Mussina told the New York Post on Tuesday that even if Alex Rodriguez was referred to as "A-Fraud" in the Yankees' clubhouse, he didn't believe it would become a problem so many years after the fact.
"He's the best player that I've had a chance to play with," Mussina told the paper. "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."
Yet it's become a major issue in the New York media, after it was revealed that parts of Torre's book, "The Yankee Years," paint Rodriguez as a troubled individual who had difficulty adjusting to the Yankees' clubhouse after his acquisition five years ago.
Penned by Sports Illustrated writer Tom Verducci from a third-person perspective, the text reportedly reveals that Yankees teammates referred to Rodriguez as "A-Fraud," and states that he harbored a "Single White Female" obsession with Derek Jeter.
"Alex monopolized all the attention," Torre is quoted as saying in the book. "I don't think that's important. We never really had anybody who craved the attention."
Fears arose this week that the book might damage the Yankees' clubhouse, considering that Rodriguez remains signed through the 2017 season. Yet the retired Mussina, who played alongside Rodriguez from 2004-08, said that he didn't foresee it as a problem.
"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 told the Post. "Did I ever hear anybody call him ['A-Fraud']? 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."
Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.