Mariano Rivera isn’t sure when he’ll have surgery, but he’s heard it will take an addition three to five months before he’ll be ready to start working out again. He’s not giving up on this season, but he seems to realize it’s unlikely he’ll pitch again before 2013.
“Miracles happen, guys,” he said this afternoon, in a much more upbeat mood than last night. “I’m OK. I’m a positive man. I’m OK. Everything is good. I feel sorry that I let down my teammates, but besides, that I’m OK. The team will be OK too.”
Rivera said his knee hurt last night, and that kept him awake. At some point while he was in his hotel room, Rivera decided he wasn’t finished. That decision seemed to take some weight off his shoulders, but Rivera was his old self today.
Last night he was holding back tears, today he was holding court, laughing with writers and suggesting we all go have ACL surgery just so we can experience it together. He also refused to say whether he was originally planning to retire at the end of this season, saying he always wanted to wait before finalizing a decision. He said that reporters asking about retirement was a game of chess and “we were tied.”
He seemed happy, and I certainly didn’t expect to write that today.
“When we’re talking about how important it is to him,” Derek Jeter said. “Regardless of whenever he decides to retire or shut it down, people are going to remember him for everything he’s done. Even if he wasn’t pitching again, people are not going to remember him for this. It’s an unfortunate incident but to be quite honest with you, whenever he decides to do it, it’s going to be the same story regardless. That’s just my opinion.”
• Joe Girardi said Dave Robertson will likely be the designated closer tonight, but he won’t name a full-time closer just yet. He wants to wait, see how players adapt to new situations, and he doesn’t want to be tied to one decision. “We’ll make a decision each day,” Girardi said. “You’re probably going to see both of them (Robertson and Rafael Soriano) at some point.”
• Girardi made it clear that he’d like to have an established, everyday closer at some point. But he doesn’t want to name one until some time passes and roles establish themselves.
• By the way, the Yankees pitchers are shagging fly balls at this very moment.
• Nick Swisher took full batting practice on the field today. He also ran in the outfield and will try to run the bases tomorrow. Today was a positive step, but Girardi is still looking at Tuesday for Swisher’s return. Girardi didn’t rule out Swisher playing Sunday, but he indicated that Tuesday is more likely.
• It’s less likely, Girardi said, that Brett Gardner will be ready Tuesday. Gardner did tee and toss today with no problem, and he’ll try to hit in regular BP tomorrow, but the Yankees still want him to play a few rehab games before coming off the disabled list.
• Cody Eppley and Dewayne Wise were added to the roster today. Eppley gives the Yankees a fresh arm, while Wise rounds out the bench with an extra outfielder. “Now that we’re seeing some righties after today, we just thought it was time to make a move,” Girardi said.
Associated Press photos