Results tagged ‘ Mariano Rivera ’
The New York chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America is holding its annual awards banquet tonight in Manhattan, and in addition to all of the major award winners from the 2013 season (MVPs, Cy Youngs, Rookies of the Year, etc.), there will be some Yankees flavor to the event.
Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte are being honored with the Toast of the Town award, while David Robertson will be on hand to pick up the Good Guy Award, as voted upon by the chapter’s members. It promises to be a star-studded event, and you can take a peek at the full lineup here.
Here’s Robertson talking with MLB Network about the event and more…
Now, because we’re long overdue for one, here’s a brief run-down on what’s happening in Yankee-land — just in case you’ve tuned out for what turned out to be a very, very busy week:
- Hey, Masahiro Tanaka is a Yankee! It’s hard to imagine you missed that story, but just in case, the price tag was seven years and $155 million, plus the $20 million posting fee to the Rakuten Golden Eagles. Tanaka can opt out after the fourth year of the deal, and said in Japan that his goal is to win a World Series. The Yankees had the top bid, and thus secured the player.
He’ll slide behind CC Sabathia and could be the Yankees’ No. 2 or No. 3 starter to open the season. A brief scouting report, based upon things we’ve heard in our travels: great command, a fastball in the low-to-mid 90′s that can ramp up a few miles per hour more when he gets in tight spots, and a devastating splitter that looks like a fastball before it falls off the table. It’s a true strikeout pitch. You’ll also see a slider, changeup and curveball from him.
He’s been throwing his bullpens with Major League balls to help the adjustment process, and pitching coach Larry Rothschild has been busy watching video of Tanaka’s starts for Rakuten. Tanaka will wear uniform No. 19, so that Chris Stewart jersey you bought last year can be recycled at last. Derek Jeter sounds pumped about the signing, essentially saying that pitching is the key to the kingdom.
- Joe Torre is going into the Hall of Fame with a Yankees cap. Since he’s being enshrined for his managerial career, it’s not like there was much of a debate here. Still, it’ll be good to see the skip get his day in Cooperstown. His speech should be a memorable one.
- Brian Cashman said that much of the heavy lifting is complete, but don’t be surprised if the Yankees make a few extra moves before getting down to Tampa. The bullpen and third base are two of their main areas of concern; they’re comfortable going with what they have, but will pull the trigger on something that makes sense. Third base right now is going to be some mix of Kelly Johnson, Eduardo Nunez, Scott Sizemore, Dean Anna and whoever else they can take a look at this spring. The bullpen could use another arm to get the ball to Robertson in the ninth.
Gary Sanchez and Mason Williams cracked the list of MLB.com’s Top 100 prospects. They had three in the Top 100 last year, as Tyler Austin dropped off the list. … Left-hander David Huff was sold to the Giants. He came off the 40-man roster to make room for Tanaka. … Hockey is happening at Yankee Stadium. Good weather for it. … Rupert Murdoch is preparing to take majority control of the YES Network, with the Steinbrenners retaining a 20 percent stake. … And I’ve got to bust out a suit tonight. That’s twice in a week, which is a lot for me.
Mariano Rivera has moved rather seamlessly into life as a retired player, and along with that comes the freedom to serve as an armchair general manager.
The former Yankees closer voiced his reaction to the free-agent signings of catcher Brian McCann and outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, and as he told MLB.com, they’ll help the Yankees in 2014. But Rivera still wants to see some movement on the mound.
“They have made good moves,” Rivera said. “I want to see pitching. I want pitching. Offense is good, but we need pitching. But those two players will be two great acquisitions, two good players, and hopefully they do it here in New York.”
On the pitching front, the Yankees have no sure things in the rotation beyond CC Sabathia and Ivan Nova. They’ve made Hiroki Kuroda an offer to return, and are monitoring developments with Japanese star Masahiro Tanaka. David Phelps, Adam Warren and Michael Pineda are among the others in the mix. They also need bullpen help.
Rivera also touched on the situation with Robinson Cano, pointing out that he had several opportunities over his career to leave the Yankees via free agency (remember, the Red Sox even made a serious bid for his services). Rivera stayed in New York, and he is hoping that Cano does the same.
“I chose to stay home because I grew up here,” Rivera said. “The New York Yankees are the best organization there is in sports, period. Hopefully Cano does the right thing, but I want him to be happy. Whatever he does, I want him to be happy.”
If the following clips are any indication, you’re going to want to set your DVR right now or make sure that you’re parked in front of the TV this weekend.
MLB Productions’ new film “BEING: Mariano Rivera” is debuting this Sunday at 2:30 pm ET on FOX. Rivera granted MLB Productions cameras significant access throughout the past year, allowing behind the scenes access through every memorable moment in and around his final season.
With hundreds of hours of footage shot for a 90-minute documentary, several fantastic moments were left on the cutting room floor. Here are four clips that DID NOT make the final cut, courtesy MLB Productions:
While visiting San Diego for the final time in early September, Rivera spends time with Trevor Hoffman, the only other man to save 600 games. The cameras and Rivera’s microphone also pick up his reaction along with his teammates to the gift the Padres give him (Robbie Cano makes a funny joke):
During All-Star Week in New York, Rivera takes some time to visit the U.S.S. Intrepid with his family, and talks about looking forward to spending more time with his kids after retirement:
Also during All-Star Week, more than a dozen of Rivera’s AL teammates gather for a photo with him in a private moment together on the field at Citi Field:
During Rivera’s last trip to Texas in July, current Rangers closer Joe Nathan gets a chance to interview Rivera:
Mariano Rivera has thrown his final pitch. The all-time saves leader said on Saturday that he will not take the mound during this series against the Astros, instead letting his Yankee Stadium finale serve as his final Major League appearance.
“I’m done, guys. I’m done. I gave everything that I have,” Rivera said. “I think Thursday was the game that I left everything on the field.”
Rivera said that he has been pitching with “tremendous soreness in my arm,” and that “I was giving everything. I left it there.” He said that giving the ball to Andy Pettitte and Derek Jeter at the conclusion of Thursday’s appearance against the Rays gave him complete closure.
“I know it was the perfect moment. It was something I would have never expected,” Rivera said, adding, “I think I squeezed every ounce of fuel out of my tank. It is empty. I have nothing left.”
HOUSTON — Mariano Rivera’s playing career may have ended with that tearful embrace on the mound this week at Yankee Stadium.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that he has given Rivera the option of pitching in any of the club’s final games against the Astros here at Minute Maid Park. Rivera told Girardi that he is unavailable again on Saturday, and though Rivera has the right to change his mind, Girardi seems to believe that Rivera will not pitch in Houston.
Rivera’s memorable exit in the Bronx, Girardi said, created a perfect way to go out.
“I think that’s a big part of it,” Girardi said. “That was a special night for him, the way it unfolded. I think he wants it to end that way. But you know, if he changes his mind, it’s OK. Whatever he wants to do.”
Girardi also said that he does not believe Rivera will play center field in Houston; again, his choice. Rivera has long pined for that chance, but seemed to have backed off of his desire earlier this week when Girardi said he was “absolutely” considering it.
“I don’t think we’re probably going to see that as well,” Girardi said. “At least I gave him the opportunity. It’s his decision.”
Rivera is expected to speak to reporters at the conclusion of batting practice.
Here’s what you need to know as the Yankees prepare for Mariano Rivera’s final game at Yankee Stadium, home game No. 81. Tonight’s starting pitchers are Ivan Nova (9-5, 3.13) and Alex Cobb (10-3, 2.90).
Rivera is expected to pitch tonight in what will be an emotional night for the retiring closer, and he was pleased to hear that the Yankees are expecting a sellout crowd for tonight’s game against the Rays.
“I appreciate that, it means a lot to me,” Rivera said. “It means the whole world to me. It’s amazing. I definitely appreciate the fans for that.”
Rivera said that he has not thought about what it will be like to enter a game at Yankee Stadium for the final time.
“I haven’t,” he said. “I’ve been so overwhelmed that I can’t anymore. When it happens tonight, we’ll see what happens.”
Other notes –
- I think it would be fun to see Rivera finally get a chance to play an inning in center field. It’s something he has requested, and Joe Girardi said he is “absolutely” considering doing it this weekend in Houston. Rivera wants to make clear that “this is not a joke” and he would take it seriously.
- Alex Rodriguez “does not have permission” to skip the Yankees’ season-ending trip to Houston, according to manager Joe Girardi. The New York Daily News reported on Thursday that Rodriguez may not travel for the club’s final three games against the Astros, instead remaining in New York to prepare for his appeal of a 211-game suspension, which is scheduled to begin Sept. 30. Brian Cashman said that the Daily News report is “a false story.”
- This is the Yankees’ first home game not being in the playoff picture since Oct. 3, 1993 against the Tigers.
- Girardi said on Thursday that he is not prepared to discuss his future with the club. Girardi’s contract expires after the season. The Yankees have expressed interest in retaining Girardi, who has also been linked to the Cubs and Nationals in published reports.
“That’s something for the offseason,” Girardi said. “Let’s get through these four days and then I can maybe start to address those questions. I’ve said many times: I’ve really enjoyed being here as a manager, a coach, a manager, a player, a broadcaster. I love my time here, but that’s not something that’s handled in-season, and I’ll wait until the offseason.”
- Girardi had little reaction to an ESPN.com report that second baseman Robinson Cano could be trying to land a 10-year, $305 million deal in free agency this winter.
“That’s not something that I discuss,” Girardi said. “You never know the truth of some of the reports that are out there. I’m glad I don’t necessarily have to worry about that kind of money.”
Yankees closer Mariano Rivera spoke rather candidly this afternoon about Major League Baseball’s suspension of the Brewers’ Ryan Braun and the potential implications it may have for Alex Rodriguez.
Here is a quick transcript of Rivera’s thoughts:
On the Braun suspension: “If he has admitted that he did something wrong, he knows what the league is going to do. It’s not rocket science here. Hey, if you did something and you admitted it, who am I to say something different, you know what I mean? I just want to make sure that the game is played clean and should be the way it is.”
On if he is worried about A-Rod: “In a sense, I can’t say anything because I don’t know. I don’t know what happened with Alex. He’s my teammate and I have to support him 100 percent. I really don’t know until something different happens. We need to see where this goes. The good thing about this is we’re cleaning the game. That’s the way it should be. I think this is a message for whoever tries to do this again, that it’s going to be caught. It’s going to be caught.”
On if he would feel differently if a teammate admitted using, as Braun did: “I wouldn’t. Everybody does their stuff. I don’t know what the reason [is]. I’m sure they have reasons. You know if you do something like that, you know you’re going to get caught and you’re going to pay the consequences. Simple as that. If you did it and you don’t get caught, well, good luck. But if you get caught, and 99.9 percent of the time you’re going to get caught, you know that you’re going to pay the consequences.”
On if he would stand behind A-Rod if suspended: “Yeah, I mean, I have to support him. He’s my teammate. He’s my brother. Definitely, I don’t say if he did or didn’t do it. If it happens, I can’t throw him in the street, you know? He’s still my brother.”
As we prepare for the second half of the season to begin, why not take one last look back at Mariano Rivera’s All-Star Game experience?
Check out this video from MLB.com featuring interviews with many of the American League and National League All-Stars, discussing their feelings on being a part of what turned out to be a very special event in New York, as well as their thoughts on Rivera’s illustrious career.
“You know what you’re going to get and you still can’t hit it. Think about that,” the Orioles’ Adam Jones said. “In life, if you know what you’re going to get and you still can’t do it — think about that. And he was great at it. Just one pitch, a cutter. You still don’t hit it. Still.”
And of course, we’ll never get tired of watching this:
Last night’s All-Star Game at Citi Field will be remembered as the Mariano Rivera game, as the moment when Rivera was given his well-deserved and authentic outpouring of admiration.
Whether you were clutching a sweaty ticket in the field-level seats, wearing a uniform in either dugout, watching at home on television or hammering away on a MacBook in the left-field press box, your emotions were likely the same as Rivera reached the mound with Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” filling his ears — chills.
Rivera looked around, realized he was completely alone on the playing field, and doffed his cap to all corners of the ballpark. He later admitted that he was fighting back tears, choked up with emotion as every player and coach bathed the retiring great in applause.
“I wasn’t expecting that,” Rivera said. “I wanted to come and do my job. When I was crossing the field, I got to the mound, and then the song — I heard that song in another stadium, that was great. And when I got to the mound, I saw both sides, both teams in the dugouts, and it was amazing. It almost made me cry, too. I was close. It was amazing, a scene that I will never forget.”
People will argue, of course, that it would have added to the moment if Rivera was entering for the ninth inning and not the eighth. Tigers manager Jim Leyland had his reasons, fearing a late lead change that would have made the bottom of the ninth impossible, and I’m sure it’ll be a great debate for years that Leyland could have changed his mind after the American League went up by three runs.
I also don’t believe it really matters in the grand scheme of things. The All-Star Game stopped, very appropriately, to honor and respect Rivera on one of the biggest stages imaginable. Once play resumed, Rivera set down the NL in a clean 16-pitch inning, the AL held on for a 3-0 victory and Rivera received the All-Star Game MVP award.
If the Yankees don’t make it to the World Series and it turns out that this was Rivera’s farewell to the national audience, it was a wonderful way to say goodbye.
Here is how some of the players from both sides will remember the night:
Pedro Alvarez, Pirates: “Him coming in, I grew up watching the guy pitch, and he’s such an exemplary player and person. To be able to share that moment with everybody else here was pretty, it’s going to be unforgettable, that’s for sure. It takes a very special person for something like that to happen.”
Bruce Bochy, Giants manager: ”It was moving. What he’s accomplished in his career and the person that he is, I can’t say I know him, but I’ve heard enough about him that he’s such a class person and a great ambassador to the game. For him to get honored like that was moving, a very special moment, and our players, you know, they showed their respect and appreciation and so it’s a really neat deal, which he richly, richly deserves. So that was a neat moment.”
Allen Craig, Cardinals: “That’s one of the moments I’ll never forget. That was probably one of the coolest at-bats I’ve had in my career. I just thought it was extremely special that the stars kind of aligned for me to have a chance to face him. I respect him so much and the career that he has had. The more that I play in this game, the more I respect guys who have longevity and continue to produce like him. It’s just an amazing thing. I was honored to get the chance to hit against him. It was cool.”
Michael Cuddyer, Rockies: ”No question. He’s the greatest of all time. Anytime you’re in the midst of history like that, you’ve got to appreciate it. Even if it is a competition, you appreciate what he’s done for this game, for this profession, the way he’s carried himself and handled himself and the way he’s dominated.”
Chris Davis, Orioles: ”It was awesome. It was good to be on his side for once. Just knowing what he’s done in his career and what he means to the game, it was special to be a part of it. I was glad he really took his time and let it all sink in. Obviously it’s a tribute to what he’s done in his career, and what we all think about him.”
Prince Fielder, Tigers: “It’s pretty cool, because ’96 I was there in the clubhouse for his first World Series. So it’s pretty cool to give him the ball, especially since I was a kid when he won his first World Series.”
Carlos Gomez, Brewers: ”It gave me [goosebumps]. When I see Mariano, I continue to clap. Because a guy like that, like a gentleman, like a great person and a fantastic ballplayer and real professional, it’s a guy that everywhere you see him, on the field and off the field, you’re going to tip your cap. He deserves it, now and when he’s retired.”
Torii Hunter, Tigers: “He deserved it. We understand, as players and competitors, what he’s done in this game. We know how hard this game is, and for everything that he’s done in this game, that was well-deserved. We’re looking at greatness. We can tell our grandkids, ‘Hey, I went to the All-Star Game with this guy, I played against him,’ and that’s the living proof right there before your eyes. It’s sad, but at the same time you’re happy for him.”
Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers: “It was cool, man. I’m glad I got to be here to see that. That was such an awesome thing for him to get to do and for us to be a part of. I was just happy to see it.”
Jim Leyland, Tigers manager: “The night was full of emotion, and to be honest with you, this is one of the toughest games I ever had to manage, because you have all these different scenarios that might happen. Really, the show tonight — even though we won the game, and a lot of guys did a very, very good job. I don’t want to slight anybody — but this was really about trying to manipulate so we got Mariano at the right time.”
Joe Mauer, Twins: “I didn’t know that was going to happen. We were kind of like, what’s going on? Coming in the eighth, your initial reaction is like, why isn’t he pitching the ninth, but you understand the situation and that was a nice moment. … I got to close out an All-Star game with him in ’06, so that’s something I’ll always remember. We got some pictures and stuff like that. And it was my first All-Star Game, so that was pretty cool.”
Mark Melancon, Pirates: ”I was actually getting loose while he was throwing, getting ready to go in. It was cool. In 2009, I came up with the Yankees and got to be in the bullpen with him. I got goosebumps as he was walking out the gate. Just a really special moment.”
Joe Nathan, Twins: “We definitely wanted to see him in the ninth, but you want to guarantee that he goes in and has his moment. Regardless of what inning he got to pitch tonight, that moment was pretty cool. Pretty cool for us as players, pretty cool for the fans, and I’m sure it was absolutely amazing for Mo. Obviously it would have probably been even better in the ninth for him, but we got him in the game, we got him his moment and we got a win.”
Salvador Perez, Royals: “Seriously, I got a little nervous. As soon as I saw him coming to the mound, I said, gosh, it’s unbelievable. Last All-Star Game that Mariano Rivera pitched, I will catch. That’s awesome.”
Sergio Romo, Giants: “Wow. Extremely humbling just to meet him. For me to shake his hand and let him know how much I respect him, then for him to come back and say, ‘Thank you, Romo.’ Wait. You know my name? Wow, what a feeling just to know that I’m visible to a person like that, someone I feel is a hero in the game, a guy who I personally look up to. Why not try to be like the best example, who is Mariano Rivera. I saw it live. Very special.”
Chris Sale, White Sox: “The bigger picture is just being a part of a game that Mariano was a part of. Mariano Rivera is the best in every aspect of pretty much everything. So just being a part of a game that he’s a part of meant the world to me and I’ll never forget it. … I don’t think I’ve ever had a baseball experience like that in my entire life. Being able to witness the greatest of all-time, ever, was a very humbling experience. It’s something I’ll never forget. Ever.”
Mike Trout, Angels: “It was probably the most memorable moment I had, besides playing and starting, just to see him come out to the field. It was pretty special.”
Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies: “Obviously he deserves everything he got, the MVP and all that, the standing ovation. But when you’re sitting there trying to score runs off the guy and you’re clapping for him, that makes it a little difficult. That was kind of a situation I’ve never been faced with.”
Justin Verlander, Tigers: “What a class act. Listening to him talk, it’s something I’ll never forget. I got a Rivera jersey signed. I got a Rivera All-Star jersey. I thought about a Yankee jersey, to give him that, but this is an opportunity that I’m a teammate of his, I’m here with him.”
Ben Zobrist, Rays: ”Those moments, it’s hard to put into words. A guy like that who’s played as long as he has and had the impact that he’s had on the game. But you could just see in his face how genuine he is, how humble he is. We were able to share that moment with him, and that’s the last one that he’s going to have at the All-Star Game. It’s certainly a special thing for us to be able to be here with him.”
We have a new leader in the clubhouse for ‘Most Creative Mariano Rivera Farewell Gift.’ In a pre-game ceremony tonight, the Minnesota Twins gave Rivera a rocking chair made out of broken bats. According to Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, several of the bats were broken by Rivera himself over the years, including one of the Kirby Puckett models.
The Twins also made a $10,000 donation to the Mariano Rivera Foundation. The chair was Gardenhire’s idea, according to the Twins. (Photo credit: @Twins)