Last night brought a new reality for the Yankees, and that reality will probably linger into the foreseeable future. Mariano Rivera needs surgery, Dave Robertson is the new closer, and Brian Cashman is not actively looking for any sort of replacement.
“I have no interest in going outside the organization, put it that way,” Cashman said. “It doesn’t mean that we won’t do that at some point, but it’s not something I want to do. That’s certainly not something I’m doing at this stage. I haven’t made any phone calls.”
The Yankees late innings will fall to Robertson and Rafael Soriano, both accomplished pitcher in their own right, but neither one of them heading for a first-ballot entry into Cooperstown.
“I have a ton of faith in what David Robertson is capable of doing,” Joe Girardi said. “I’ve watched it year after year for a while here, but any time that we see someone different than Mo, it’s just different. We’ve been watching this for a long, long time, watching him close games since 1997. I don’t care if the next guy that became the closer — let’s just say, for example, he’s going to end up with 700 saves — it would be strange to see that guy come in and not Mo.”
It will be strange. Instead of Metallica, it’s Lynyrd Skynyrd, and that’s about as different as you can get. But Robertson hasn’t allowed a run in his past 26.1 innings, the longest such streak by a Yankeee since — you guessed it — Rivera in 1999.
It’s going to be different. And the Yankees are going to find out whether it can work.
“You get nervous every time you go into a game, I feel like,” Robertson said. “You still get a little jittery. I don’t think that’s ever really going to go away. I bet you can ask somebody who has been playing for 20 years and they’d probably tell you they get nervous when they go out there. … I think it was good to get the first one under my belt. I’m very happy about it. I’m glad no one scored and I didn’t ruin the game.”
Associated Press photo