Mike Mussina to throw ceremonial first pitch for Yankees on Opening Day

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Here’s a fun one.

The Yankees issued a press release just a short while ago detailing pre-game ceremonies for Opening Day against the Tigers on Thursday. On hand for the festivities will be Mike Mussina, who is scheduled to throw out the ceremonial first pitch. He’ll be the 10th former Yankee player to have the honor.

Mussina went 123-72 with a 3.88 ERA over eight seasons with the club. He retired following the 2008 season, when he went 20-9 with a 3.36 ERA and finished sixth in the balloting for the American League Cy Young Award.

You think the Yankees invited Mussina to throw out the first pitch so that they can see if he still has something left? Just saying. I mean, honestly, he’d probably be a better alternative for the rotation than Kevin Millwood, even at the age of 42.

Astros’ Verlander to have elbow surgery, miss rest of season

Justin Verlander
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Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander will undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the rest of the season.

The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner announced the news Saturday on his Instagram account in a 1½-minute video.

“In my simulated game a couple days ago, I felt something in my elbow, and after looking at my MRI and conversing with some of the best doctors in the world, we’ve determined that Tommy John surgery is my best option,” Verlander said.

He threw to hitters on Wednesday for the first time since he was injured in the team’s opener on July 24. He threw 50 pitches in the bullpen before throwing about 25 pitches to hitters in two simulated innings.

“I tried as hard as I could to come back and play this season,” Verlander said. “Unfortunately, my body just didn’t cooperate.”

Verlander has been on the injured list with a right forearm strain. He went 21-6 with a 2.58 ERA in 2019.

“Obviously, this is not good news,” Verlander said. “However, I’m going to handle this the only way I know how. I’m optimistic. I’m going to put my head down, work hard, attack this rehab and hopefully, come out the other side better for it.

“I truly believe everything that everything happens for a reason, and although 2020 has sucked, hopefully, when this rehab process is all said and done, this will allow me to charge through the end of my career and be healthy as long as I want and pitch as long as I want and accomplish some of the goals that I want in my career.”

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