the mirror first

  4. noseeum

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with this. He doesn’t reveal anything private. He simply states the obvious.

    He’s responding to the constant criticism the post 2000 Yankees get, and the digs he gets for having no rings.

  5. EdB

    I think he’s more making the point that Rivera had a bad couple of years as compared to the rest of his HOF career and that was Moose’s best chance for a ring. I really don’t think he’s just sniping at former teammates. I would say Mo’s failures stick out in my mind more than most other negative events in any given season (giving up a HR to Scutaro in April a few years ago) simply because they are so rare.

  6. Tom Mitchell

    How can anyone say mussinas comments are essentially correct? Rivera did not lose the Boston series. He blew 1 save when the teams got 3 more opportunities to win it. Mussina is incorrect. Not to mention intensely jealous. Just because you speak calmly doesn’t mean you’re calm within. What a clown. What did he ever win for us?