Mike Mussina Retirement, November 20, 2008
"I don't think there was ever a point where I looked around and said, 'You know what? I'm going to change my mind,'" Mussina said Thursday in a conference call to discuss his retirement."
"I just felt so good about the season, the way it was going, and enjoying it and not getting caught up in the bad times. It was like the last year of high school. You know it's going to end, and you just enjoy the ride."
"Mussina said he kept the secret from reporters, teammates and even front-office executives because he did not want to become a focal point of the season. But by the time the year was over, he had emerged as the Yankees' most prominent pitcher, making Mussina's situation difficult to ignore."
"People who talk to you about it say, 'Make sure you're doing it for yourself,'" Mussina said. "Every decision you make, there's other factors involved. I have young children and they're getting involved with things. I've been away a long time and I want to be involved more. I'm certainly not getting younger, they're not getting younger and you can't get that time back. It's just the right time for me."
"I didn't want to be one of those guys that bounces all over the place," Mussina said. "That's not how I feel about the game. If I can't contribute at the level I want to contribute at, then someone else should be doing it."
"I don't have any real plans -- I'm just enjoying the free time," Mussina said. "Guys who have retired before, I've asked them what they do with themselves, and they say they're busier now than when they were active players. I've been home for 8 1/2 weeks and I can't believe it's almost Thanksgiving already. The time is flying and the days are busy."
"I think I made a name for myself in Baltimore, but I had a lot more exposure and opportunities in New York," Mussina said. "We had seven trips to the postseason, a couple of trips to [World Series]."
"You're on a bigger stage pitching for the Yankees. I played my last game as a Yankee, and I think if I would have chosen to return, they would have asked me. I loved playing in both places, but when retirement came around, I was still a Yankee."
"I can't complain at all about my experience in New York -- it was the best," Mussina said. "That's what I'm going to take from what I've been able to do."
"I'm just proud that the Yankees asked me to come in and do a job for them, and I was able to do it," Mussina said. "It's not easy to go out there 30 times a year and be successful and stay healthy and do what everybody is expecting you to do every time."
"Yeah, I lost, and I didn't pitch great every time. But for the most part over the long haul, I did what I was supposed to do. When you're asked to do a job, you expect yourself to go out there and do it. I'm proud of myself that I went out there and did it as well as I did."