Javier from Walton Avenue was determined to share his thoughts on Mike Mussina. He clipped a newspaper article a few days ago and tucked it in his pocket to wait for just the right moment.
He decided to make his move while watching the old men play dominoes in Joyce Kilmer Park this afternoon.
“Did you guys hear about Mussina?” Javier asked the group gathered around the game.
Everyone was concentrating on dominoes.
Javier grabbed their attention.
“Mussina said you’re a bunch of old cranks,” he fired. “And that none of you know a damn thing about baseball.”
They all turned and laughed.
“Okay,” someone said. “What did he really say?”
“He was talking about what it’s like to get old,” Javier said. “That should sound familiar to all of us.”
Javier smoothed the newspaper clipping and read some quotes:
“There is no normal Spring Training when you’re 39,” Mussina said. “This takes a lot of work. There are plenty of people out there who want to do what I do. I’ve got to stay after it and be ready to go.”
Javier skipped down in the story and continued reading:
“I knew that I wasn’t going to just stroll into camp and be a starter my whole career,” Mussina said. “I have to go out there and prove that I can still do it. Maybe it’s time that I get pushed again.”
Javier folded the newspaper article and slipped it back in his pocket.
“We’re all pushed to prove ourselves,” Javier said. “That’s why Moose’s words stuck with me. I think that attitude will help him have a great year.”
Everyone nodded and then went back to dominoes.
Determination always pays off.