Yankees having fun with Mariano Rivera’s return to Kansas City

Royals vs. Yankees_#5131
Photo credit: Kent Klooster, MLB.com

Mariano Rivera jogged out to the spot where his career nearly ended 12 months ago, looked down, and smiled.

A prankster from the Yankees’ clubhouse had painted a white chalk outline of Rivera’s body on the warning track, while a banner adorned with stop signs and yellow caution tape fluttered from the outfield wall reading: “No Mo Zone.”

Rivera posed in front of the wall for a photo, grabbing his right knee in mock pain. He said that he expected to hear some good-natured ribbing from his teammates as he returned to Kauffman Stadium, the Yanks’ first trip back since Rivera tore his right ACL before a May 3, 2012 game against the Royals.

“The only thing that will come back to me is just knowing that I got hurt there,” Rivera said. “But I mean, I will enjoy it definitely because that moment and seeing where I am right now, that’s what is gratifying. I’m thanking the Lord for me being here.”

Yankees bullpen coach Mike Harkey, who was one of the first on the scene when Rivera crumpled in pursuit of a Jayson Nix fly ball on that afternoon last May, is believed to have been one of the leading pranksters to dress up the left-center field area on Friday.

The adornments were removed by the time the Yankees’ batting practice session concluded, and manager Joe Girardi said that he didn’t expect his thoughts would drift to Rivera’s injury much during the course of Friday’s game.

“Not really,” Girardi said. “You see guys get injured all the time in different ballparks and I know Mo is not just your everyday guy, I understand that. I’m sure the guys will have a little fun with it today and then try to put it behind us.”

6 Comments

I’d still throw this bum out on his ear, robert G. He’s been nothing but a waste of time and money. Send him to the Cubs, they deserve each other.

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ooh Seeknay, go easy. Joba is young, excitable, immature and over emotional. Hopefully he can learn from this kind of experience. It could help to bring Joba’s career to an end in New York. I think the Yankees have given Joba every opportunity to reach his potential and he really hasn’t done it. Maybe he could do it with another team.

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I noticed that Joba told Mo last night to “not shush me” after Mo requested him to turn it down while talking to reporters. Let’s see Fatboy telling the BEST closer ever not to shush him. Fatboy who is a WASTE of time and $$$$$$ telling Mo. this. Note to Cashman, ownership & Girardi SHIP FATBOY OUT NOW. Nothing but a cancer and not worth the Yankees time. Go bounce on a trampoline again and break your leg this time.

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Bryan, I think you need to consider writing a book about Mo’s farewell season which centers on his visitations with people in every city interspersed with game action and in particular his pitching. I sense this may be a special season and such a book would be a way we could all share in Mo’s final season, so we could all hear the “thank you’s” that go both ways. Further it would let us all share in this special thing he is doing.

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I love the fun they had with Mo there, shows good heart in the team (as if the record wasn’t doing that) but it shows they’re loose & enjoying the season! Granted I did say yesterday when I saw about this prank it’s something I’d have expected had Swisher been on the team, but if Mike Harkey was behind it then he needs to be congratulated!

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You’re right Seeknay. This team finds a way to win and it’s a different guy every night. Fortunately our starting pitching and bull pen has been real good which makes the difference. But it was Vernon Wells again last night. I hope when Grandy comes back there will be a place in the outfield for Wells and Suzuki. Perhaps Gardner needs to platoon. He’s not stealing bases very well nor hitting all that well but covers a lot of ground in the outfield. Girardi is going to have to match them up with different pitchers. Anyway, keep it rolling guys.

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