Yankees’ Rivera, Cano ready for All-Star Game

Great - and bizarre - picture posted to Twitter by Nelson Cruz (@ncboomstick17)

Great – and bizarre – picture posted to Twitter by Nelson Cruz (@ncboomstick17)

On a day when Mariano Rivera is preparing to say goodbye to the All-Star Game, the Yankees closer has been saying hello much, much more.

Rivera has been the most popular player in either clubhouse here at Citi Field, as players from both the American and National Leagues are clamoring to get a moment – or a signature – from the future Hall of Famer.

“Yeah, I’m signing all kinds of stuff. A lot more,” Rivera said. “They know it’s my last year, so they’re going to get me now. I can’t escape from that one. It’s OK, though – they are good guys, and why not?”

Rivera has been promised by Tigers manager Jim Leyland that he will touch the mound at some point tonight; obviously, Rivera and the AL hope that it is in a save situation. Cano, who is starting at second base for the AL, said that it has been a special to get to share a clubhouse with Rivera during his final Midsummer Classic.

“It’s an honor being here with Mariano in his last All-Star Game,” Cano said. “He’s a guy that has seen me coming up, has always given me good advice and has always been there for me. Just to be here with him in his last year, it’s an honor.”

Even with the celebratory atmosphere, Cano said that the attitude in the AL clubhouse is “serious.”

“We play this game like a regular game,” Cano said. “We have to go out and give everything we’ve got because you’ve got to respect the game and you have to show respect to the fans.”

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