Saturday, March 17, 2012


Rivera in the 5th at The Boss v Astros

Rivera in the 5th at The Boss v Astros, 3/17/12, getty, getty

3/17/12, "Pettitte Drawn Back Into a Brotherhood," Harvey Araton, NY Times

"Andy Pettitte, self-proclaimed homebody, spent one summer with the family and folks in Houston and that apparently was all he could bear to be away from not just major league baseball, not just the Yankees,

The charter member Mariano Rivera had beseeched a visiting Pettitte to shed his retirement shackles, even though the Yankees had no pressing need of another starting pitcher. But there is always room for a core Yankee, Rivera believed, one who understands the mania of why the Yankees must win, this season and every season.

If you didn’t grow up with these expectations, it’s kind of hard to understand what it means and how to deal with it,” Rivera said. “That’s why, to me, if you’re going to be part of the core, it should be someone from the organization.”

The famous core had dwindled to two — Rivera and Derek Jeter — after peaking in celebrity prominence at four; then Pettitte left before the 2011 season and Jorge Posada retired after it. Posada exited in tears, but at least he formally acknowledged his departure while declining to look to play elsewhere.

Cut from the 1990s core mold, Bernie Williams could never admit he was finished after the Yankees removed him from center field before the 2007 season.

“We all came up in an era when younger guys were always being traded, when there wasn’t a lot of patience around here,” Jeter said. Bernie was the one that changed things — he got to stay. But we always knew we had to do our job, or else.”...

In the roaring mid-to-late ’90s, when the Yankees won four World Series in five years, the organization lifers were joined by a variety of outsiders — Paul O’Neill, Tino Martinez, Scott Brosius — who weren’t quite made men at Yankee Stadium but who knew the secret core handshake.

A lot of people are considered real, true Yankees but didn’t come up in the organization,” Jeter said. “I don’t think it’s a requirement that you do. When they talked about us as the Core Four and put us on the cover of Sports Illustrated, they did it because we’d been here so long and all of us came up together.

“But we also did our jobs. We played the right way. So I think the core thing is about what we were able to do as opposed to just time.”...

No one has taken the concept more seriously than Jeter — at times to a fault, occasionally coming off as more committed to the core than to his captaincy...

Yet there appears to be no process in place for core expansion or succession. Beginning his ninth Yankees season, Alex Rodriguez has modified his once-isolationist persona but carries too much baggage. Curtis Granderson provides a thoughtful bearing along with his home run bat, and C. C. Sabathia a gregarious nature to enhance his towering mound presence.

But Rivera, unlike Jeter, was insistent that full-blown membership be a matter of pinstriped bloodlines.

“No matter how many people come from other teams, there’s a certain way that things are done with the Yankees,” he said. “You’re going to learn, but it’s not like you were born here, and to me it’s just different.”

But here lies the problem with the homegrown requirement — it leaves precious few candidates in an organization that continues to use its resources to wheel and deal. Jeter aside, only Robinson Cano and Brett Gardner are starters from the Yankees’ system. Of the starting pitchers, there are Ivan Nova and Phil Hughes, who could be affected by the return of Pettitte.

Rivera said he had spoken with Cano, an established All-Star and mainstay of the 2009 championship team, about carrying on the core, and Cano said he was flattered when newcomers now seek him out for organizational advice.

I mean, it’s pretty special for me, but the Core Four, they won five titles,” Cano said. “I just wish I get there one day. But I don’t see myself as a core member yet because Derek and Mo are still here.”"...


6/28/2009, Kernan, NY Post, "Much was made through the years about Andy Pettitte's friendship with Roger Clemens,

6/28/09, "ONE MO FOR MILESTONE," "NEXT SAVE WILL BE RIVERA'S 500TH," Kevin Kernan, NY Post

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