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Posted by: Patrick
Garry Fraley at The Philadelphia Inquirer has story about Mariano Rivera and Brad Lidge, mainly focused on the act of closing out the World Series and how Mo is the only pitcher in baseball history to get the final out in three of them.

Thanks Jack, for the tip.
Posted by: David
Mariano Rivera worked another scoreless inning on Sunday afternoon vs. the Pirates as the Yankees won a slugfest 9-8. He pitched the sixth inning and surrendered one hit but then struck out three batters. His ERA for the spring remains at 0.00.
Posted by: Patrick
On Friday, Mariano Rivera finished off the Reds, in the ninth inning, with just five pitches. And that included a strikeout! Peter Abraham breaks down Mo's spring, thus far. 7 strikeouts, 6 ground outs, 2 fly outs, 1 foul pop out and 1 single (Gerald Laird).
Posted by: David
Mariano Rivera made his fourth appearance of the spring on Tuesday night at the Boss vs. the Red Sox. He entered in the seventh inning and was workmanlike, again. He faced George Kottaras and retired him on a grounder to short. He then struck out Brad Wilkerson and Nick Green swinging to retire the side. He threw sixteen pitches in all and has only thrown thirty-four in the four spring appearances thus far. He has only surrendered one hit and no walks and of course his ERA remains at 0.00.

As for the game, the Yankees won 7-1 and Austin Jackson was the hero with a grand slam late in the contest. After the game, he was reassigned to the minor leagues.
Posted by: David
It was another day at the office for the Sandman. Mariano Rivera worked a scoreless sixth inning vs. the Detroit Tigers at the Boss on Saturday afternoon. He faced former Yankee Marcus Thames to lead off the inning and got him swinging for the first out. Jeff Larish got jammed on the first pitch and grounded weakly to second for the second out of the inning. Gerald Laird grounded a single between first and second before Mo struck out Cleveland looking to end the inning.

For the Spring, Mo has pitched three innings and his ERA is 0.00.
Posted by: Patrick
From Joel Sherman of the Post:

If Mariano Rivera's health falters and he is unable to close, the likelihood is Joba Chamberlain would be switched into the role, multiple Yankees officials told The Post.

... if Rivera were to miss a sustained period, three club officials verified that Chamberlain almost certainly would replace him. The officials admitted the subject has been discussed at the highest levels and conceded Chamberlain has the best combination of temperament and stuff - by far - in the organization to handle both replacing the legendary Rivera and coping with the stress of being the Yankees' closer.

Thankfully, Mo's right on track, so hopefully this is a bridge we will not have to cross.
Posted by: Patrick
Peter Abraham has some fun Mo related odds and ends (look toward the middle of his post). One of them:

As Rivera talked, teammates came up with piles of cash. Rivera is collecting money from teammates to give to the clubhouse kids for their work this spring. According to well-placed sources, those who avoid paying their dues get the evil eye from the greatest closer of all time until they do.

Via Bronx Banter.
Posted by: David
Mariano Rivera was extremely efficient on Thursday night at the Boss. He pitched the sixth inning and retired the side with three ground balls and only had to use five pitches. It was his second appearance of the spring.

It appears that the plan for Mo is basically to pitch every other day and probably only pitch at home.
Posted by: David
Mo is back! Mariano Rivera pitched a perfect fifth inning in his Spring Training debut on Tuesday night. The Yankees were hosting the Pittsburgh Pirates at the Boss and Rivera followed C.C. Sabathia into the game with the Yankees leading 8-1.

He faced Steve Pearce to lead off the inning and made quick work of him by polishing him off with three pitches, the last a called third strike. Neal Walker bounced back to the mound for the second out and then Jason Jaramillo struck out looking to end the inning. Rivera threw eleven pitches in all with eight of them being strikes.
Posted by: Patrick
Back from his recent trip in support of Panama's team at the World Baseball Classic, Mo shared his thoughts on the experience with MLB.com's Bryan Hoch.

"It was special," Rivera said. "It's one of those things -- being a competitor, you don't want to just carry the flag. You want to be on the field, but that was impossible."
Posted by: Patrick
MLB.com's Bryan Hoch writes that Mo left Tampa on Thursday to head down to Puerto Rico to support Panama's entry into the World Baseball Classic.

He will put on the team's uniform, wave the country's flag and participate in ceremonies. On his way back from shoulder surgery, he will not pitch. Mo will be away for three days, according to Brian Cashman.

On a related note, Jack Curry shared a moment with Rivera, a few minutes after he had arrived in Puerto Rico.
Posted by: Patrick
Mariano Rivera had his first bullpen session since the surgery and he felt good, according to the Daily News:

"I'm real pleased with what we did today," Rivera said. "The big thing is going to be tomorrow, how I feel. It's my first bullpen in a long time, but I expect good things. Hopefully tomorrow feels great."
Posted by: Patrick
Peter Abraham reports that Mariano Rivera will be making some throws from a mound tomorrow for the first time since his surgery. The plan, Abraham says, is for Mo to enter game action on March 17, which would allow him to get the time he needs before the season starts.
Posted by: Patrick
From Peter Abraham:

Watching Mariano Rivera sign a baseball is memorable. He takes the ball, slowly turns it to the right spot and oh-so-carefully writes his name in perfect script. Then he blows on the ball to make sure the ink is dry. Most guys can sign five balls in the time it takes him to sign one.
Posted by: Patrick
Mike Vaccaro of the Post has a nice feature on the dependability of Mo. I enjoyed this part the most:

"People come and people go," Derek Jeter said the other day, smiling, shaking his head, "and then you have Mo, who isn't going anywhere."

The smile thinned a bit.

"Who'd better not be going anywhere," he said.