Mariano: Yankees have ‘no excuses’
Yawn. Up, down, another 12 pitches for Mariano Rivera and another breezy scoreless inning. At least this time Rivera allowed a hit, as Gerald Laird stroked a ground single to right field. Other than that, Rivera said that all is well and there have been no problems so far.
Rivera will take the next couple of days off before returning to action, and said his remaining goals are to get stronger and be ready to work quickly if he has to come in for the middle of the eighth inning at some point during the year. The Yankees always like to say that Rivera will pitch the ninth inning and only the ninth inning, but it never seems to hold up.
“Hopefully we’re so good that I don’t have to do that,” Rivera said. “That would be the best case scenario for me. I’d be happy because that means the whole pitching staff is doing great.”
And of this staff, Rivera said he sees plenty of potential for success, especially with the additions of CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett.
“We can’t complain – there’s no excuses,” Rivera said. “The Yankees did tremendous. They went and got the best two starters on the market. We have those two, Chien-Ming Wang, Andy [Pettitte] and Joba [Chamberlain].”
What did he mean by “no excuses,” Rivera was asked?
“We always say, we don’t have starters,” Rivera said. “We don’t have this. We don’t have that. Last year we didn’t have starters – we came up with two rookies (Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy). Unfortunately it didn’t work. But we didn’t have an entire rotation. Now, we do.”