Saturday, March 9, 2013

WBC: Team USA vs. Team Italy

Team USA is the only team in Pool D without a win with a 0-1 record after a loss to Team Mexico last night in their first game in the World Baseball Classic. Team Italy is the only team without a loss in Pool D after thumping Team Canada last night and shocking Team Mexico on Thursday. These two teams will face off tonight in a big game for Pool D and the United States. Team Italy has already locked up a spot to go to the next round so the USA is essentially in a must win if they want to advance to the next round.

Yankees Cut Two More Players From Spring Camp

The Yankees have cut two more minor league pitchers from Spring Training camp and reassigned them to minor league camps. Right handed pitchers Kelvin Perez and Tommy Kahnle were the cuts today and will continue their spring training with their minor league clubs. Neither had a real shot at making the team so no losses here and it is probably better for kelvin and Tommy to get regular work.

Braves Out Pitch The Yankees In Latest Spring Game

Yankees Lose 2-1

Mariano Rivera made his Spring Training debut to a standing ovation when Enter Sandman started playing. Rivera went an inning while getting Dan Uggla to pop up on the infield and striking out the next two batters. His cutter was working although his command could use a little bit of work, obvious rust, but he was sitting in the low 90's all afternoon long. Great sight to see Mo back on the mound in pinstripes.

Derek Jeter also made his spring debut as the Yankees lead off hitter and designated hitter. Jeter finished the day 1-2 with a single and ran the bases full speed with no problems. Jeter said everything went as planned and is still  on track to be ready for Opening Day against the Red Sox.

David Robertson, David Aardsma, and Phil Hughes all threw bullpens this morning and came through them just fine. No set backs, no reported pain, stiffness, soreness, etc. It was only 10 pitches for Phil Hughes but he expects to throw 25-30 pitches in the bullpen on Monday.

Jose Ramirez pitched four shut out innings against the Atlanta Braves in his latest dominant Spring Training performance. He had a scare in the 4th inning with what looked like a blister on his finger but he was allowed to stay in the game and finish his inning so it must have been nothing. Jose Ramirez is definitely opening some eyes this spring on the mound after being added to the 40 man roster.

Highlights From Mariano Rivera's Press Conference

Mariano Rivera officially announced that the 2013 season will be his final season in pinstripes and in baseball. He stated that he would have absolutely retired after the 2012 season had it not been for the ACL injury back in May of 2012 that cost him the season. Mo states that the "tank is empty, not for pitching but for traveling and hotels" and who could really blame the 43 year old closer. Mariano Rivera has nothing left to prove in baseball and in life and I am glad that he gets to go out his way.

Here is what Jorge Posada had to say about Mariano Rivera at the press conference:

"There is only one Mariano Rivera. There won't be another person who will come along and do what he did. No one does it like him. It was an honor to catch him and play alongside him for as long as I did. He made my job as a catcher so much easier. Mariano is a special person and obviously a special player.

I'm so happy he is going on on his terms. Now every time he steps into a ballpark this year, teams and fans can celebrate and appreciate what he has meant to this great game we play."

Mariano Rivera thanked the fans and told them he loved them before the press conference was over but I believe we are the one that owe you the gratitude and the thanks and the love Mo. you have done more for us and this team that we love than anyone ever could. There will never be another Mariano Rivera and that is a damn good thing too. Again thank you Mo and good luck in all your endeavors in the 2013 season and beyond with your wife Clara and your beautiful family.

#ExitSandman #1MoRing #28forMo

Atlanta Braves @ New York Yankees 3/9

The Yankees will host the Atlanta Braves in the latest Spring Training game this afternon at George Steinbrenner Field. The Yankees will send out Jose Ramirez to the mound looking to continue a very impressive spring training this year. The game will be televised at 1:00 pm ET on YES.

Thank You Mariano Rivera

Mariano Rivera will announce that 2013 will be his final season in a press conference this morning before the Yankees game with the Atlanta Braves. I just wanted to take this time to say thank you to Mariano Rivera for everything that he has done both on and off the field for the New York Yankees. I have been blessed to start watching him in 1995 and will watch him in his final season and everything in between. Record breaking save numbers, ridiculous post season numbers and performances, bat after bat after bat sawed off, and five World Series Championships among so much more that we absolutely cannot put into words. Thank you Mariano for 19 great seasons and we wish you nothing but the best in 2013 and beyond!

Spring Training 3/9/13 Lineup

Derek Jeter DH
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Eduardo Nunez SS
Juan Rivera 1B
Jayson Nix 3B
Matt Diaz LF
Chris Stewart C
Melky Mesa CF
Corban Joseph 2B

Start Time: 1:05 p.m.
TV: YES Network

Note: Mariano Rivera is slated to make his Spring Training debut, so make sure you tune in!

UPDATES: Derek Jeter went 1-for-2 today, with a lead-off single in the first inning. Mariano Rivera had a clean 1, 2, 3 5th inning, striking out two batters with effective cutters.

Mariano Rivera officially announces retirement following 2013 season

Mariano Rivera 2

When the press conference started at 10:00 a.m, Mariano Rivera started off the conference by joking thanks to Brian Cashman, he was able to get a two-year extension for the 2014 and 2015 season, even saying that it was out of the norm for the Yankees organization to make extensions during the year. However, his emotions turned serious when he said that after the 2013 season, the greatest closer would announce that he was retiring after the season ended.

From Brian Cashman, Hal Steinbrenner, the entire Yankees roster to his family, they each filled their seats in order to hear the iconic closer, begin his swan song, saying that although it was a difficult decision, the time to retire was now.

The factoring decision was there was only a little bit left in his tank, and he would use every "bullet" he had left this season. He got tired of the constant traveling, the hotel rooms but he would put his tiredness aside when it came time to get on the diamond and close games. The situation was different last season as Mariano tore his ACL and was sidelined for the rest of the 2012 season. He did say that if he didn't have the injury, then he would have retired but of course a prideful Mariano Rivera wouldn't have wanted to go out on a low note.

He thought of his teammates Andy Pettitte and Derek Jeter as his brothers, and even told his teammates to cherish every moment they have on the diamond together. He also said it's not a sad time for him, and he thanks God for allowing him to play America's favorite past time.

Players had their thoughts on Mariano Rivera retiring, but one player that stood out was Rivera's teammate for so many years; retired catcher, Jorge Posada. Posada released a statement about Mariano Rivera retiring:
"There is only one Mariano Rivera. There won’t be another person who will come along and do what he did. No one does it like him. It was an honor to catch him and play alongside him for as long as I did. He made my job as a catcher so much easier. Mariano is a special person and obviously a special player.

“I’m so happy he is going out on his terms. Now every time he steps into a ballpark this year, teams and fans can celebrate and appreciate what he has meant to this great game we play.”

But just because Mo plans to retire after the season, don't expect him to pull an "Andy Pettitte" and come back after retiring. For him, for the greatest closer...this is it. It's Mariano's personal 9th inning, and at the end of the season it will be Game Over for the sports greatest closer...forever.