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“I don’t think so,” Rivera said. “I respect the players and I respect the organization, but we’ve had so much happen between us. I don’t think I could do it.” ...
“There’s too much between the teams,” Rivera said. “I like some of their players. They’re my friends. I just don’t think it would be possible.”
This is a little different from what he said 10 or 11 days ago when he said that "you never know".
Via Steve via XM MLB Chat.
If Williams is gone, Rob Cucuzza, the clubhouse manager, said that the locker would be offered to Mariano Rivera, who has the next most seniority on the team. Rivera’s current locker is already beside Williams’s anyway.
02/19: Mo and the Change Up
Rivera, who has established himself as a Hall of Fame closer with only a cut fastball and occasional sinker, also toyed with a change-up.
"Nasty," Guidry called it.
Rivera said he was "just messing around." Asked if he might incorporate a change-up, he said, "We'll see."
Jim Baumbach mentions that Mo playing around with a change up in Spring Training is a yearly deal that has never come to fruition before.
Mariano Rivera may throw a dozen or fewer innings throughout the Grapefruit League schedule, and that's just fine with the longtime Yankees closer.
"That's the line there, 10 to 12 [innings]," Rivera said. "That's good. We have a lot of young guys here. They need the work."
02/15: Mo: I'm Not Upset.
listen to the audio clip that Mark Feinsand posted. There is rarely anything clearer than hearing it directly from the source. I listened to the entire clip and I feel like the whole thing was overblown. While some articles posted online today are focusing on the line where he says that once he is a free agent, everyone will get an equal shot (and the Yankees will not have an advantage), you have to listen to the whole thing.
He speaks complementary of the Yankees, he says that they have never disrespected him, they have always taken care of him, he wants to remain a Yankee and he understands the Bernie Williams situation. The clip is definitely worth a listen (especially for anyone who may have already thrown Mo under the bus, so to speak, as hard as it is to believe that anyone would be so unfair as to do that because of a few quotes in some articles). He said that opening day is really the deadline to get anything done. After that, they won't be talking further because he doesn't want to be a distraction.
02/14: Mo Doesn't Rule Out Red Sox
Sitting in his car outside Legends Field yesterday, Rivera was asked by The Post if he could be Boston's closer next year.
"You never know," said Rivera, who is determined to become a free agent after the World Series since the Yankees didn't react to his December request for a two-year contract extension.
Determined? For some reason, I doubt that is an accurate description. Or, I hope not, at least.
New York Daily News:
"I definitely want to finish my career here, but if they don't give me the respect I deserve, I have to move on," Rivera said. Asked if he felt he wasn't being given that respect, Rivera responded, "The Yankees always give me the respect. When it comes to these times (contracts ending), I don't like to talk about it. It's a business.
"If they have somebody who will do the job better than I do, they will do it. I don't worry about those things. When the time comes, if they want me back, they want me back. Otherwise, I am not going to sit in my house crying. I have to move on. I would definitely love to be a Yankee and finish as a Yankee, but I only have one more year for that."
I can understand that he might be a little frustrated, but this is definitely a bit out of character for him.
Over at our sister site, YanksBlog.com, I wrote a bit more about extending Mo.
My advice to the Yankee brass is, GET IT DONE NOW!!! Mo is the greatest relief pitcher in the history of the game and it still performing at an excellent level. He has pitched the last four seasons with an ERA of under 2.00. The injury he had last year was not that serious. The Yankees pampered him because they had such a huge lead.
Mo has publicly said that he wants to pitch in the new Yankee Stadium. The Yankees should at a minimum sign him for 2008 with an option year for 2009 at about $12 million a year. They gave the money to Mussina and he was only so-so. They paid Randy Johnson $16M a year for two years and he did not deliver like Mo has. Do I need to go on.
Pitchers that aren't even close to his talent have already been signed for more money. I hope they don't let this siutation linger and offend a class act like Mo.