THE GREAT MARIANO HAS REACHED A DECISION ON HIS FUTURE

New York Yankees News: Mariano Rivera To Retire? Pitcher Has Reached A Decision On Future

| By Lauren Moranor
Feb 13, 2013 03:30 PM EST
Mariano Rivera possibly retiring at the end of the season

New York Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera stretches during the first day of MLB spring training workouts for pitchers and catchers in Tampa, Florida February 13, 2013. REUTERS/Scott Audette (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)(Photo : Reuters) “

As pitchers and catchers report for spring training, so does Mariano Rivera. The 43-year old pitcher missed almost all of last season when he tore ligaments in his knee back in May. Much has been made since then about his future with the New York Yankees and what his overall baseball career will look like when he becomes healthy again. When Rivera arrived at spring training, he revealed he will announce his future plans about his career prior to Opening Day. His decision could come as early as this week.

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Last May, while catching fly balls in the outfield, Rivera fell and tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.  The activity is a pregame ritual for Rivera, something he plans to continue doing despite having ended his season because of it. The pitcher hinted during spring training of last year that 2012 might be his final season, but when the injury hit, so did that plan. Now the question is, does he operate under that same idea on for the 2013 season?

“There are some things that I have to do. There are some personal things. Don’t worry, the time will come. You guys have been patient enough. I’ve been patient. Another day or a week, it won’t hut,” Rivera said.

Rivera looks like his old self while throwing 25 pitches in a bullpen session on the first day of spring training for the Yankees. Normally during this time, Rivera operates under his own specific schedule. He throws six-to-ten innings and will increase his work load as camp continues. He does not go on any road trips for spring training games. Rivera is the all-time saves leader with 608. According to manager Joe Girardi, Rivera looks normal and is showing no signs of discomfort. He believes his star closer will take things slow and be cautious to not overthrow.

Rivera vows to return as the same pitcher he was prior to the injury. He expects to be at the same All-Star status all the way through next October.

“I’m definitely expecting good things. That’s what I always demand of myself. I’m looking for that, or else I wouldn’t be here. I want to help this team as much as I can. If I’m not doing what I’m supposed to be doing, I’m not helping at all,” Rivera said.

Coming into spring training with a championship mindset, Rivera said he is motivated to win another championship for New York. If this is his final season, he wants it to be memorable.

Let’s enjoy Mo for 2013.  EDB

 

 

 

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A-Rod Won’t Be Joining Yankees In Camp This Spring…

A-Rod won’t be joining Yankees at start of camp

By Dayn Perry | Blogger

February 12, 2013 11:27 am ET

 Gosh Darn!  Ah Shucks! No A-STIFF Distractions in camp, this spring
You won’t see this face in Yankees camp. (Getty Images)

Alex Rodriguez, in addition to dealing with the fallout from the still-unfolding Anthony Bosch/Biogenesis scandal, is trying to work his way back from major hip surgery. So perhaps because of comfort level or perhaps because he doesn’t want to be a distraction, A-Rod won’t immediately be attending Yankees spring training in Tampa. Instead, as widely noted on Twitter by those covering Yankees camp, he’ll continue the rehab process in New York. As manager Joe Giradi said, A-Rod’s still on crutches.

Furthermore, as this Joel Sherman tweet implies, it may be the Yankees themselves who urged A-Rod to stay away:

Maybe it’s about distractions or maybe it’s about keeping A-Rod in close proximities to his doctors and rehab clinicians. Maybe it’s a little of both.

In any case, A-Rod’s not likely to return to the Yankee lineup until well into the second half, and of course it remains to be seen what becomes of the Biogenesis story, which could have implications for Rodriguez’s status moving forward.

The upshot, though, is that the media won’t have A-Rod to kick around, at least not until they get back to New York. Call it a “prominent absence.”

 

Boo Hoo! No A-Roid!  EDB

CERVELLI, CLINIC CONNECTION IS A MISTAKE

Francisco Cervelli on clinic: ‘It was a mistake’

Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY Sports10:06a.m. EST February 13, 2013

TAMPA – New York Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli regrets that he went to a South Florida wellness clinic known for providing performance-enhancing drugs, consulting with clinic chief Tony Bosch, but said Wednesday he received nothing more than advice.

“I’ll take responsibility,” Cervelli said. “I don’t know what kind of clinic it was. I take my responsibility. Nobody put a gun to my head to go there.

“I realize now that it was a mistake to go there, but it already happened, so what can I do?”

Cervelli said he was recommended from an unidentified friend to meet with Bosch at the Biogenesis clinic in March, 2011, to help overcome a foot injury. He was never offered performance-enhancing drugs, he said, and left simply with recommendations.

“I went there for maybe some suggestions, and that’s it,” Cervelli said. “I walked away with nothing in my hands. No supplements. I just went there and talked. That’s it.”

In Cervelli’s original statement from his Twitter account last week, he said that he received legal supplements, but repeated several times Wednesday that he never obtained anything.

When asked why he would attend a clinic instead of seeking consultation from the Yankees’ medical staff, he said he simply was seeking a second opinion.

“Sometimes, when you get injured, you get a little desperate to come back quick,” Cervelli said. “I went there, somebody told me, and that’s it.”

He would not reveal who gave him the recommendation, but insisted no player or agent was involved. He’s friends with Yankee third baseman Alex Rodriguez, who’s identified in Bosch’s records as receiving 19 different drugs, according to the Miami New Times, but said that he hasn’t spoken with Rodriguez this winter. He also said they never discussed the clinic in the past.

“I was surprised with all of the names,” said Cervelli. “I don’t know other players were there. I just know about myself. I believe they [MLB] they have an open investigation right now….

“I’m not worried. I’m here. They’ve got to do what they’ve got to do. I tell the truth, I have nothing to hide.”

Cervelli, who says he has never taken performance-enhancing drugs in his career, also believes it won’t become a distraction. He says he has not yet spoken with MLB investigators probing the Biogenesis case.

“I’ve been with the Yankees for 10 years already,” Cervelli said. “This has been my dream for Day 1 to be starting catcher, have fun, and do things right. I know my situation right now. I’m here to play baseball.”

YOGI NOT EXPECTED IN TAMPA

Yogi not expected at Yankees camp

By Bryan Hoch / MLB.com | 2/12/2013 8:45 A.M. ET

Berra thanks B.A.T. for honor00:04:23
Yogi Berra, along with his son Dale, offer thanks to B.A.T. for recognizing his accomplishments in baseball

TAMPA, Fla. — Yogi Berra is not planning to attend Spring Training with the Yankees this year because the 87-year-old Hall of Famer’s travel has become limited.

David Kaplan, the director of the Yogi Berra Museum in Montclair, N.J., said that Berra’s health is good and that he plans on attending games at Yankee Stadium this season.

Kaplan also wouldn’t rule out that Berra might decide to make the trip to Florida later in the spring.

“I guess with Yogi, there’s always a chance,” Kaplan said. “Yes, he’s disappointed, but it’s kind of difficult for him to travel these days. He’s hanging in there, mind is still sharp and he’s following everything concerning the Yankees.”

Berra’s name was not listed among the guest instructors attending Yankees camp. The 10-time World Series champion has been a visible presence at Spring Training for many years, but he experienced more difficulty walking during last year’s camp.

This year’s guest instructors at Yanks camp are Ron Guidry, Goose Gossage, Reggie Jackson, David Wells, Lee Mazzilli, Stump Merrill and Billy Connors.

Another catcher with his share of World Series rings, Jorge Posada, was listed on a roster of guest instructors in the Yankees clubhouse on Tuesday. Other instructors expected to make appearances for shorter periods include former big league managers Lou Piniella, Don Wakamatsu and Pete Mackanin.

Anyone who has read the very well written book about the relationship between Yogi and Ron Guidry, knew this was coming.  Yogi is up there and it is difficult for him to go down to Tampa.  EDB

MARIANO AND FRANCISCO

Mariano Rivera arrives on time, ready to work

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).

Cervelli addresses link to South Florida clinic

Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli said that he went to the now-shuttered Biogenesis clinic after suffering a foot injury in 2011 and did meet with biochemist Anthony Bosch, but only once and that he left without receiving any drugs.

“When I got my foot injured in 2011, I checked with doctors and somebody
recommended me Biogenesis,” Cervelli said. “I went there for maybe suggestions, and that’s it.

“I walked away without nothing in my hands. I just went there, talked and that’s
it.”

Cervelli added that he was not referred to the clinic by any player or agent, and that he has never taken performance-enhancing drugs of any kind. He also said that he plans to cooperate with Major League Baseball’s ongoing investigation and has “never” discussed Biogenesis with Alex Rodriguez.

We’ll have more coverage of Cervelli’s meeting with the media today on yankees.com.   I hope Francisco is telling the truth.  Unfortunately, due to many ballplayers who have not been truthful concerning PED’s, I am skeptical.  EDB

JOE WILL WIN 95 GAMES AND GET TO WORLD SERIES

Joe Girardi has high expectations

Updated: February 12, 2013, 3:44 PM ET

By Wallace Matthews | ESPNNewYork.com

TAMPA, Fla. — The New York Yankees may look different in 2013.

But according to manager Joe Girardi, the expectations for the Yankees haven’t changed a bit.

“This team could win 95 games and get to the World Series,” Girardi said Tuesday, the day pitchers and catchers reported to training camp. “There’s a lot of talent in that room.

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“I’ve heard a lot of discussions about the Yankees didn’t make a big free-agent splash this year, [but] I love the people we brought back because I know they’re tested and I know they know how to play in New York. I’ve seen them have success in New York, and to me that’s real important.”

Aside from Kevin Youkilis, signed to a one-year deal to replace injured Alex Rodriguez at third base, and Travis Hafner, who signed a one-year deal to replace Raul Ibanez as the left-handed designated hitter, the bulk of the Yankees’ signings this winter were of players who were with the team last year.

The Yankees went 95-67 last season to win the AL East but performed poorly in the postseason, when they were swept by the Detroit Tigers in the ALCS.

“I believe we’re still a very talented club,” Girardi said. “I know we didn’t get it done in the playoffs, but you can win 105 games and not win in the playoffs. That doesn’t mean you weren’t a good team. There were teams that made big splashes in the free-agent market last year and were expected to win the World Series and get to the playoffs and didn’t even get there. There’s no guarantee.”

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Saddled by an order from owner Hal Steinbrenner to cut the team’s payroll to $189 million by 2014, the Yankees entered into no long-term deals other than to sign Ichiro Suzuki to a two-year contract.

New York saw Nick Swisher, the starting right fielder for the past four seasons, depart for Cleveland. Russell Martin, the starting catcher for the past two seasons, signed with Pittsburgh. Rafael Soriano, the closer who saved 42 games last season after Mariano Rivera went down with a knee injury, is now a Washington National. Eric Chavez left for Arizona.

The Yankees re-signed 40-year-old Andy Pettitte, 38-year-old Hiroki Kuroda and 43-year-old Rivera to one-year contracts for this season. New York also is depending on Derek Jeter, who will turn 39 in June and is coming off a broken ankle, to be the every-day shortstop and play at the level he did before his injury last season, when he batted .316.

“If Hiroki Kuroda was a Dodger last year and signed with us, we’d say that’s a pretty good signing,” Girardi said. “If Andy Pettitte was an Astro and we signed him back, that would’ve been a pretty big signing. If Mariano Rivera was somewhere else and we signed the greatest closer of all time, that’s a pretty big signing.

“Sometimes the people that we signed, we kind of overlook because they’ve been around here so much. Those are pretty big signings.”

Girardi acknowledged, however, that the Yankees’ offense will have to make some adjustments to compensate for the losses of Swisher, Martin, Ibanez, Chavez and Andruw Jones — a group that combined to hit 94 home runs last season.

“I anticipate it’s going to be different because we don’t quite have the home run hitters we’ve had in the past,” Girardi said. “So we’re going to have to find different ways to score runs. I think when you look at our club this year, there’s more speed. So I think our offense is going to be different, but I believe that we’re going to score runs. It’s just going to be in a different fashion than it has been in the past.”

Girardi pointed to the return of outfielder Brett Gardner, who missed all but 16 games last season with an elbow injury, to the every-day lineup as a factor that could help the revamped offense.

“He’s a guy who has the potential to steal 50 or 60 bases if he stays healthy all year,” Girardi said.

Despite admitting to “some trepidation” regarding Jeter’s and Rivera’s ability to bounce back from their injuries at advanced ages, Girardi said he ultimately expects both to perform as they always have.

“There’s concern about him coming back, for me, until I see him go through a week, two weeks, and how he responds,” Girardi said of Jeter, who ran on the ankle for the first time Monday. “In my mind, I believe he’s going to be an every-day shortstop for us, but you still want to see it.”

What is he going to say.  What I wish he could say: (1) Hal is cheap and clueless and is responsible for the many holes in our lineup.  (2) If it does not work this year, is the management going to hold me completely responsible?   EDB

Girardi also said he feels “pretty good” about Rivera’s status.

“I would be more concerned if it was his arm than his knee,” Girardi said. “He’s had ample time to heal, and I believe he’s a great athlete, and I don’t believe it should affect his pitching. But if he would have had a shoulder surgery, or if he would have had an elbow surgery, I would have been concerned. But I feel pretty good about Mo, and my guess is everyone in that room does.”