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OH MO Mariano Rivera


Mariano Rivera pulled his groin in yesterday’s game against the Tigers and will likely miss 5-7 days. He is doubtful for Opening Day.


Joe Torre and Brian Cashman read David Wells the riot act yesterday, while George Steinbrenner continues to give his erstwhile pet the high hat.

According to the Times:

Wells has called Steinbrenner and very much wants to meet with him, but Steinbrenner has ignored him all spring.

“I just think that we probably eventually should sit down and talk,” Wells said. “I don’t have any hard feelings or anything of that sort against him. I understand things that are going on. But until we talk, we’ve just got to focus on baseball.”

…Asked if he planned to meet with Wells, Steinbrenner said: “I have no plans to do anything. How’s that?”

Steinbrenner has deferred questions to Torre and Cashman, who spoke out strongly against Wells’s comments.

“It was extremely disrespectful, I thought, toward our owner,” Cashman said. “Whether he meant it or not, he conveyed to me he was sorry. But trying to endear yourself to someone in this environment, that’s not the way to go about it.”

Torre said: “Our boss is our boss. You have to respect the fact he is the boss. Respect is a big word for me. The way it came out, it looked like a sign of disrespect.”

Until recently, Wells had enjoyed a kind of impunity because Steinbrenner liked him so much. Torre, Cashman and Wells’s teammates have put up with Wells largely because Steinbrenner has steadfastly supported him. But Steinbrenner’s silent treatment is eating at Wells.

“It would be nice to talk to him, but until he finds time in his schedule, I just have to wait,” Wells said. “I’ve called him in the past and it’s been a while. But he’s a busy man. I just can’t barge in. I’ve got to wait. He’s got a lot of things going on.”

Joel Sherman sounds the alarm in the Post:

The Yankee soap opera had one of its most eventful and disturbing episodes of an eventful and often disturbing spring. Suddenly, the team that can’t lose showed a few ways in which maybe they can as the back of the rotation, the core of the bullpen and the emotional stability of an entire organization under the closing grip of George Steinbrenner became greater concerns yesterday.

The likelihood is the Yanks have too much talent and can withstand even super-sized doses of immaturity and injury. But this is not exactly the vibe you want to be emitting with the real games coming fast. This close to the regular season, the Yankees are trying to figure how long they will need to shut down Rivera and if they will ever be able to shut up Wells.

Never one to miss a soap opera, Reggie Jackson has once again has popped up as a voice of reason.

Stop laughing, dammit.


Regardless of David Wells’ self-inflicted problems, Jose Contreras is content to start the season in the bullpen.

Contreras answered honestly when he was asked if he thought he deserved to be one of the five starters: “I don’t think so,” he said through a translator. “I think the other five have done a better job than I have. If I start in the pen, I’ll work to get a spot in the rotation.”


Somewhere, John Perricone is smiling. If not dancing. Perricone, who runs Only Baseball Matters, has long kvetched about Chubb Rock, Livan Hernandez. But he won’t have to any longer, as the Giants traded Herandez and catcher Edward Guzman and cash in exchange for pitcher Jim Brower and a player to be named later. Livan joins his older half-brother, Orlando with the Expos. With Livan on board, my “Slap Shot” call on the Expos gains more credibility.


The Big Unit, Randy Johnson was given a two-year contract extention by the D-Backs yesterday worth $33 million.

“Eventually I will get old, and I won’t be able to do the things that I want to do,” Johnson said, “but that’s why I’ve been preparing over the years to become more of a pitcher than just going out there and being a power pitcher.”

He said that as he gets older, there probably won’t be as many strikeouts.

“People will say, ‘He’s not striking out people anymore,’ but the bottom line is are we still winning,” Johnson said. “Now I feel it’s a great accomplishment to go out there at 39 years old and not have my best stuff but still get the best hitters out in baseball.”

David Pinto compares Johnson and Nolan Ryan from ages 34-38 over at the new and improved Baseball Musings today.

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