Friday, October 26, 2012


For the 'wondering if Rivera will return' in 2013 file

10/19/12, "Mariano Rivera Says He, Rodriguez to Return," sportsmancave

Roy G Edwards | Oct. 19, 2012 | New York "After a heartbreaking post season for the New York Yankees, which saw the Yankees swept in the postseason ALCS for the first time in 32 years, Yankees fans may have something to be happy about. On the set of a Acura commercial in New York Mariano Friday Rivera was filming, he walked without a limp and told people on set that rehab was coming along nicely. “I’m recovering well and should be ready to play [next season]” said Rivera when asked about his knee and the rehabilitation process. Mariano seemed in high spirits and had baseball on his mind, teaching pitches to those of whom were on set. Rivera injured his knee, tearing a ligament shagging fly balls in pregame warm ups in game against the Kansas City Royals in early May (A game which the Yankees lost 4-3).

In Mariano’s absence the Yankees designated the closing role to Rafael Soriano and David Robertson. The Yankees over came many injuries this season to key players including Joba Chamberlain and an even bigger loss of Derek Jeter in game 4 of the ALCS, breaking his foot. The Yankees saw Alex Rodriguez struggle through the post season, who batted a .120 through the month of October and saw only 25 at bats, recording only 3 hits and walking twice. Many major news outlets have said that this could be the last that we see of “A-Rod” in pinstripes, however Mariano thinks differently. When asked if Rodriguez would be traded, he laughed “It’s all just people talking.” Whether or not Alex Rodriguez does return to wear a Yankee uniform, one thing is for sure, hopes can be high as it looks like the Yankees will get number 42 back.

Monday, October 15, 2012


Closing isn't a job for all relievers, no matter how skilled they may be in 7th or 8th innings-Henning

10/14/12, "Jose Valverde's implosion leaves Tigers bullpen a mess
," Lynn Henning, DetroitNews

"Closing is as much psychological
as physical. It is not a job most relievers can handle, no matter how skilled they might be in the seventh or eighth innings."...

Ed. note: Please excuse unpleasant white lines inserted across the post. This was done illegally by hackers.


Jim Leyland disagrees that closers should be interchangeable parts, cites Mariano Rivera

10/14/12, "The Valverde decision: How the Tigers will adjust," Detroit News, Lynn Henning

"A manager most of Michigan seemed to have in its crosshairs Saturday spoke with the media Sunday ahead of Game 2 of the American League Championship Series. Jim Leyland talked about Jose Valverde, whose implosion during Game 1 turned a 4-0 game into a 4-4 ninth-inning disaster the Tigers ultimately won, 6-4, in 12 innings....

The media question-and-answer session, held in an interview room at Yankee Stadium, included these questions and answers:...

Q. If you could explain two more things: If you take out Octavio Dotel, let's say, from a seventh-inning spot and put him into a ninth-inning role — just if you were hypothetically to do that — what does that do? How much stress does that place on the seventh- and eighth- or sixth-inning situations?

The second part: A lot of people think that closers should be interchangeable parts. The guy who pitches is the closer, regardless of whatever his particular role may be. Could you talk about those two points?

A. "I will answer your second one first. I totally disagree with anybody who thinks the closer can be interchangeable parts. And if 

I was ever in the right place to have a lot of people on my side, this is the place, 

because they had a guy named Mariano Rivera who I don't think 

they wanted to interchange too damn often. That's the answer to one question. 

I disagree with it, totally — the thought process."...


10/14/12, "Closers matter, but the Tigers won Sunday without one,", Danny Knobler

"Closers matter, as Jim Leyland tried to remind people Sunday.

Good closers matter, anyway, as Leyland tried to point out when he referenced Mariano Rivera in a discussion that began with questions about Jose Valverde.

If you don't have Rivera, and your closer is struggling (as Valverde is), you do what Leyland did in Game 2 of the ALCS.

You go with what works.

Leyland didn't say beforehand who would close, because he didn't know how the game would play out. As it turned out, he used Phil Coke to get the final six outs of the Tigers' 3-0 win, in part because the Yankees have so many left-handed hitters (Coke is a lefty), and in part because when Coke got to the mound, he proved to Leyland that he deserved to stay there."...

Thursday, October 11, 2012


Mariano Rivera throws first pitch of ALDS game 3 at Yankee Stadium


Rivera first pitch, ALDS 3, 10/10/12, USA Today

Rivera throws first pitch, ALDS game 3, oct. 10, 2012, star ledger, munson

Rivera throws first pitch, ALDS game 3, 10/10/12, star ledger, perlman, US Presswire

Rivera throws first pitch, ALDS game 3, 10/10/12, yahoo sports. Final 3-2 Yankees over Orioles in 12.

Rivera  throws first pitch at ALDS game 3 v Orioles, 10/10/12, nydn simmons

Mariano Rivera tosses the ball after his ceremonial first pitch for ALDS game 3, 10/10/12, Newsday, Pokress

Rivera salutes fans after throwing out first pitch of ALDS game 3, 10/10/12, photo Pokress, Newsday

10/13/12, "Struggles of closers in 2012 playoffs make Mariano Rivera look that much better," Newsday, David Lennon


Monday, October 08, 2012


Documentary about baseball in Panama produced by Fulbright Scholar, history of baseball being used as political tool in Panama

"The film includes interviews with renowned current and former major league baseball players like Omar Moreno, Olmedo Saenz, Hector Lopez, Bruce Chen, Candy Maldonado and Elias Sosa."

10/6/12, "Panama Baseball gets US filmmaker recognition,"

"Panama, the home of the greatest closer of all time. Yankee’s Mariano Rivera, and the first country in the region to play baseball, is the subject of a ground breaking sports documentary by a New York filmmaker.

US filmmaker Eric Soussan lamented that Panama, which pioneered baseball now lags behind other Latin- American countries in its exports of players to the major leagues. When he obtained a Fullbright Grant he set out from New York to Panama, to find out why. What he has produced sounds like a natural for next year’s International Film Festival. Remember you read it here first.

Soussann explores the rich history of a nation that has spent nearly 160 years playing baseball, and uncovers the decline that took Panama from a baseball powerhouse to a has-been on the world stage in his feature-length documentary Indestructible: Baseball On The Isthmus.

Soussanin was awarded a Fulbright grant in 2009, and spent a year living in Panama researching the history of the sport. What began as strictly an historical documentary quickly lead to some startling discoveries: a nation's baseball in crisis; under-funded little leagues; and baseball being used as a political tool in Panama.

"I knew immediately that I had found a story that I wanted to tell," says Soussanin. "I began making personal connections with those in the Panamanian baseball community, including several former Major Leaguers who had come back to their homeland.

"Suddenly the picture became clearer: the game of baseball was at a critical point in its existence and in danger of total collapse. Consequently, a grassroots "baseball revolution" was underway in Panama, led by two former major leaguers, Omar Moreno and Olmedo Saenz. The goal of this revolution was simple: to see Panamanian baseball once again rise.

"I consider myself a pretty die-hard baseball fan, and even I was surprised at what I found. I knew baseball fans around the world would want to see how these players were working to rescue the game in their country."

The film includes interviews with renowned current and former major league baseball players like Omar Moreno, Olmedo Saenz, Hector Lopez, Bruce Chen, Candy Maldonado and Elias Sosa, as well as scouts, coaches, sportscasters and instructors in both Panama and the US. For the sake of baseball fans in Panama, let’s hope film guru Henk Van Der Kolk can snag this one for the 2013 International Film Festival.

Meanwhile, working with producer David Mandel (Drift, Pasadena), the filmmakers are launching a 30 day Kickstarter campaign to help raise funding to finish the film. Mandel says, "Kickstarter has become a great launch-pad for independent films like ours. We have a strong audience of baseball fans round the world who are eager to support us through these final stages of post-production, and who want to see the finished film."

So if you love the game and want to help get the film on the big screen, and move Panama baseball back to the big time check out these sites-

Kickstarter Link:
Film Website: "


Rivera greets 350 fans on Saturday in West Nyack

10/8/12, "350 Fans Greet Mariano Rivera," Nanuet Patch, Robin Traum

"More than 350 fans showed up to meet New York Yankees Pitcher Mariano Rivera on Saturday. The 12-time All Star and five-time World Series Champion signed autorgraphs during his appearance in West Nyack at DICK'S Sporting Goods.

Rivera's appearance and that of former New York Jet, two-time Pro-Bowler Vinny Testaverde on Sunday were part of the chain's celebration of its 500th store." photo Nanuet Patch

Sunday, October 07, 2012


"Eastwood to Soriano’s chair, “But can you do it now, under the postseason gun, like my main man over here, Panama Slim?”" NY Times

10/6/12, "Soriano Fills Empty Chair in Yankees’ Bullpen," NY Times, Harvey Araton

"The chairs were nearly side by side in front of neighboring dressing stalls that just happened to be devoid of tenants but contained the kind of ancillary materials typically scattered about a baseball clubhouse.

On the injured Mariano Rivera’s seat was a copy of a just-published Yankees Magazine, a 2012 American League division series souvenir edition featuring on its glossy cover the returning hero Andy Pettitte.

Implied meaning: next year, Mr. Rivera, this will be you.

Rafael Soriano’s chair was occupied by a rather large brown box, the contents of which couldn’t be known.

Obvious symbolism: it is postseason time, and heavy is the burden on Soriano, standing in for the greatest closer ever.

In the absence of the two pitchers — Rivera’s for obvious reasons and Soriano’s because he is not among the most loquacious clubhouse residents — you could imagine Clint Eastwood, in his latest Hollywood role as an octogenarian baseball scout, strutting right up for quite the fictionalized chat.

There is so much to say about the back end of the Yankees’ bullpen before their division series starts in Baltimore on Sunday. Begin with the astonishing development that the bullpen appears to have remained armed and dangerous despite being without Rivera in the closer’s role for the first time in 15 years.

Then again, these are the Yankees, of which Pettitte remarked, “The fact that Sori’s even here is an example of what they want to do and where their heads are.” 

And their wallets, for who else would even think of — much less could afford — an $11 million setup man and insurance policy for the now 42-year-old Rivera? Even General Manager Brian Cashman argued that point before the Soriano free-agent acquisition was completed in 2011.

I just didn’t think it was an efficient way to allocate our remaining resources,” he said, admitting that lifting Soriano off the Tampa Bay roster was the brainstorm of Hal Steinbrenner, managing general partner and relief pitching expert. But Cashman also knew enough to add, “Twenty-nine G.M.s would love to have their owners force Rafael Soriano down their throat.”

You wonder if the more measured Steinbrenner ever had the temptation to have Cashman write “resource allocation” 1,000 times on a blackboard, the way his father, George, probably would have after Rivera tore a knee ligament while shagging flies and Soriano proceeded to save 42 games in 45 chances.

Eastwood to Soriano’s chair, “But can you do it now, under the postseason gun, like my main man over here, Panama Slim?” 

The rare playoff failure aside, how do you even begin to process Rivera’s 42 saves in 140 postseason innings [it's 141, ed.] for an earned run average of 0.70? Soriano, conversely, has pitched in two postseasons, never beyond the division series.

“Not to be able to look out there and see Mo is obviously going to be strange for a lot of people who have been here,” said Cody Eppley, one of the Yankees’ middle-inning relievers. “There may never be anyone again of his character, but it seems like the Yankees have a way of filling roles when they have to.”

Filling a role is one thing; living up to it is another. Following Rivera in the postseason could be like trying to replace John Wooden at U.C.L.A., or Michael Jordan in Chicago.

“When you look at all of what Mo’s done, it’s amazing,” Joba Chamberlain said. “And he’s not done yet. I think the guy’s probably going to live for about 800 more years, the way he stays healthy and takes care of himself. At the same time, to see the way Sori’s stepped up, I mean, to come in and have 40-plus saves without closing the first month of the season is pretty incredible.”

What happens if Soriano continues to define incredible, pitches lights-out this month and the Yankees win a 28th World Series? 

Coming off a year’s inactivity, and with his contract expiring, what can the Yankees assume and how much should they pay Rivera, who has said he will return? Soriano, meanwhile, could opt out of a deal that would pay him $14 million next season with the hope of scoring a longer-term deal off his 2012 numbers.

Can the Yankees, who want to avoid payroll-tax penalties and also have other pressing areas to address, again invest so heavily in Soriano as a projected seventh- or eighth-inning specialist? Would they entertain the heretical thought of committing to Soriano and cutting ties with the great and beloved Rivera?

Logic would suggest that the re-emergence of Chamberlain in the past month as a reliable seventh-inning man and potential future closer, along with the continued presence of David Robertson, will mean that Soriano is auditioning for a job elsewhere next season.

First things first: the division series with the Orioles, the renewal of the Jeffrey Maier Classic, a different kind of closing pressure where the margin of catastrophic error can shrivel to the width of a pinstripe."

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