Saturday, January 26, 2013


Olney said his favorite athletes to cover were Tony Gwynn and Mariano Rivera

1/26/13, "Baseball writer, pitcher talk baseball at annual Hot Stove meeting at Northfield Mount Hermon,", New Hampshire, Shaun Cyr, Gill, Mass.

"As snow flurries fell outside and temperatures dipped into the mid-teens, those seated inside Northfield Mount Hermon’s Rhodes Room Friday night felt like they were smack in the middle of a baseball pennant chase.

Sitting in plush leather chairs at the front of the window-lined room, ESPN senior writer Buster Olney and Baltimore Orioles minor league pitcher Oliver Drake spearheaded the school’s 10th annual Hot Stove League meeting....

As for today’s major leaguers, Olney said his favorite athletes to cover were Tony Gwynn and Mariano Rivera; he would have given the American League MVP to Mike Trout; he thinks Texas Rangers shortstop Jurickson Profar is the next big thing and should be the target in all fantasy drafts; and he could see five different teams winning the AL East this season....

Olney said he charted Yankees closer Mariano Rivera’s broken bats for the season in 2001.

The grand total: 47. “To this day,” Olney said. “He goes to me, ‘You shorted me. I remember.’”"

Tuesday, January 08, 2013


Winning Alabama coach showed film of Rivera to team for experience in big game focus

1/7/13, "Mariano Rivera to Get a Football Save?" Yahoo contributor, Phil Watson

"Alabama Coach Invokes Baseball’s Greatest Relief Pitcher for Inspiration Heading into BCS Title Game."

"The New York Post reported on Sunday that Alabama coach Nick Saban turned to New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera for some inspiration as the Crimson Tide prepares for the Bowl Championship Series championship game in Miami on Monday, Jan. 7.

"We just watched video of Mariano Rivera, and he talked about he struggled at some time in his career because he was trying to be a perfectionist, and that when he's in the bullpen, he sees the crowd, he hears the crowd, he knows sometimes that he's been getting a lot of positive self gratification for what he does and sometimes getting a lot of negative self gratification for what he does," Saban said. "But when he runs out and they hand him the ball, he's got one focus; he's not worried about the crowd, he's not worried about any of the external factors. One focus: Three outs; how am I going to get three outs?"

Saban said the point he was trying to make to his team was the importance of focus.

"I think a team's ability to do that, to stay focused on the things that are going to affect the outcome of the game, are critical in games like this," Saban said. "And you know, you could say, 'Well, that's nothing;' well believe me, being around young people, being in games like this, that's something and it's something big."

For his part, Rivera has been focusing on continuing his comeback from reconstructive knee surgery that forced him to miss most of the 2012 season.

Rivera told the Post on Saturday that he's not completely healthy, but he's close. "It's not 100 percent," Rivera said of the knee he injured on May 3. "I would say it's 95 percent. By the time spring training finishes, it will be 100 percent."

Rivera is penciled in once again as the Yankees closer. The game's all-time leader in saves with 608, Rivera had just five of those in nine appearances last season.

The Yankees are taking a risk handing the closing duties back to a 43-year-old recovering from a major injury, but given that Rivera wants to pitch,
Rafael Soriano closed for New York over the final five months in 2012 and was solid, saving 42 games in 46 chances with an ERA of 2.26 and a WHIP of 1.17.

However, Soriano opted out of the final year of his contract and then turned down the Yankees' one-year, $13.3 million qualifying offer in November.

Soriano remains unsigned, likely due to the draft-pick and draft pool cash penalty attached to signing him because he was extended a qualifying offer. Other free agents such as Michael Bourn, Kyle Lohse and Adam LaRoche are in similar situations.

That was a key change in free agency in the sport's new collective bargaining agreement and one that has borne out some unintended consequences.

As for Rivera, he's not talking about anything beyond the 2013 season. "I have another contract for this year," Rivera said. "You never know what's going to happen next year."

Rivera did say he doesn't expect last year's injury to have any lasting effects into this season....

The rest of the Yankee bullpen is returning intact for 2013, with David Robertson slated to be the primary setup man for Rivera and the addition of a healthy Joba Chamberlain for a whole season, likely to work the seventh inning.

Lefthanders Boone Logan and Clay Rapada will also be back, with whoever loses the battle for the final spot in the starting rotation between David Phelps and Ivan Nova likely slated for long-relief work. Youngster Mark Montgomery may also be ready to make the leap to the majors at some point in 2013."

"Phil Watson was a writer and editor at several daily newspapers for more than 20 years and is now a freelance sports journalist and commentator based in Upper Michigan."

Monday, January 07, 2013


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1/6/13, Welcome Breitbart Sports

Saturday, January 05, 2013


Mariano Rivera holds baseball clinic in Danbury at Frozen Ropes

1/5/13, "Yankees' closer Mariano Rivera holds baseball clinic in Danbury," News Times, Andre Khatchaturian

"A 12-year old boy intently listened to one of the greatest pitchers of all time, trying to pick his brain and learn how to pitch from one of his idols. As the kid fired a fastball right down the middle, the 5-time World Series champion smiled and exclaimed, "You want to take my job!"

There wasn't a single soul that didn't smile on Saturday morning at the Frozen Ropes Training Center in Danbury when New York Yankees' closer and legend Mariano Rivera made an appearance at a pitching clinic for children of all ages.

Rivera met each child individually, took a photograph with them, and even gave everyone a few tips on how to perfect their fastball. There was also a raffle and auction where autographed memorabilia such as jerseys, gloves, balls, and photos were given away or sold.

"I was a child once," said Rivera. "I always hoped that someone would do this for me, but God did. Therefore, I always try to be with the kids and the youth. I try to put a smile on their faces and be good for them. I (like) to take (my) time and make them feel good; make them know that they can do whatever they want to do."

Rivera, who has five World Series rings along with 12 All-Star appearances and the MLB record for all-time saves, is lauded by many as the greatest closer in the history of baseball. That being said, he's also a champion off the field....

"We (The Mariano Rivera Foundation) have done a lot of things. We're sending kids to college and giving them an opportunity to finish school and make a difference in their community. That's what I love. That's why my wife and I are trying to help others and if we reach out and help at least one person, then we're doing our job."

It was an especially awe-inspiring day for 13-year old Will Baumler of North Sound, NY. Baumler lost his brother during Hurricane Sandy and the Frozen Ropes community is doing their best to help him with his grieving. Meeting Rivera, who is one of his athletic heroes, on Saturday morning undoubtedly made his day just a little bit brighter.

"It feels good," said Rivera. "That's what it's all about. The most important thing is that they have fun."

NOTES: Boston Red Sox pitching prospect Matt Barnes was also present helping with the clinic. The Bethel native from the University of Connecticut, was selected 19th overall by Rivera's biggest rival, the Boston Red Sox, in the 2011 MLB Amateur draft."

images from News Times: Labels, Michael, Wells, Dwyer, Eric

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