From Mark Hale:
As the season nears closer, Mike Mussina sounds very confident that A-Fraud-gate won't hurt Alex Rodriguez too badly.
In a phone interview yesterday, Mussina - the Yankees' retired 20-game winner - said he didn't believe the revelation in Joe Torre's book that Rodriguez was referred to as "A-Fraud" in the clubhouse would be a lingering clubhouse problem.
"He's the best player that I've had a chance to play with," Mussina told The Post. "And he works hard at it and if he sat around and worried about everything that happened, he wouldn't be able to be the player that he is.
"I was in that clubhouse for eight years. I've seen a lot of stuff go on. A lot of stories go out. I've seen Alex deal with a lot of things, this past year and in other years. I don't foresee this as being a major issue."
Within every close group of friends there are jokes and insults that fly around. They usually are harmless, that's what Mussina is talking about. With that said, I would have liked to know what he has to say about the Rivera quote.
"What goes on in the clubhouse and teammates razzing or giving each other a hard time doesn't necessarily mean we're cutting into people," Mussina said. "Did I ever hear anybody call him that? It's possible. But that doesn't mean it's meant in a harsh way. We're stuck together for six months and we're trying to have fun with each other and get people motivated. I don't look at that as something that's nasty. Yeah, maybe it was wrong, but it's what guys do."
Mussina said any such comments by Bowa were not meant to be hurtful.
"If Borzy would have said something like that, it was a way of making sure that Alex was ready to go," Mussina said. "I'm completely honest in the fact that Alex's best friend on the club was Borzy."