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A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News


Same as it ever was

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Podcast on Mar 13, 2011 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Today I watched Mariano Rivera’s first real inning of work since the playoffs, and now I keep thinking about the Talking Heads. The name of the song is Once In A Lifetime, and it ends with the same words repeated over and over again.

Same as it ever was. Same as it ever was.

Rivera threw 12 pitches today. He struck out the side, then he went for a run. Joe Girardi said that if the season started tomorrow, he would feel confident that Rivera would be ready after exactly one spring inning.

“That’s usually what he does,” Derek Jeter said. “We’ll see him in another week.”

This is the Rivera plan. Pitch less than anyone, be better than everyone. Rivera said he wouldn’t recommend his plan to anyone else, but it works for him. He doesn’t pitch in the winter. He plays long toss basically every other day in spring training. He throws a few bullpens, pitches a sim game or two, then does what he did today.

“When you’re in the box, it’s a nightmare,” Russell Martin said. “When you’re behind the plate, it’s the complete opposite… That’s the best cutter I’ve caught, for sure. It’s cause, normally you see some kind of spin and his, you don’t see the spin. There’s no side spin. It just cuts. I don’t know how he does it.”

For Rivera, of course, this was just another day. The music pumped through the stadium and crowd got to its feet, then a once-in-a-lifetime talent made short work of the Twins. Quick. Efficient. Dominant.

“I think the fans get more emotional than I do,” Rivera said. “It’s a good feeling when you go over there and see a response with fans like that. But again, you have to channel that energy. You have to make sure that doesn’t pump you up so much that you cannot throw strikes.”

Here’s Rivera, same as he ever was.

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Associated Press photo

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60 Responses to “Same as it ever was”

  1. PhiltheThrill March 13th, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    All is well in Yankeeland.

  2. Tom in N.J. March 13th, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    And you may ask yourself, how do I hit him?

  3. Bronx Jeers March 13th, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    Letting the days go by……..

  4. Carl March 13th, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    I love that Greg Maddux inside fastball he dropped

    http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play......d=13196731

  5. teddy9000 March 13th, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    just nasty, they didn’t have a chance and they knew it

  6. blake March 13th, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    . There’s no side spin. It just cuts. I don’t know how he does it.”

    Rivera calls it a gift….probably as good an explanation as any. He really is incredible.

  7. Bronx Jeers March 13th, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    And I just noticed….. Mo’s wearing his socks high?

    I’m not a fan of that particular style. It’s not the 18th century.

  8. Pat M. March 13th, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    blake..All a hitter can hope for is to catch a mistake pitch or a broken bat flair like Gonzo’s in 2001

  9. Tom in N.J. March 13th, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    Remember when he K’d Frank Thomas when the big hurt was on the Jays.

    Thomas took strike 3, walked back to the bench sat down and asked the guy next to him, “what the eff was that?”

  10. blake March 13th, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    Pat M,

    The duck snort hit is Mo’s only kryptonite……problem is it usually takes 3 of them to score in him.

  11. BoJo March 13th, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    ewww–a Talking Heads reference!

    Mo makes hitters look “Crosseyed and Painless.”

  12. tyanksfan36 March 13th, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    The stadium went insane when Rivera came out. It was crazier than when the team took the field in the top of the first. He was just awesome. I loved how he joked with Jeter about dropping the popup when he came out.

    Bronx Jeers

    The first thing I noticed when he took the mound is that he had high socks on. Personally I like the look.

  13. DocTodd March 13th, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    Once in a lifetime………….the very rare times Mo hasn’t come through…….

  14. GreenBeret7 March 13th, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    Pat, have you ever heard anybody explain Rivera’s cutter like Martin did?

  15. RhapsodyInBlue March 13th, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    Mo is Mo.

    No surprises there.

  16. tyanksfan36 March 13th, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    Last year when the Yankees played the Dodgers, Mo threw a called 3rd strike to Russell Martin, who took exception to it and got ejected from a game that had ended on that called strike. Now he knows what it feels like to be on the other side of it. Must feel better.

  17. teddy9000 March 13th, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    i bet my life mo could dominate blindfolded

  18. 108 stitches March 13th, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    The easiest part for a Yankee catcher is knowing Mariano will be around the plate with his pitches. The hitters know it also but can’t do a damned thing about it except hope he won’t saw the bat in half which he frequently does.

  19. ron March 13th, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    http://www.nytimes.com/interac.....tches.html

    Check out this video breakdown of mo pitching.

    John flaherty is in on the breakdown.

    Insane.

  20. teddy9000 March 13th, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    remember when torre and mattingly blew a gasket when mo got a punch out

  21. tyanksfan36 March 13th, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    Teddy9000

    That was Russell Martin.

  22. E . R . California March 13th, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    Alas,

    that Killer B named

    D*n**l B*rd is pretty good , too .

  23. Ys Guy March 13th, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    thanks ron, that was awesome. those pitch clusters are just unreal. talk about living on the corners!

  24. Chase March 13th, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    Daniel Bard gets his face rocked every time he tries to close out a game. He doesn’t have the guts to pitch in big spots.

  25. RhapsodyInBlue March 13th, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    That 3rd baseman named Y**k is hitting .160 only 2 pts higher then Montero.

  26. RhapsodyInBlue March 13th, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    D*n**l B*rd has big ears he tries to hide with his dutch boy hair cut.

  27. Ys Guy March 13th, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    some little bird not unsimilar to that one came in here earlier with the outstanding ST era for socks pithers.

    that seems to have subsided now…

  28. RhapsodyInBlue March 13th, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    The 142 M prodigy left fielder named C**L Cr*wf*rd is hitting .200.

  29. GreenBeret7 March 13th, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    Luckily for Bard, he had a good game today. His ERA dropped all of the way down to 7.71

  30. Joe from Long Island March 13th, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    ron – thanks for the link to the Times video. It is unreal! We will not see another like Mariano, ever. Ever.

    Remember, a few years back, when Papelbon first hit the scene. All the hip analysts and media types were saying he was going to become the best closer, ever. Now, not so much. Theo can’t wait to unload him.

    Mariano just keeps on going……..

  31. upstate kate March 13th, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    very cool link Ron, thanks for sharing

  32. GreenBeret7 March 13th, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    joe, the sad thing is, no matter how great the next Yankee closer, shortstop and 3rd baseman are, they have no chance with most fans when they have a bad day. It will be Mantle replacing DiMaggio and Murcer replacing Mantle all over again. Those are shoes that you don’t want to put your feet in.

  33. Ys Guy March 13th, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    here’s what a socks fan wrote about watching beckett on pete’s blog:

    “Don’t consider myself a Beckett “hater” whatsoever, but at some point, somebody notices that his ERA is lowest the 1st time through the order and then gets progressively higher … He keeps reminding me of Eck at precisely the same point in his career, and I wonder if he doesn’t eventually graduate to the bullpen and stay there. Whether he’s tipping his pitches, or losing velocity, or stubbornly trying to blow it past hitters when he’s in trouble, or some combination, of the 3, he is a predictively less effective pitcher the more often hitters get to see him in any particular game, and that doesn’t seem to have changed over the past couple seasons and this ST”

  34. Bronx Jeers March 13th, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    Here’s another Mariano video from ESPN Sports Science.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHH4ACcnYtE

  35. West Coast Yankee Fan March 13th, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    Bronx Jeers March 13th, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    And I just noticed….. Mo’s wearing his socks high? I’m not a fan of that particular style. It’s not the 18th century.

    *************

    Mo can go out there in pink pajamas for all I care.

  36. Joe from Long Island March 13th, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    GB7 – absolutely. The guys who try to follow those three, they’re going to have a problem. Fans will just have to realize that replacing Jeter, Alex, and Mariano is impossible, and be satisfied with players who play hard, and at (we hope) a very high level compared to league. They can’t compare them to those three. It will be unfair. (I’m thinking, right now, of Tino following Mattingly. Not impossible, but very tough.)

    Ys Guy – That’s a good point. Wouldn’t be surprised, if Beckett continues to suffer in this regard, that Francona and Theo approach him about going to the pen, especially if Papelbon continues his downward trajectory. The catch becomes, somebody has to start games, and that’s already a depth problem for the Red Sox. Would they move Bard to the rotation?

    How many millions are they paying Beckett? 14 or so, right? That’s a lot to pay a relief pitcher, especially one not named Rivera.

  37. jacksquat March 13th, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    Tom in N.J. March 13th, 2011 at 5:20 pm
    And you may ask yourself, how do I hit him?

    Run run run run, run run run away…

  38. hardwired7 March 13th, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    opposing hitters are on the Road to Nowhere.

  39. Bronx Jeers March 13th, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    I recall being quite a confused adolescent watching the video for “Once in a Lifetime” during the early days of MTV.

    Actually, I’m still confused by it.

  40. GreenBeret7 March 13th, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    Joe from Long Island March 13th, 2011 at 6:22 pm
    GB7 – absolutely. The guys who try to follow those three, they’re going to have a problem. Fans will just have to realize that replacing Jeter, Alex, and Mariano is impossible, and be satisfied with players who play hard, and at (we hope) a very high level compared to league. They can’t compare them to those three. It will be unfair. (I’m thinking, right now, of Tino following Mattingly. Not impossible, but very tough.)

    ———————————————————————————————————————-

    There will be others, too. Banuelos will take hits because he’s not Pettitte. Of course, there will be those that continue to whine about Bernie Williams, and now Jeter and Posada. No idea what makes them forget that these are the guys that made the Yankees the Yankees. I’m from the era before and after CBS. They think that the early 90s were tough to watch….

    The thought of those guys mentioned being gone, is not a great feeling. Regardless of age, regardless of down years, those guys know how to win. Makes you want to smack ‘em upside the head with a 2×4. They get the chance to witness baseball history being made. I got to witness ineptitude beyond Mantle and Stottlemyre. That made a grown person cry.

  41. Doreen March 13th, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    Since we’re kind quoting lyrics,

    GB7 -

    It’s the “What Have You Done for Me Lately” blues.

    :)

  42. BoJo March 13th, 2011 at 6:45 pm

    Boston has a slew of ugly contracts…Beckett, Lackey, Crawford, AGon, etc.

    Now that PEDs are being taken out of the mix, I am very leary about multi-year deals to players over 30. Of course, the Yankees also are at great risk too.

  43. Abe Peterham March 13th, 2011 at 6:46 pm

    Mo is the man, awesome ovation for the king

  44. BoJo March 13th, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    Yeah, I’m still comparing players to Horace Clarke, Jerry Kenney, Gene Michael, Steve Whitaker, and Bill Robinson. Tough to replace those heroic stars of my youth.

  45. BoJo March 13th, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    Steve Whitaker–coolest stance EVER.

  46. 108 stitches March 13th, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    Aside from his signature cutter, Mariano’s perfect repeated mechanics are how young pitchers should pattern their path to the big leagues and learn it well.

  47. GreenBeret7 March 13th, 2011 at 6:51 pm

    Doreen March 13th, 2011 at 6:44 pm
    Since we’re kind quoting lyrics,

    GB7 -

    It’s the “What Have You Done for Me Lately” blues.

    ———————————————————————————————————————-

    Doreen, just reading some of the clap-trap on here makes my think of “Who Let The Dogs IN”. The last 15 years is like “This Magic Moment”.

  48. GreenBeret7 March 13th, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    Everyone remembers the new Mickey Mantle replacement in center field, Steve Whitaker, but nobody remembers Roger Maris’ replacement, Roger Repoz.

  49. Doreen March 13th, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    GB7 -

    Ah, indeed. It has been an unbelievable run, hasn’t it?

  50. GreenBeret7 March 13th, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    It really has, Doreen. After the last 18 years, I can find nothing to compain about, and from seeing the young ones on the way in, there appears to be more thrills and fun on the way. Many people have the patience to allow them to grow up, but sadly, the loudest posters are only fans of this current era and were born without the patience.

  51. Joe from Long Island March 13th, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    Hey, I remember Roger Repoz. Also Ross Moschitto.

    Ah, those were the days. It was truly unbelievable that those were Yankees’ rosters, back in the mid-late 60s.

  52. Pat M. March 13th, 2011 at 7:13 pm

    Selection Committee getting hammered on ESPN…….GB, Steve Whitaker, Bill Robinson, Horace Clarke ( who wasn’t a bad ballplayer at all ), Charlie Smith and the list goes on from the crash that was the Yanks in the late 60′s…..

  53. Joe from Long Island March 13th, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    Time for dinner, guys. Later.

  54. Betsy March 13th, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    I didn’t like the move The Natural, but the line that will always stick with me suits Mo to a “t”: The greatest there is and the greatest there ever will be (well, I don’t think this is the exact line, but I believe something similar was spoke by Redford’s character).

  55. Betsy March 13th, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    The All-Star game before last, I think it was, Mo just had the NL stars in awe. He made some ridiculous pitches and they looked at him like they’d never seen anything like it, lol

  56. Ys Guy March 13th, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    remember sterling calling mo “the secret weapon”?

  57. GreenBeret7 March 13th, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    Ross Moschitto, Mickey’s caddie. One of the games I remember from that time was spending 7 and a half hours of watching the Yanks playing in Detroit in a 9-7 game in a june 1962 game. 22 innings and the Yanks won on a 2 run homer by Jackie Reed. Reed had replaced Joe Pepitone in right field after Pepitone replaced Mantle. The only homer Reed hit in 130 at bats in his career.

  58. GreenBeret7 March 13th, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    Pat, never understood the grief that Hoss got. As you said, he was a pretty decent hitter and outstanding base runner, solid glove. first two MLB homers were grand slams. Always liked his play. Had the Yanks had patience, Bill Robinson turned out to be one Hell of a hitter.
    Smith was still playing like a Met, even after playing with the Cards.

  59. upstate kate March 13th, 2011 at 7:29 pm

    You didn’t like “The Natural” Betsy? It is one of my all time favorites.

  60. comet March 13th, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    GB I remember Roger Repoz well. Also Ron Blomberg or Bloomberg, Steve Talbot, Thad Tillison, Jake Gibb, Joe Verbanic.

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