Friday, February 22, 2013


Rivera faces batters for first time since the accident

2/22/13, "Rivera faces hitters for the first time since surgery," Yankee LoHud blog, Chad Jennings, cell phone photo


Wednesday, February 20, 2013


Mo throws in Tampa, Rothschild, Girardi, Patterson, and Wells watch


2/19/13, "Mariano Rivera throws in the bullpen in front of pitching coach Larry Rothschild, manager Joe Girardi, pitching instructor Gil Patterson and guest instructor David Wells during the New York Yankees major league spring training workout at Steinbrenner Field." Star-Ledger, Munson

Mo in the bullpen, 2/19/13, J. Conrad Williams, Jr., Newsday

Mo in the bullpen laughing, Wed., 2/20/13, Star-Ledger,  Munson

Sunday, February 17, 2013


Mo watches Andy's bullpen session, 2/16/13


Mo watches Andy's bullpen session, 2/16/13, photo Eric Boland twitter via NYY Fans

2/16/13, "The Yankees open the exhibition season next Saturday, and Girardi said neither Sabathia nor Rivera would appear in a game until March. As usual, Rivera will pitch only at Steinbrenner Field, making the gray road pants that hang in his locker the most superfluous piece of equipment in the clubhouse."...NY Times Bats Blog, Borzi

Saturday, February 16, 2013


Rivera's comeback-Bauman,

2/13/13, "Rivera showing greatness again in comeback,", Mike Bauman

"No betting against one-of-a-kind closer as he returns from torn ACL."

"The relentlessly positive nature, the devotion, the belief, the fierce competitive drive -- all of that remains in place.

On the other side of the issue, is just this: A 43-year-old man, pursuing his career as an athlete, attempting to come back from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.

I like Mariano Rivera -- the positive nature, the devotion and the fierce competitive drive -- in this argument. He probably should not be held to the standards of the rest of humanity in a situation such as this. He has been not only the best closer in the game -- he has been one of a kind.

At George M. Steinbrenner Field on Wednesday, the catchers and pitchers of the New York Yankees had their first workout of this year's Spring Training. An encouraging sign for all was the presence and the full participation of Rivera.

Rivera threw a bullpen session, and his motion contained the usual fluidity and grace. He ran, and he took part in three sessions of fielding practice for pitchers, and again, his movements did not appear to be in any way restricted. Asked to rate his knee on a scale of one to 10, with 10 being as good as possible, Rivera responded, "I feel good. I would say around nine, for sure. The other point will be the 10, and that will be the running that I do here. But besides that everything's great."...

If this is his final season, it ought to be especially savored -- for who Rivera has been, for what he has accomplished and now, for what he has gone through to extend his brilliant career."

Both photos, Rivera spring training, Feb. 13, 2013, via NYY, bottom USA Today, top unknown.


Wednesday, February 13, 2013


Mariano Rivera, 2013 spring training day 1


Mariano Rivera, spring training day 1, throws home, 2/13/13, ap

Rivera in the bullpen, Girardi observing, spring training day 1, Wed. 2/13/13, Munson, Star Ledger 

Rivera in bullpen, spring training day 1, 2/13/13, Newsday, J. Conrad Williams

Rivera in bullpen, day 1 spring training, 2/13/13, Munson, Star Ledger

Rivera runs to cover first, spring training day one, 2/13/13, munson, star ledger

Rivera stretching spring training day 1, 2/13/13, munson star ledger

CC, Andy, and Mo run in spring training, day 1, 2/13/13, munson, star ledger

Mo, Andy, Sabathia take breather, spring training day 1, 2/13/13, star ledger, munson

Mo in bullpen with Girardi, spring training day one, feb. 13, 2013, newsday, williams

Andy, Mo, Hughes, Kuroda, spring training day 1, 2/13/13, ap

Rivera in Tampa, Wed. 2/13/13, ap

Sunday, February 10, 2013


Fan compiles sketch book honoring a 'Picasso in Pinstripes'

2/9/13, "Honoring a ‘Picasso in Pinstripes’ in a Sketchbook," NY Times, Vincent Mallozzi

"There is no telling how many get-well wishes Mariano Rivera has received while recovering from knee surgery. But at least 608 of them — including ones from a Mister Softee man in New York and some hardened Red Sox fans in Boston — have not yet been delivered.

Buddy Niederhoffer is the keeper of that conglomeration, one for each of Rivera’s regular-season saves for the Yankees

Niederhoffer, 36, a Yankees fan from the Bronx, became as mesmerized as major league hitters by Rivera’s cut fastball through the years. He said he was compelled to find a way to support Rivera after he tore his right anterior cruciate ligament last May while chasing a fly ball during batting practice before a Yankees game at Kansas City. 

I thought something should be done for him because he has done so much for the Yankees and their fans and baseball in general,” said Niederhoffer, who is a massage therapist. “We’re talking about one of the all-time greats here. To me, Mariano is Picasso in pinstripes, hands down the best ever at what he does, and despite everything that has gone wrong in baseball, everything from collusion to steroids, Mariano remains one of the good guys.” 

So began Niederhoffer’s one-man crusade to collect a motley mix of signatures and kind words for Rivera on the pages of a well-traveled 8-by-10 sketchbook with a blue cover and dog-eared pages. Niederhoffer carried the book wherever he went from last June 23 to Oct. 3, the final day of the regular season. In the back pages, Niederhoffer glued photographs of some of the well-wishers while they signed the book....

The quest took him to barrooms and ballparks, movie theaters and spas, restaurants and concerts, clothing stores and banks, and subway cars and parks. Niederhoffer collected handwritten notes for Rivera from, among others, bartenders; hot dog vendors; the former major leaguers Tim Raines, John Franco and Mickey Rivers; the Newark Bears’ team chaplain; police officers; train conductors; Coast Guardsmen; his girlfriend, Karen Rossi; graffiti artists; bocce players; a girls’ softball team; his former sociology professor at Fordham; the Trenton Thunder mascot, Boomer; a dozen poets at the Nuyorican Poets’ Cafe; Marc Anthony’s band director, Angel Fernandez; a man in his 90s who said he had seen Babe Ruth hit a home run at Yankee Stadium in 1932; and a homeless man at Lincoln Center.

One day at a coffee shop in Greenwich Village, Niederhoffer, sketchbook in hand, bumped into Brooke Shields with her two young daughters.

“You are missed!!” Shields wrote to Rivera as Niederhoffer took her picture. “Get better soon! We know you will! Our prayers are with you!” 

On another page, a Mister Softee man, whose truck had stopped in Niederhoffer’s Riverdale neighborhood, dropped his signature between the autographs of Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry. “Turns out the Mister Softee guy was from Panama, just like Mariano,” Niederhoffer said. “He was so thrilled, he even signed his son’s name.” 

On yet another page, the philosopher and scholar Cornel West, whom Niederhoffer also spotted at Lincoln Center, wrote: “To brother Mariano, Get Well Soon! Stay Strong! Love Cornel West.” 

Niederhoffer and his sketchbook also ventured into enemy territory. During a visit to Fenway Park, he said, he was careful not to incite Red Sox fans when asking if they might have a few kind words for Rivera, who has often shut down their team. “Some of those Red Sox fans looked at me like I had six heads,” Niederhoffer said. “But I took a low-key approach so none of them were overaggressive with me.” 

By the time he left Boston, 15 Red Sox fans had added their names to the unique get-well collection. One of them, however, would sign only her first name: “Even Red Sox fans wish you well!” a woman named Michelle wrote. 

Niederhoffer’s book contains good-will messages written in eight languages, including Arabic, Chinese, Danish, Hebrew, Spanish, Japanese and Tagalog. “This is as much a thank-you book as it is a get-well book,” Niederhoffer said. “This was intended as a gift to Mariano in case he was never able to throw another pitch.” 

Rivera, 43, is scheduled to be back with the Yankees for the start of training camp this week. Now that Rivera appears healthy again, Niederhoffer said, he would “like to get it into Mariano’s hands, somehow, some way.” 

A New York Times reporter who is heading to the Yankees’ camp in Tampa, Fla., has agreed to deliver the book to Rivera. “I think it would give him the kind of boost he gave us Yankees fans all these years,” Niederhoffer said. “And for that, I have hundreds of people to thank.”"  image from NY Times


'Mo is definitely the most gifted athlete we've had,' Cashman

2/10/13, "It's Time to Take Spring Seriously," Wall St. Journal, Daniel Barbarisi

"General manager Brian Cashman typically tempers his expectations for players coming back from injury, but in Rivera's case, he is choosing to trust that Rivera is an unusual athlete, someone for whom the normal rules don't apply.

"I've been with the Yankees since '86, and 

Mo is definitely the most gifted athlete we've had," Cashman said."

Wednesday, February 06, 2013


Rivera at Hot Stove benefit for Yankee radio producer Carlos Silva

2/4/13, "Yankees family comes together for Carlos Silva," YES Network, DiPietro, "Rivera, Teixeira among Bombers at radio producer's benefit."

"Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman, manager Joe Girardi, first baseman Mark Teixeira and closer Mariano Rivera joined 150 of their closest fans for a Hot Stove Q&A session at the Hard Rock Café in Times Square on Monday night, all to support a member of the pinstripe family.

The event was held to benefit Yankees radio producer and web contributor Carlos Silva, who is battling esophageal and stomach cancer. Silva has been a big part of the Yankees family for nearly a quarter-century, currently with WCBS radio as the Yankees broadcast producer and engineer and also as a Spanish-language contributor to

Having been around the team for so long, Silva has become close with many past and present Yankees, including Rivera, who jumped at the chance to be part of the benefit."...(Photo, Rivera greets fan who came out to support Carlos Silva, photo Newhart)


Tuesday, February 05, 2013


The nature of closers

2/4/13, "With a few exceptions—such as Mariano Rivera—the best closers tend to have a few screws loose and allow themselves to run on adrenaline when they're on the mound. By their nature, they're excitable creatures."...Z

 "Could Roy Oswalt Resurrect His MLB Career in the Closer's Role in 2013?" BleacherReport, Rymer


Monday, February 04, 2013


Rivera, Cone, and Flaherty at Ed Randall event

 2/3/13, "Broadcasters from Staten Island's Monsignor Farrell High meet a true baseball legend," Staten Island Advance

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y., "Members of the Monsignor Farrell High School broadcasting studio (WFBN-TV) were brought to baseball heaven — or so it seemed — when they recently visited radio broadcaster Ed Randall at his charity event, “Ed Randall’s Bat for the Cure: Strike Out Prostate Cancer!”...

Randall discussed the impressive accomplishments of Yankees’ pitcher and future Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera.

Rivera was joined by Yankee pitching coach Larry Rothschild, and YES Network color analysts John Flaherty (a former Yankee catcher) and former Yankee pitcher David Cone, most famous for throwing the 16th perfect game in Major League Baseball history.

The students marveled at the highlights of Rivera’s career as well as his humble demeanor." Staten Island Advance


NY Board of Rabbis names Mariano Rivera 'Man of the Year' for his philanthropic work

2/3/13, "New York Board of Rabbis Names Yankees Star Mariano Rivera ‘Man of the Year’,"

"The New York Board of Rabbis has chosen its “Man of the Year,” and New York Yankee Mariano Rivera is the winner so to speak.

Joseph Potasnik, executive vice president of the Board of Rabbis, joined the Yankees star over the weekend at a pre-Super Bowl party and charity auction for his church, where he said Rivera would receive the prestigious award for the philanthropic work he does after the “two holy seasons” wrap–baseball season and the Jewish high-holidays– when the rabbi will escort Rivera on a guided, 10-day tour of Israel."


Friday, February 01, 2013


Hall of Fame voting and October glories-Rob Neyer

1/8/13, "Hall of Fame voting and October glories," Rob Neyer, SB Nation

"As near as I can tell, postseason performance has essentially been ignored throughout the history of Hall of Fame balloting. Of course, there's at least one very good reason for this: Very few Hall of Fame candidates finished their careers with enough postseason action to merit serious discussion.

Today, that's changed. Some of the longtime Yankees and Braves, especially, do have enough postseason action. Andy Pettitte has made 44 postseason starts. Derek Jeter has now played in 158 postseason games. Should we simply ignore those contributions?

The argument for ignoring them is fairness. If you give these guys extra credit, players who didn't get those chances in October are disadvantaged. The argument for not ignoring them is obvious: the postseason is really important.

But there's a problem with postseason statistics ... If players get enough postseason chances, they'll generally just do what they've done in the regular season. Andy Pettitte's numbers are the same. Derek Jeter's numbers are the same. Which doesn't mean those numbers aren't impressive. Their regular-season numbers are impressive, so merely matching them in October is also impressive. And of course the competition in October is tougher. So I don't mean to suggest for a second that Williams and Jeter and Pettitte don't deserve plaudits for their postseason work.

However, I'm inclined to give significantly more extra credit to players whose postseason performance is significantly better than their regular-season performance. Mariano Rivera's got a 0.70 ERA in 141 postseason innings. In 19 postseason starts, Curt Schilling is 11-2 with a 2.23 ERA.

On the other side of the coin, Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio were both terrible in the postseason.

I think postseason performance should count. But only as a sort of tiebreaker. If Bagwell and Biggio were marginal candidates, on the strength of their regular-season performances, I might countenance holding their postseason numbers against them. Both, though, are better than marginal candidates. Curt Schilling is a marginal candidate, at least if you're looking at just his 216 career wins. But Schilling did a great deal to help his teams win not one, not two, but three championships.

It's actually much easier for a pitcher than a hitter to help win championships. The Top 5 list of postseason WPA is Mariano Rivera, Curt Schilling, John Smoltz, Andy Pettitte, and Babe Ruth. But even that's misleading; half of Ruth's WPA derives from his pitching in the 1916 and '18 World Series. The only pure hitter in the Top 10 is Pete Rose, at No. 7.

By the way, I would probably give Pettitte my Hall of Fame vote, too. Because of the postseason victories. I just don't quite see it for Bernie Williams. But I'm willing to be convinced."


Ed. note: Another point in favor of considering post season work is players and especially pitchers have shorter off seasons in which to recover for following regular seasons. In regular season stats, they're judged the same as players who had more time to recover. I mention it because while post season isn't often acknowledged, the characteristic of "durability" is considered all the time. After the San Francisco Giants won the World Series with Brian Wilson as closer there were articles written expressing concern for Giants' pitchers and the fact that they'd have shorter off seasons and less time to recover for the following regular season. This was after just one year of extra pitching in one post season. I've never seen this concern mentioned for Mariano Rivera who had shorter off seasons for many years including pitching into November twice, in 2001 and 2009. Other factors can arise in post season such as longer games, close games, tie games, and often in cold and/or rainy weather. Rivera has pitched multi-innings in 57 out of  his 96 post season appearances. Jeff Passan noted the 53 mark after ALDS game 3 in 2009.
from 2009: ALCS game 2, ALCS game 6, World Series game 2, World Series game 6.

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