Results tagged ‘ Mariano Rivera ’
Mariano Rivera has made it to Yankees camp in what represents a rare on-time arrival for the all-time saves leader, who typically is granted a few extra days before joining the rest of the pitchers and catchers.
Rivera won’t waste any time getting right to work as he returns from his season-ending ACL injury – he’s scheduled to throw a bullpen this morning in front of pitching coach Larry Rothschild, with Minor League catcher J.R. Murphy handling his tosses off the mound.
Other pitchers scheduled to throw bullpens this morning in Group 1 at Yankees camp include Phil Hughes (Francisco Cervelli), Hiroki Kuroda (Chris Stewart) and Andy Pettitte (Austin Romine).
Here’s Group 2: David Aardsma (Bobby Wilson), Tom Kahnle (Kyle Higashioka), Jim Miller (Gary Sanchez), Zach Nuding (Francisco Arcia), Clay Rapada (Murphy).
Group 3: Juan Cedeno (Stewart), Vidal Nuno (Cervelli), Ryan Pope (Romine), Matt Tracy (Sanchez).
George M. Steinbrenner Field is open for business, and while we’re still waiting to hear the first official crack of the bat, these words should be enough to warm your afternoon wherever you are — Yankees pitchers and catchers reported to Tampa today.
The players went through the usual gauntlet of physical tests and checked out their locker assignments – with 84 names on the invited list, the Yankees have had to build a few new ones in the clubhouse – before heading out for the day. The real work begins tomorrow, with the first official workout for pitchers and catchers.
“Everybody talked about the guys that we didn’t sign, but talk about the guys we have coming back,” Yankees ace CC Sabathia said. “Hiro (Hiroki Kuroda) coming back, Andy (Pettitte) coming back, we’ll get Mo (Mariano Rivera) back for a full year. I think we already had the pieces here in place to compete and try to win a championship. We’ll just go with what we’ve got.”
Yankees manager Joe Girardi held his first press conference of the spring, and the big news was again about Alex Rodriguez, as Girardi revealed that A-Rod will not be reporting to camp with the Yankees’ position players.
Instead, Rodriguez will be continuing his rehab in New York, which should limit some of the potential distractions that were expected to go along with MLB’s investigation of the Biogenesis case.
Girardi said that he believes the Yankees “could win 95 games and get to the World Series,” and said that “if other clubs want to think we’re vulnerable, that’s OK, but I love the character in that room and the way they find ways to win games.”
Want video? You got it.
Here are some of the other quick hits from Girardi’s session with the press:
- Girardi is not concerned about the health of Derek Jeter or Mariano Rivera. He is, however, curious how the Yankees will find their designated hitter against right-handed pitching. Eduardo Nunez, Matt Diaz and Juan Rivera appear to be the early options.
- Girardi called the spring “a test” for Francisco Cervelli, who must block out the distraction of the Biogenesis investigation while also competing for the Opening Day catcher job.
- Austin Romine should be able to help the Yankees at some point during the season, Girardi said, but he doesn’t know exactly when. Romine said that he intends to make the roster out of Spring Training, but the Yankees have him ticketed for Triple-A right now.
- Girardi said Cervelli, Stewart and Romine should be able to be as good as Russell Martin was defensively.
- Michael Pineda is throwing in camp, but Girardi said he doesn’t expect to see him in a game this spring. The Yankees have been saying that Pineda’s best case scenario is to pitch in the big leagues by May or June.
- Girardi said he’s not worried about his lame duck status as the Yankees’ manager, saying that he’s only concerned with the next 162 games and getting to the World Series. The Yankees will likely hold off until after the season to open contract talks with Girardi.
There were several light moments during last night’s charity event to benefit Yankees radio engineer and producer Carlos Silva, but one that sticks out concerns Mariano Rivera and his not-so-secret desire to play center field for an inning in a big league game.
A fan brought the topic up during the Q&A portion of the evening, and I was a little surprised to hear it — I assumed that’d been put to rest by last year’s injury in Kansas City. Yankees manager Joe Girardi answered the question fairly, pointing out that the only scenario where they’d even consider it would be a bad one for the Yankees — it’d have to be late in the season and already apparent that the team wasn’t going to the playoffs, since they wouldn’t risk losing their closer (again) with any chance of a World Series on the line.
Yankees GM Brian Cashman had a better response, laughing and saying that Rivera killed those plans for himself by crumpling on the warning track at Kauffman Stadium last May.
“My answer is, you saw what he did. He can’t play center field,” Cashman said, laughing. “The guy is an old man! He blew his knee out!”
That doesn’t mean Rivera has completely given up on the idea; brought on stage seconds later, he announced that we all haven’t heard the last of him in center field.
It should go without saying by now, but this Rivera guy doesn’t give up easily. Here’s how Girardi and Cashman handled the question:
More newsy notes from last night:
- Cashman said that the Yankees invited Hideki Matsui to Spring Training as a celebrity guest instructor, but Matsui declined because his wife is expecting a child. By the way, Jorge Posada – fresh off his appearance at Women’s Fantasy Camp – has hinted that he’ll be attending.
- Girardi said that there is “no formula” for how the Yankees will handle their catching, but they’re holding firm that it’ll probably be from the group of Francisco Cervelli, Chris Stewart and Austin Romine. The Yankees don’t view Stewart as a starting catcher, but Girardi said that he could see Romine – who remains slated to begin the year at Triple-A – playing in New York for “a substantial amount of time” in the near future.
- Cashman likened Yankees outfield prospect Mason Williams to former big league outfielder Otis Nixon with a little more power, which is a comparison I hadn’t heard before. He also said that Mark Montgomery has a real chance to land at the big league level this year, wielding a nasty slider that could have him help in a David Robertson-type role.
- Cashman on why the Yankees were so quiet on the free agent market: “This market, this winter, was bad.”
- Cashman on what he liked about adding Travis Hafner: “Big hairy monster. I keep saying that, but none of those guys have a lot of hair. He’s the profile we like; on-base percentage with power from the left side. He’s not someone that when he’s coming to the plate, a pitcher is going to be too comfortable facing, especially in our ballpark.”
Yankees closer Mariano Rivera will be appearing tonight in Manhattan for a charity event with Ed Randall, appropriately titled, “An Evening with Mariano Rivera.”
Here are some more details from Randall:
“The Yankees legend will join me for an exciting, unprecedented night of lively conversaton at The School of Visual Arts Theatre (333 W. 23rd Street, Manhattan) on January 22 from 7-9 p.m.
This special, intimate event – designed and priced right for baseball fans of all ages – will showcase a one-on-one discussion with the Yankees legend as he readies himself for a return to the mound following last season’s ACL injury.
We’ll talk frankly about his early life, his time in New York and what it’s like to be among the greatest athletes who have ever donned the pinstripes.”
The event will benefit Randall’s ‘Fans For The Cure,’ increasing awareness of prostate cancer treatment, prevention & detection. For more information, call (888) 220-4618 or click over to http://fans4thecure.org/.
No matter who you talk to, Mariano Rivera is generally regarded as one of the best athletes on the Yankees’ roster. In fact, long before that ugly May afternoon in Kansas City, you could ask his teammates and reach a consensus that if Rivera hadn’t wandered into pitching, he could have made a serious bid to go pro as an outfielder.
Rivera also loves soccer and, as a child growing up in Panama, dreamed of enjoying stardom in that sport. His reach, apparently, extends to college football too. Alabama coach Nick Saban told reporters that he showed his players a video interview with Rivera to prepare them for tonight’s BCS National Championship game against Notre Dame:
“We just watched a video of Mariano Rivera, and he talked about he struggled at some time in his career because he was trying to be a perfectionist,” Saban said, according to the New York Post. “And that when he’s in the bullpen, he sees the crowd, he hears the crowd, he knows sometimes that he’s been getting a lot of positive self gratification for what he does and sometimes getting a lot of negative self gratification for what he does. But when he runs out and they hand him the ball, he’s got one focus; he’s not worried about the crowd, he’s not worried about any of the external factors. One focus: ‘Three outs; how am I going to get three outs?’”
Saban said that the point was to stress that his players would do well to adopt some of Rivera’s legendary focus.
“I think a team’s ability to do that, to stay focused on the things that are going to affect the outcome of the game, are critical in games like this. And you know, you could say, well, that’s nothing; well, believe me, being around young people, being in games like this, that’s something, and it’s something big.”