With Citi Field being the latest stop on his farewell tour, the Mets honored Mariano Rivera in the stadium’s press conference room this afternoon.
Because of his history as a “fireman,” COO Jeff Wilpon and FDNY Commissioner Sal Cassano presented Rivera with an authentic FDNY hose nozzle and call box.
Wilpon also asked Rivera to throw out the first pitch tonight and Rivera accepted.
“I know you usually throw the last pitch, but we’re asking you to throw the first,” Wilpon said.
In a moment of honesty, Wilpon told Rivera “I wish we could see you in the World Series, but I’m not sure that’s going to happen this year.” Rivera told him “you never know,” but, yeah, we know. Apparently so does Wilpon.
Rivera said he has some good games and also blown some saves in Queens, but considered it a place where he experienced many great moments. He told Wilpon the hose nozzle and call box will be on display in his house.
• Joe Girardi sang a different tune today than he did on Monday. The manager sounded optimistic that Mark Teixeira and Kevin Youkilis could return as soon as Friday against Boston.
“It’s a possibility for both them,” Girardi said.
Teixeria (wrist) and Youkilis (back) will play rehab games at Double-A Trenton Wednesday and Thursday. They both took five at-bats apiece today at extended spring training in Tampa.
Girardi said the team has had internal discussions about roster machinations if and when Teixeira and/or Youkilis return but said he would keep that information private.
“Things can change real quick around here,” he said. Translation: We’ll probably have another injury before Friday. And can you blame him for being pessimistic at this point?
• Here’s full audio of Girardi’s pregame presser:
• Francisco Cervelli had the pins removed from his hand last Friday and believes he is one week away from beginning a throwing program. Right now, he’s spending the majority of his time in therapy and rehabbing the hand.
He plans to leave for Tampa later this week and will need to make one more visit to the doctor before he is cleared to throw. When cleared, Cervelli thinks it will take him two weeks until he is ready to return, although, as a few of you have pointed out, he’s not eligible to come off the 60-day DL until late June.
“If I throw a ball, I’m only going to need two weeks to get my arm strength. Then I’ll be ready to go,” Cervelli said. “That’s my opinion. If I’m able to (make a fist) next week, that means I’ll be able to throw and grab a bat.”
Hearing Cervelli, it sounded like progress has been slow and frustrating, but it has been progress nonetheless.
“It’s better today than yesterday so I have to keep doing therapy here, in my house,” he said. “Don’t let the fingers fall asleep — just keep moving, moving. It depends on me. Nobody wants to play more than me, so I will be good in one week, I believe.”
• Curtis Granderson (hand) visited the doctor today. Girardi didn’t know the exact diagnosis, but said the timetable remains the same. Granderson will need four weeks before he can resume any activity.
• Joba Chamberlain (oblique) will be activated from the DL tonight. David Huff was designated for assignment to make room for Chamberlain. He pitched two innings Saturday and has just thrown off flat ground since. Girardi expects Chamberlain to return to his regular seventh-inning role fairly quickly.
• Andy Pettitte (back) threw 75 pitches today in a simulated game. Michael Pineda (shoulder) threw as well, but his outing was cut short. His arm was sound, but he cracked a nail and couldn’t continue. (Pineda had been scheduled to throw 60-70 pitches. I’m not sure how many he threw, but he fell short of that number.)
• Still no activity for Eduardo Nunez (rib) since his injury.
• Obviously, the bullpen is crowded now and then bench is thin, but Girardi wanted Ivan Nova here and not starting in Scranton. The Yankees have to worry about how rain will impact the schedule, Hiroki Kuroda’s bruised calf, David Phelps’ forearm and somewhat of an unknown in Vidal Nuno.
“We want all the pitching here,” Girardi said.