2 small steps forward, 3 giant leaps back it seems.
Mussina puts in a professional performance (took some outside coaching lessons from Mel Stottlemyer in between starts and made some adjustments) and the bull pen blows it - again. Mussina pulled after 90 pitches which I guess is acceptable - be that as it may, he probably would have done better than Proctor, but I understand, you can't push the fragile Moose. As of right now, I think the only three guys you can trust coming out of the pen to bridge to a save opportunity for Mo is Meyers, Bruney, and Villone (0 ERA after 4 games and 7 2/3 innings).
When you have a save situation the equation to go by is Meyers for the one tough out in a pinch, Bruney to finish the 7th, Villone for the 8th, then Mo. Use Farnsworth, Vizcaino, and Proctor for mop up duty until their performance improves. -- In my humble opinion only.
As the season goes on and all that has come with it - Matsui injury, Damon injured, and injured again but won't DL, Abreu and Cabrera's slump, I find more and more of my anger surprisingly finding its way to Bernie Williams. The reality of the situation is quite clear cut: Bernie voluntarily sat out because of pride plain and simple. Had he put his pride in the backseat like he has his entire career, he'd be out there now, playing and contributing in a big way. He'd be a leader in the clubhouse. Wouldn't be fielding any worse than Damon - and would very likely be batting better, perhaps significantly better than the .219 and .233 of Cabrera and Abreu respectively. But, because of his pride getting in the way, he is not with us and hurting the team. I'm not saying its right - but I am saying it is how I feel. Williams has let the team down due to pride - very un-Bernie like.
We've got Toronto, Boston, and then the White Sox before a return to inter-league play. When Clemens comes back (in Boston) the starting rotation will be Wang, Pettitte, Mussina, Clemens, and then take your pick between Rassner/Clippard/Hughes. I think you give that starting 4 two full rotations. If the ship doesn't right itself by then, I think we have to look at the prospect of dismantling the team and rebuilding.
What do I mean by dismantling? I mean you keep: Posada, Jeter, A-Rod, Cano, and Matsui. You can build off of those guys, and let younger players fill in and learn. You find a home, this season, for Abreu, Giambi, Damon, and Mussina. Trade them to those that are close to contending and clear the way for some younger guys to get some seasoning to start preparation for a new run in '08.
I hope it does not come to that - either way, I think we'll know for certain what will happen by the end of our series with Pittsburgh on Sunday, June 10th.
Two full months in, 6 games under .500 and competing with Devil Rays for Last Place in the East.....just thinking about that makes my head hurt.