December 8th is Mike Mussina's 40th birthday. Also on that day, the Winter Meetings begin. Moose didn't think he'd be pondering his retirement through November, but it's possible. As he said, "If I'm in for one, I'm in for three,'' and that's a lot to consider.
Forget 300 wins for a minute. It'd be hard for anyone to leave about $30 million on the table.
Since the season ended, we've felt that Andy Pettitte's place on the '09 Yankees would be directly influenced by Mussina's decision. If Moose came back, there would be less of a need to pitch millions at Pettitte. If Mussina retired, Pettitte would be back in play. For the bullpen's sake, it'd be hard to have both vets on the same staff, especially if the Yankees are intent on keeping Joba Chamberlain in the rotation all year.
If Mussina signs for a year with two options, gets hurt, wins nine games, then retires, who is really going to care in 10 years how he left the game in 2009? He'll have departed with 279 wins, the same Hall-of-Fame credentials he has now, and probably another $12 million to $15 million in the bank. As competitive as he is, there is a significant incentive to give it a try - for 300 wins, for a World Series, and another big pay day (not to say that the last item is any motivation, but where else could he make such money?)
On the coaching front, Tony Pena is a candidate to switch from first base coach to third base coach, but the idea hasn't been suggested to him yet within the organization. The Yanks would still need a first base/infielders coach.
Derek Jeter pitches watches, razors, Fords, and something that resembles the old 'Johnny Bench -Batter Up' (remember that?), a ball tied to a string that you can wrap around a tree. If you wondered when A-Rod would get his next national spot since that deodorant ad (wasn't that his last, or did we miss one?), it arrived yesterday -- with Rodriguez, sans pants, in a tribute to that Tom Cruise scene in 'Risky Business' for Guitar Hero. But Kobe Bryant got the lead 'vocal.' Wonder if Madonna approved.