Let's forget about the attention grabbing, playoff choking, non-20 game winning, old, sour grape Mike Mussina for a moment.
Why? Because the Yanks can and should. Mike Mussina, is probably the best MLB pitcher from April to July. Look at his numbers last season, look at them in 1996, look at them in any year, and more times than not, the numbers hold that statement true. Mussina is far more valuable to a team like the Orioles or the Cubs and not championship seeking franchises like the Yankees.
Further, the youth movement is on at Legends Field this Spring. Kei Igawa, Phil Hughes, and Humberto Sanchez have been impressive. According to Pitching Coach Ron Guidry, Joe Torre, and Cather Jorge Posada, all three have the stuff to be their right now and could make a big impact at the MLB level.
So, what would you do in a perfect world? You would keep a couple of proven veterans that have the history of showing up and getting it done in the second half of the season and (most importantly to Yankees fans, in the postseason) to mentor the young guys to see them through their potential.
In this case, if the GM had some onions, he would not have stopped with the shipping of Randy Johnson. He should have shipped Mussina as well. Keep the two proven post-season warriors (Andy Pettitte 4 WS rings, Carl Pavno 1 WS ring) and let them lead Hughes, Igawa, and Wang to take over for the next great dynasty.
Factually, Mussina has not gotten it done when a team needs him the most. Just as he choked in 1996, when the Orioles were trying to make a run at a championship, Mussina has not gotten it done in the second half of the season or postseason for his tenure with the Yanks either.
Though not recently, Carl Pavano gets it done when it matters the most. In the 2003 postseason, he threw 19 innings, 2 victories, 7 Ks per 9, WHIP of 1.03 and an ERA of 1.40. And, oh yeah, an integral part to a championship team - something Mussina has never been.
So, perhaps instead of being Benedict Arnold, and acting unprofessionally by cutting up a teammate to the press and betraying a legitimate effort to help his team, he should be focused on his own game, and how he can somehow manage the strength to help a team to championship. Then, he can open his mouth.
Put up or shut up Moose.