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Posted by: Patrick
Graham Goldbeck at Beyond the Boxscore takes an in depth look at Mariano Rivera's 2008 season and how his cutter was the epitome of everything that is good in the world.

Via Joseph.
Posted by: Patrick
On Monday, after polling some veterans last week, Joe Girardi decided to give the team a day off and take everyone to a pool hall to play a 2 on 2 tournament. Bryan Hoch, Peter Abraham (pictures), Abraham, Roderick Boone, Tyler Kepner and Marc Carig have reports.

So, who won? None other than Mariano Rivera. "It looked like he was pretty good," Johnny Damon said, according to Carig. "He definitely had that closer mentality, even playing pool."
Posted by: Patrick
I just thought I'd mention this story shared by Jack Curry of the Times, of Mo having a little fun with Edwar Ramirez.
Posted by: Patrick
Newsday's Kat O'Brien shares a story about a trip that Mariano Rivera made on January 6. On the day that Mark Teixeira was introduced as a Yankee, Mo drove from his home to the Stadium to meet with Hal Steinbrenner. The topic of the meeting? Andy Pettitte. Mo explained why he felt that Pettitte was an important piece of the puzzle and why the Yankees should bring him back.
Posted by: Patrick
Brian Cashman told Peter Abraham that, during spring training in 1996, George Steinbrenner was interested in acquiring a shortstop. The team was unsure that Derek Jeter would be ready to start.

Felix Fermin of the Mariners was discussed, and Seattle wanted either Mariano Rivera or Bob Wickman in return. "It was a big fight and we were very close to doing it," Cashman told Abraham. "Thank God we didn't."

Fermin ended up being released on April 13 and signed with the Yankees on May 8. But, they released him, too, on May 22. He caught on with the Cubs on May 29, hit .125 in 16 at bats, and was released on August 9. He did not see Major League action again.
Posted by: Patrick
The AP has more from Mariano Rivera on last season and his efforts to get ready for the upcoming one.

"It was painful when I pitched three days consecutive, four days, pitching more than an inning," he said on Saturday following the Yankees' first workout of the year. "I was taking all kinds of medicine to take the pain away. It did work. But it's too much. I didn't want to go through that again. We were fighting for a playoff spot. I couldn't sit and wait for my shoulder to recover."
Posted by: Patrick
Newsday's Kat O'Brien spoke with Mo and he says that he'll be ready for spring training action. He also talked about his outlook for the future and his optimism for this years squad.
Posted by: Patrick
Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter are planning to attend A-Rod's upcoming press conference, according to MLB.com's John Schlegel.

"We'll be there," Posada told the Post. "Obviously, we have to ask Alex if it is OK, but if he says yes, we will go with him. I think it will be the guys who have been here the longest and anyone else that Alex might want."
Posted by: Patrick
Following up on an earlier report, MLB.com's Bryan Hoch shares more from the Mike Mussina interview on WFAN on Wednesday.

"The idea of it was not to take any stabs at Mo," Mussina said on WFAN in New York. "I can't put into words how important Mo has been to me as an individual player and to us as a team since I went to New York. My accomplishments would not be anywhere near what they are and our team accomplishments certainly would not be what they are without him pitching the ninth inning.

"I didn't mean to take any stabs at him. I was just making a factual comment, and it came out sounding like I was trying to cut him down. I'm certainly not trying to cut him down, because he certainly is legendary, and he's earned that."

See the original post about the comments, for more.
Posted by: Patrick
Justin Reynolds of TheRidgefieldPress.com reports on a clinic for kids that Mo held in Ridgefield, Connecticut.

“The game doesn’t start when the game starts,” Rivera said, seemingly summoning some of Yankee legend Yogi Berra’s wit. “The game starts when you get there. If the game starts a seven o’clock ... and you have to be there at three o’clock, the game starts at three o’clock.”

The kids then broke into groups, with Rivera teaching pitching mechanics. “The most important thing is, a pitcher has to have balance,” Rivera told the kids, going through the five points of his wind-up and delivery. “You gotta have a good, strong foundation.”
Posted by: Patrick
Neil Best reports that Mike Mussina told WFAN's Mike Francesa that he didn't know about the book or that his quotes (like the one about Mariano Rivera) would be included in it. When asked if he likes that, or not, he said: "Well, I don't have much choice, but I'm not upset about it. I've always liked Tom and I loved playing for Joe. I don't really have any problems with it, I guess."

Via Tony Arnoldine.
Posted by: Patrick
The Journal News' Sam Borden writes, in regard to Mike Mussina's recent comments on Mariano Rivera:

To his credit, Rivera – during an interview on MSG Network at halftime of Monday’s Knicks game – brushed off the criticism. He also said he was planning to buy Torre’s book and didn’t really comment one way or another on Torre writing it.
Posted by: Patrick
Bill Madden criticizes the new Joe Torre and Tom Verducci book today. Nothing particularly noteworthy there, but this passage caught my eye:

Torre said he stands behind everything in the book, even though it is written by Verducci in the third person. That means, he fully approved Mike Mussina's insensitive critique of Mariano Rivera on Page 312: "As great as he is, and it's amazing what he does, if you start the evaluation again since I've been here, he has accomplished nothing in comparison to what he accomplished the four years before. He blew the World Series in '01. He lost the Boston series. He didn't lose it himself, but we had a chance to win in the ninth and sweep them and he doesn't do it there. . . . That's what I remember about the '04 series."

This is not what I'd expect from Mike Mussina, a guy who usually pretty well considers what he says, in my opinion. Sure, he may not have the postseason stats he had before Moose came to town, but really, for much of that time, he was considered by many (most?) to be the best closer in the game. I think this is a little unfair, to say the least.

Via Diane Firstman.