Friday, October 31, 2014

Ex-Yankees Closer Rivera Doesn't Think A-Rod's Return Will Be a Distraction

Former Yankees Closer Mariano Rivera doesn't think next season's return of Alex Rodriguez to the team will be a distraction.

Rivera, talking to The New York Post's Mike Puma yesterday, actually seemed to give Rodriguez a rather good amount of sympathy. According to the future Hall of Famer, since the troubled third baseman has accepted his punishment, he should be considered just as legitimate as everyone else going into next April, an opinion many tend to disagree with.

“He paid his dues, he paid his suspension and he’s legitimate like the rest of the league," Rivera said. "Hopefully he comes ready to play and does well for the team, because he has a contract. He has to be there for the team and hopefully he does well.”

Rivera added that with Derek Jeter now gone he's not sure whose team the Yankees are now. One month into their offseason, as most have probably noticed, numerous names have already come up as possible successors to the longtime Pinstripes' shortstop, those of Hanley Ramirez, Korean Free Agent Jung-Ho Kang, and Asdrubel Cabrera included.

“I don’t know whose team it’s going to be – as long as [Rodriguez] performs for the team,” he said.

That's certainly a big "as long as," especially when one considers that Rodriguez hasn't played more than 100 games since 2012. Nonetheless, since he did still hit a respectale .272 that year it'd be illogical for the baseball world to not at least give him another chance in 2015, regardless of what off-the-field issues he's recently gotten himself into.

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)