Where will Mike Mussina sign?

by Ross Friedman

<!-- Article Starts Here --!> Do we really have to go through, every day, hearing rumors about Mike Mussina and what teams are interested, and who is he considering, and this, and that, and so on and so forth. Right now we are at very least four or five days away from any official announcement of where he may go. We're still a few days away from any team other than the Orioles giving him an actual offer.

So you no longer have to read all those articles of where he may go anymore, and so you don't have spend time wondering what he'd look like in whatever uniform you hope he ends up in, let me clear this up for you right now.

Mike Mussina will be a New York Yankee.

If you would like me to clear up how this will happen, and how I'm so boldly making this determination, I'll be happy to do so. In fact, I'll even tell you the method I used to figure this out. I've been paying attention to how baseball works these days. The Yankees get what they want.

Now I'll go into a little more depth how this will all pan out.

In the next couple of days he'll come to New York for an "on-site" visit. We have all heard of Mussina's aversion to New York City. No problem. Joe Torre himself will be picking Mussina up from the airport and will be escorting him around the serenity that is Westchester. He'll show him around wonderful, beautiful houses, and tell Mussina that it is the same distance from his Pennsylvania home that Baltimore is. Then he will not only tell Mussina how easy the 25-minute commute from Westchester to Yankee Stadium is, he'll show him.

We'll start with the conversation Torre and Mussina are having during the car ride:

Torre: So you know Mike, wherever you end up going, the money will be there. But as a guy who went more games than anybody ever had before getting a World Series ring, I can tell you that's what it's all about.

Mussina: Wow, are there really 25 diamonds on that ring.

Torre: Yeah, I think the ring ceremony is one of my favorite things every year.

When they get to the Stadium the tour and conversation will go something like this:

Torre: So Mike, this is Monument Park. It's where we keep track of all the great players who played here. Guys like Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Mantle, and well, you can see.

Torre: Right next to this is the Yankee bullpen. This is where you'd be warming up. Speaking of bullpens, I noticed that, despite your impressive ERA last season, you only went 11-15. Seems that Orioles bullpen hurt you a bit. Well, if you go six innings, that's fine here. Go seven, you're all set. Eight, well, you've heard of Mariano Rivera right? We try to make sure our pitchers get wins when they leave the game with the lead..

Mussina: It would be nice to have a bullpen that wouldn't give up walk off home runs in three straight games to the Royals.

As they walk onto the field:

Torre: Here in the outfield we'd provide you with a Gold Glove centerfielder. As we reach the infield, here at short we have our superstar, Derek Jeter.

Mussina: Wow, and he's not even in his mid-30s yet.

Torre: In case you were wondering about support, here in pinstripes, at all 8 positions behind you we'd be providing a current or former All-Star player.

Torre: And here's the Yankee Stadium mound. Now we wouldn't want to put the pressure on you of being the ace right away, so we'll keep 5-time Cy Young winner Roger Clemens in that role. Of course, we like to consider all of our pitchers aces. We'll sandwich you between him and Andy Pettitte. Then we'll throw El Duque, and we may finish out the rotation with David Cone. You know what's funny, is just like you, they all have career winning percentages above .600.

Mussina: So there would be an actual "pitching staff" not just me and four other guys.

Torre: Here at the plate would be Jorge Posada. And just in case he got hurt, we just spent over $1 million to have Joe Oliver backup. We like to make sure our pitchers have somebody they're comfortable throwing too.

Mussina: So you wouldn't be trading my catcher mid-season? Hmm….

Torre: Well, that's pretty much it for the tour. I'll have Brian Cashman give your agent a call and work whatever needs to be worked out. If you think it would be appealing to have a team with a top bullpen and great closer, all-stars at every position, a pitching rotation loaded with the top pitchers in the league, and strong catching with depth at the position, we'd love to have you.

Torre: Oh, Mike, I forgot to find out one last thing. Just one of those small details we need from anybody who may wear pinstripes. What's your ring size?

Hmm, I wonder where he's going to go. <!-- Article Ends Here --!>

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