I don't know what's worse. Watching our former ace pitch well late into his career as a Yankee, or hearing Yankee fans chant "Moose" like they invented it.
It's been almost 7 years now, but that doesn't ease the pain of watching the Orioles best homer-grown player since Cal Ripken, Jr. pitch for the most hated team in professional sports. Mussina could have become a communist, moved to China, declared war on America and it still wouldn't be as bad as watching him scatter 3 hits over 7 innings against the Birds like he's sure to do tonight.
Mussina must have really wanted to stick it to Angelos when ol' Petey dicked him around in contract negotiations after the 2000 season. I don't blame Mussina for leaving, but I do wish he would have considered the fans feelings before he decided to do about the worst thing he could have done to O's fans that offseason.
And while having to watch Mussina dominate the Orioles every time he pitches against them is a punishment that Angelos deserves, I just don't believe Angelos cares. Let's face it, Angelos believes that he is right in whatever he does. He's a megalomaniac to the nth degree. He believes that he's right in letting Mussina go. He believes he's right in forcing Davey Johnson to resign. The examples go on and on and I don't have enough space in this blog to list all the examples of how Angelos is the worst owner in professional sports. Maybe not the worst, but definitely the most destructive.
Anyway, the fans, however, do care and they're the ones bearing the brunt of this disaster, and have been, ever since Mussina left town. Mussina leaving wasn't just a bad thing, something you think about every now and then when highlights of his last game appear on ESPN. Instead, it ruined O's fans. It made them turn on Angelos and not care about the team. It had an impact that is immeasurable, the way that no one can ever really know how many people a nuclear bomb kills.
Had Mussina vowed not to sign with another AL East team, like Andy Pettitte did when he left the Yankees in 2003, I think this whole thing would have blown over by now. We could have at least said "Mussina did the right thing. At least he cares." Watching Mussina pitch for the Padres or Diamondbacks would be much easier to do.
That would be like your wife leaving you and moving to Hawaii with her new man. Yeah, she left you and that blows, but at least she's out of the continental U.S. Out of sight, out of mind. But in New York, Mussina is like the wife who leaves you and shacks up with your asshole neighbor. You know the one who has to have everything you have, but bigger and better. And oh yeah, he brags about it every chance he gets. In an annoying New York accent. But even worse, your ex leaves the curtains open so you are forced to see every naked thrust and hear every moan when they are doing the nasty.
By doing this, Mussina opened himself up to become the enemy. As soon as he put on the Yankees cap in his press-conference -- he became the enemy, and Angelos was just another bad owner. People wanted to see Mussina fail, yet they continue to pay good money to watch the O's lose games they should win. O's fans cheer when Mussina doesn't win a ring with the Yankees while the Orioles finish the season 25 games out of first place.
In the end, Angelos got what he wanted. And he believes he's right.
But Mussina is not the bad guy, even as he suits up in pinstripes tonight against his former team. Angelos is.
And yes, that's 2 examples of women leaving a man in a handful of posts. Have I been scorned by a woman? Amazingly no. But watching Mussina in pinstripes face a weak-hitting Orioles team tonight, I sure do know how it feels.
Pete must have really pissed you off, Mike. I just wish you would have considered the fans before you left the curtains open.