Since today is President’s Day, the news is powered by this video:
- PeteAbe has an article detailing that Rivera pitched with some discomfort during ’08:
During his annual state-of-the-closer address, Rivera revealed that he pitched much of last season in pain because of a bone spur on top of his collarbone. The lump, which was visible through his skin, caused discomfort even when he slept.
“I felt it all day,” Rivera said. “I don’t want to go through that again.”
Dr. David Altchek shaved down the bone on Oct. 7, but only after Rivera had appeared in 64 games and recorded 39 saves. Rivera had a 1.40 ERA and allowed only 41 hits over 70 2/3 innings. He struck out 77 and walked six.
In a superlative career, it was one of Rivera’s best seasons.
“It was painful but I did it,” said Rivera, who said the worst days were the ones when he pitched more than an inning or for the third game in a row.
[My take: Carl Pavano strained his ego reading that article.]
- Ken Davidoff reflects on the void in Yankeeland left by the departure of Boss George from day-to-day operations:
He sure made life difficult for everyone. Yet in virtual absentia, Steinbrenner’s stature has only grown. It has become painfully apparent that for all of his flaws, he has left an immense void. One that is even more noticeable when the organization is under siege, like right now.
“Those are some big shoes to fill,” said Rich Gossage, here as a guest instructor. “There is only one George Steinbrenner, I can tell you that. The current regime, it’s going to take a while for the transition to happen.”
- PeteAbe also blogs about Day 2 of camp, including this tidbit:
Joe Girardi mentioned that he wants to carry a long reliever. But it would hurt the development of Phil Hughes or Ian Kennedy to use them in such a fashion. “Those guys need innings,” the manager said. Hughes and I had a little talk about it. “The paychecks would be great but that’s not what I need,” he said. “I’m good with pitching in AAA if that is what happens and being ready for when they need me.”
You watch, he’ll get 10-15 starts in the majors this season.
- At least Hughes is saying the right things:
“As long as I pitch well, I think I’ll have an opportunity,” Hughes said Sunday after his first bullpen session of the year at Steinbrenner Field. “And if all five of our starters go through the year and make every one of their starts, great. That’s obviously what they’re looking forward to. I’m just trying to work hard and find a place to fit it somewhere.”
- Perpetual Banter punching bag Miguel Cairo signed a minor league contract with the Phillies.
- Former A-Rod teammate Jamie Moyer is disappointed in Alex:
“It’s about respecting the game,” Moyer said. “I’d be disappointed in anybody in that situation.
“When people have had an impact on your life, you want to feel for them. But how can I feel for him? To me, if you’re doing it, you know it’s illegal. I commend him for coming out and saying it, but why didn’t he say it seven years ago?” ….
In addition to 553 career homers, Rodriguez has won three MVP awards.
Are those numbers tainted?
“Of course they are,” Moyer said. “This changes everything – the way people look at him, the way people act toward him. It’s a shame. What does he have to play for now?”
Moyer played in Seattle from 1996 through 2006. Rodriguez was a teammate from 1996 to 2000. Rodriguez said he did not use steroids before going to Texas in 2001.
“Who’s going to believe him?” Moyer said. “What credibility does he have now?”
- ESPN is reporting that Girardi will be in attendance when A-Rod meets the press on Tuesday.
“I think it shows the unity of the club, and I think that’s real important,” Girardi said Sunday. “I think it’s important that teammates back teammates, and they’re there for each other, and they know during difficult times they can lean on each other. Because, you know what? There’s going to be something else that comes up this year that’s difficult maybe for a player to get through.”
[My take: whateva' ]
- Little-known fact … Brian Bruney was in a Hollyword movie as a child:
… In 1990, when he was eight years old, he appeared in Kindergarten Cop with Arnold Schwarzenegger. The movie was filmed in Astoria, Oregon, the next town over from Bruney’s hometown of Warrenton.
The producers needed some extras for a scene where a bunch of kids pour out of the school during a fire drill. Bruney is one of the kids, wearing a blue-and-white striped shirt with a bright orange hat. That hat was the suggestion of his grandmother, who told him to wear it so she could spot him when the movie came out.
- BP.com’s Joe Sheehan examine’s the AL teams’ NRIs, and likes the Bombers’ John Rodriguez:
Not that the Yankees are looking for a lefty bat off of the bench, but they do have John Rodriguez and his career line of .298/.378/.434 in camp. Rodriguez hasn’t had a bad year since 2003, is overqualified for a role on a major league bench, and could possibly be the good half of a sweet platoon. … Teams kicking the tires of Ken Griffey Jr. and Garret Anderson would be better served to grab Rodriguez on the cheap.
- Here’s a Spring Training update on C-MW. Its all good so far.
- New Yankee Sergio Mitre turns 28 today.
- He never was a Yankee, but he WAS the naming inspiration for BP.com’s player projection system, so happy 49th birthday to Bill PECOTA.
- Barry “the E is silent, just like his bat” Foote turns 57 today. Foote finished his career as a back-up backstop for the Bombers in ’81 and ’82 (173 ABs in total, with a line of .191/.230/.347).
- On this date in 1967, Red Ruffing, author of 273 major league wins, is elected to the Hall of Fame.
- On this date in 2001, Mariano Rivera (7-4, 2.85, 36 saves in 2000), signs a four-year, approximately $40 million contract with the Bronx Bombers. In 2000, Rivera had surpassed Dennis Eckersley’s major league record with 16 saves in post-season games.