I’ll try to explain this as simply as I can.
Before the game, Joe Girardi told us that Mariano Rivera went back to New York to get his standard end-of-the-season physical. He wasn’t going to pitch anyway, the manager said, because he had a “cranky body.”
Girardi was asked several times and in several ways whether Rivera had an injury to his elbow and shoulder. He denied it every time. The questions were very exact. “He said his whole body was cranky,” Girardi said.
Here, listen for yourself. This is Girardi’s pre-game:
This made no sense. Rivera lives in New York all year, he can get his physical any time. Why leave now? I’ve never once heard of a player leaving a road trip to get a “standard physical.” Beyond that, this is Mariano Rivera. It made sense to check this out.
Most of the writers called Brian Cashman. The GM said that Rivera complained about a sore shoulder after Tuesday’s game and was sent back to New York to get an MRI. The Yankees wanted to make sure their closer is OK. Cashman said he isn’t too concerned but was waiting to get the results of the MRI.
Cashman said it was not a standard physical. The New York Times, meanwhile, is reporting that Rivera could need surgery.
After the game today, Girardi stuck to the “cranky body” story and denied that Rivera ever said his shoulder hurt, which contradicts what his boss said. Let’s assume for a second that this is true. If you were the manager of the Yankees and Rivera came to you and said he had a “cranky body” wouldn’t you ask him what was wrong? It is Mariano Rivera, after all. So either Girardi is not telling the truth or he’s irresponsible.
Here is Girardi’s postgame press conference:
Girardi got contentious when asked about his misleading statements, slamming his fist down on his desk. It’s similar to what happened earlier this season when Phil Hughes, Brian Bruney, Chien-Ming Wang, Jorge Posada and Damaso Marte got hurt. Girardi’a first inclination is to be misleading.
It has gotten to the point where team officials now apologize to reporters for the manager’s actions. Nobody is sure why he does it because he gets caught every time.
I’m not going to complain about it. I’ll just ask other people questions when it comes to injuries.
I’m sure I’ll get ripped for writing this. That’s fine. Rip away. But this is Mariano Rivera we’re talking about. I’m going under the assumption that most Yankees fans are concerned about the status of their closer and would like accurate information.
If not, listen to the manager. He’s perfectly wiling to tell you just what you want to hear.