Results tagged ‘ Mariano Rivera ’
Mariano Rivera played catch in the outfield at Cleveland’s Progressive Field today and said that his sore right triceps feels better, but he still feels something in there. He’ll give manager Joe Girardi a full report after the session, but told reporters that it’d take an emergency for him to pitch tonight.
Earlier today, Rivera said the toughest person to convince is usually Gene Monahan, who’ll nod when a player says he feels OK and then tell the manager to give him another day off. You’ve seen it before, but Rivera might get a little extra leeway with Girardi because of who he is and what he’s been through.
“Basically, you know your body,” Rivera said. “Those things are going to happen. You always have some aching feelings and soreness. I’m not concerned because I haven’t done nothing wrong. I expect that it’s something that’s going to calm and go away, the same way it came.”
Other pre-game tidbits:
- Derek Jeter is in the lineup, batting leadoff and playing shortstop. Girardi said he checked with Jeter last night and today to make sure he’d be ready to go. They wouldn’t commit to a start on Wednesday here in Cleveland.
- Luis Ayala is available tonight. Cory Wade has pitched in three of four, so he’s out. Eduardo Nunez is available off the bench, Girardi said.
- Just a day off for Russell Martin after catching four straight, and a half-day for Mark Teixeira, who’s DHing while the Yanks play this stretch of 13 in a row. Girardi said that it’s to the point now where he doesn’t think twice about having Jorge Posada play first base.
- They’re expecting 100 pitches out of Phil Hughes tomorrow.
- Another setback for Eric Chavez, who felt something in his abdominal and has been sent back to New York for tests. Meanwhile, Rafael Soriano is set to throw a bullpen in Tampa tomorrow. Best case for Soriano is the first game after the All-Star break, but a little cushion room is more likely.
Yankees closer Mariano Rivera arrived for the team’s Spring Training on Thursday, following a two-day absence to attend to family illnesses in New York.
He really, really likes ‘Sweet Caroline.’ As in, the Neil Diamond song and Fenway Park eighth-inning fan anthem.“The first time I heard that I [was] with Seattle in ’02,” Soriano said in August. “I [saw] everybody going crazy singing that song in Boston. Every time I pitched the eighth, I [heard] the words. I like it, I like it. It makes me feel good.”So good – so good?He’s extremely confident – and, apparently, crushes breakfast.“I think he absolutely feels like he’s the man,” Rays pitching coach Jim Hickey said. “But I can remember as far back as Spring Training saying that he [exudes confidence even] at the breakfast table. And he really does. The scowl and the cocksure attitude are not just a ploy for the ninth inning. That’s the way that he walks around. I think that’s more of his personality than it is a game-time mechanism for him to get up for the ballgame.”He has mysterious gestures on the mound, and won’t tell you what they mean.I’ll let MLB.com’s Bill Chastain explain:When Soriano enters the game, he bends over and uses his right index finger to scribble something in the dirt on the backside of the mound. He then removes his hat, appearing to read some message on the underside of the brim. When asked what he is doing in either case, Soriano smiled.“That is for Soriano,” he said. “I keep that for me. That would be something that’s mine. A lot of people ask me about it. That’s mine, I don’t [tell anyone].”
It looks like the Yankees might have both Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera under contract before they hit next week’s Winter Meetings in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
The Yankees had their first kangaroo court session of the year yesterday, with the Hon. Mariano Rivera presiding. It took about an hour for the players to get through the list of offenses which have been compiled over the first three months-plus of the season. Most of them are silly ways for teammates to write each other up, and many never see the light of day to the public.
Alex Rodriguez knew it as soon as ball met wood. This one was headed a long way.
Rodriguez’s shot off the Tigers’ Rick Porcello cleared the left-field scoreboard at George M. Steinbrenner Field on Friday, letting the Yankees slugger glow a little bit about it: “That one felt good, because it wasn’t an everyday home run.”
Actually, for A-Rod, it was the first home run in 2010, leaving the Yankees hoping there will be many more to come. He said that he has been spending more time in the cage now after focusing on conditioning early.
“I’ve been swinging OK,” Rodriguez said. “My emphasis the first part of Spring Training is to make sure I get all my work in, and that [begins] early in the morning. As you get closer to Opening Day, you want to make sure you hone in on your swing, and so far so good.
“I had a really good session with Kevin Long and Reggie [Jackson] on one of the back fields a couple of days ago, and we’re on schedule. … You just make sure that your legs are under you and you’re in
great condition to play six or seven days a week every day.”
Rodriguez said that there are still some limitations to what he can do one year after right hip surgery, but it is not that he can’t do certain things – he’s just trying for quality over quantity, as prescribed by Dr. Marc Philippon.
“You’ve just got to work a little bit more diligently,” A-Rod said. “Overall, it
was good to get back a full winter of training. You just cut your
swings in half and ground balls, you just can’t go and do all the crazy
things you did before and take 100 swings a day. Every swing, you’ve
got to make it count.”
Asked if that’s hard for him to swallow after doing it so many years his own way, Rodriguez said that these are the ‘Philippon Rules’ and he has to stick to them.
“He didn’t give me an option,” Rodriguez said. “Philippon was very specific about the
workload and I thought it was a plan that I put into play last year. It
worked and I’m very comfortable with it. I’m used to it now.”
- Notes & quotes: Mariano Rivera said “everything was good” in his 10-pitch inning and he’ll take the mound again on Sunday … Girardi said that he’s OK with Marcus Thames’ performance so far in a small sample size (3-for-25, .120), saying that he’s had good at-bats and some line-outs. He’s competing with Jamie Hoffmann (3-for-22, .136) to be the right-handed bat off the bench … Jon Weber (10-for-17, .588) is having a “great spring” and it would have been “very possible” that he could have been considered if he wasn’t left-handed, Girardi said. Termed a “survivor” by the skipper, Weber is slated to open at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
If Derek Jeter’s throwing hand was bothering him at all while playing the field on Thursday, it came as news to Yankees manager Joe Girardi.
Girardi said that he learned there might have been an issue with his shortstop only after he was asked about it on the YES Network, as the telecast caught Jeter wincing and flexing his right hand while manning his position.
“He’s fine,” Girardi said. “I asked him and he said, ‘My hand’s fine.’ I didn’t know about it until they said it [on television] in the fifth inning.”
Jeter never drops hints about possible injuries and left George M. Steinbrenner Field on Thursday without speaking to reporters, but the play in question appeared to happen in the fourth inning, when Jeter dove for a Pat Burrell single.
As Girardi pointed out, Jeter looked good enough in his next at-bat, singling in the bottom half of the fourth off the Rays’ Heath Rollins.
“He got a hit after that,” Girardi said, adding, “He’ll play [Friday].”
Legs under him: Javier Vazquez allowed Carlos Pena’s first hit of the spring after 21 fruitless at-bats, and it went a long way over the right field wall. But other than that, Vazquez was pretty sharp, allowing two hits in three innings while walking two and striking out three.
He said that he felt his mechanics got out of sync at times but overall, Vazquez told pitching coach Dave Eiland that he was feeling pretty good after 60 pitches.
“I felt I could keep going,” Vazquez said. “It felt pretty good today. I feel my legs are strong. I’ve been working hard on them.”
Vazquez mentioned something interesting in that he felt this spring was more predictable than last, because he’d pitched in winter ball to get ready for the World Baseball Classic. But unlike some pitchers, he wasn’t saying the WBC participation was a bad thing.
“I threw a little bit more, and I felt last spring that I was ready quicker than usual,” Vazquez said. “This is just a normal spring for me.”
Cheering section: Chan Ho Park’s Yankees debut was brief, but it had a loud audience in Joba Chamberlain and Dave Robertson, who were impressed watching Park pounce on a fifth-inning Pena tapper and by the movement on a strikeout pitch to Willy Aybar.
“His outing was so sharp, I forgot he pitched,” Girardi said.
Scouting from the press box: Girardi mentioned how he saw Boone Logan pitch for the White Sox during his season as a FOX broadcaster in 2007, and liked his arm then, as he does now. Logan has been asked to make some minor adjustments and is throwing the ball “pretty decent,” striking out the only batter he faced tonight around a passed ball.
Gotcha: If you’d walked by the travel roster for Friday’s game against the Rays in Port Charlotte tonight, the name ‘Rivera, Mariano’ had been circled by a clubhouse prankster. Rivera wasn’t buying it, and after the game, Rob Thomson pitched the altered travel roster in the trash and replaced it with the real deal.
Some final notes from George M. Steinbrenner Field, where the sun is going down and the sprinklers are giving home plate a good soaking …
- I don’t remember how I celebrated my 24th birthday, but anything has to be better than taking a fastball off the noggin. Thankfully, Francisco Cervelli’s CT scans came back negative, but he’ll take it slow getting back to duty. A doctor visit is set for tomorrow, with a neurologist on Monday, and the earliest he could play is Tuesday. Bet that Joe Girardi gives Cervelli the Nick Johnson treatment and gives him a few more days beyond that, though.
- Speaking of Johnson, he took 50 swings of BP in the cages today and felt good. He’d play tomorrow if the Yankees had a home game, but they’re playing in Fort Myers, and it makes no sense to put a guy with a tweaked back on a 2+ hour bus ride. But in case you’re keeping score at home, yes, Johnson will have missed four games because he wore the wrong pair of shoes.
- I didn’t get to it in a news story, but Jose Molina (“The Panda”) was here and spoke to reporters a little bit about why he and A.J. Burnett seemed to click so well last season. One thing Molina said was that communication was a key – “I talked to him about a million times,” he said.
“There’s a lot of pitchers like that,” Molina said. “He’s one of those guys that can be pitching a nice game, seven innings and no runs or anything, and then he gives up a home run. Then he’s just lost. That’s when you realize you need to talk to him.”
- One final thought that I had this morning and chuckled about, promising to blog today — the day I was part of Mariano Rivera’s ‘security entourage.’ When I was in college and living in Rockland County, N.Y., I spent a few summers working in a sports memorabilia store at the Palisades Center mall, and one day we had Mo come in for an autograph signing.
The two hour session went by rather uneventfully, but what I was laughing about was the few minutes after the signing, when Mo needed to get back to his car (maybe the Yankees had a night game; I don’t remember). I guess he didn’t have anyone with him, so I was asked to escort him — must have been my intimidating plastic nametag — out to the parking lot.
I wish I could tell you that I beat down some nasty looking thugs trying to inflict harm on No. 42, but it all went about as smoothly as a three-pitch inning. We ducked out a side entrance near the Macaroni Grill trash dumpsters, where a few of the waiters were on their smoke breaks, and found his SUV parked somewhere nearby.
On the way, I dug into my pocket and pulled out a baseball for Mariano, and asked him to show me how he throws his cutter. I mean, I’m 20 years old, I might never get this chance again, right?
So he wraps his fingers around the ball, shows me his Hall of Fame grip, and then flips it back to me with these words: “Now don’t forget.” Don’t worry, Mo, I still haven’t. (By the way, I tried throwing it with almost no discernable results. Lesson of the day – I’m not Mariano Rivera.)