• Oh, Mo, Exit Sandman

    Posted by on May 4th, 2012 · Comments (21)

    I just hate it when I go to bed on a twisted knee and wake-up to find a torn ACL. And, oh, how it happened…talk about really getting fuc…, er, I mean, shagged.

    What a day for Jayson Nix, huh? The excitement of being called up to the Yankees, back in the big leagues, being in the starting line-up, and then hitting the BP fly ball that ended Mo Rivera’s season and most likely his career.

    Of course, Nix is not to blame. But, now he has his name in Yankees history, for all-time, for a very sad reason. I feel bad for Nix. I hope he’s not taking this too hard.

    I feel terrible for Rivera. This is not the way that his career is supposed to end. Granted, he’s an automatic first ballot Hall of Famer. That’s locked up. And, the odds are in his favor that he will be the all-time career saves leader for the rest of his life. But, it would have been nice to see him go out with a special moment during his last All-Star appearance and an even bigger moment during his last appearance, in uniform, as an active player, at Yankee Stadium.

    I just hope this doesn’t become an excuse for the Yankees when they don’t make the post-season this year. It would not be right for the front office and/or players to get a buddy-pass on a bad job this season because Rivera blew out his knee.

    The interesting question now is: Who will close for the Yankees in 2012? Do they use the guy with the best stuff (David Robertson) or the guy who is getting paid like a closer (Rafael Soriano)?

    And, yes, I don’t think that Mo is coming back from this situation. Rehabilitation after ACL surgery may take several months to a year. So, you’re looking at a return in 2013. And, Rivera will be 43 at the end of this season. Plus, he was hinting that he wanted to retire after this season. When you add this all up, it sounds like the end of a career.

    May 3rd, 2012 won’t ring in the minds of Yankees fans the way that August 2nd, 1979 does…and with good reason. Rivera had a great career, perhaps the one of the greatest of all-time, and he has the rest of his life in front of him. But, I think that Yankees fans will now always think of him whenever New York plays in Kansas City – especially when there’s a fly ball in the spot where Rivera was injured during BP. The whole thing is just terribly sad.

    It seems like a bad dream.

    Sleep with one eye open.
    Gripping your pillow tight.

    Exit light.
    Enter night.
    Take my hand.
    We’re off to never-never land.

    Comments on Oh, Mo, Exit Sandman

    1. May 4th, 2012 | 6:55 am

      Oh, and, by the way, this morning, the Yankees find themselves closer to last place, than first place, in the A.L. East. New York is just one game over .500 after their first 25 games of the season. That would be the story in Yankeeland today, if not for the news on Rivera.

    2. MJ Recanati
      May 4th, 2012 | 9:01 am

      Steve L. wrote:

      Oh, and, by the way, this morning, the Yankees find themselves closer to last place, than first place, in the A.L. East. New York is just one game over .500 after their first 25 games of the season. That would be the story in Yankeeland today, if not for the news on Rivera.

      They’ve been in this same position before many times. It’s April. Relax, there’s so much baseball left to come.

    3. MJ Recanati
      May 4th, 2012 | 9:18 am

      Steve L. wrote:

      I just hope this doesn’t become an excuse for the Yankees when they don’t make the post-season this year. It would not be right for the front office and/or players to get a buddy-pass on a bad job this season because Rivera blew out his knee.

      I added the emphasis on “when” to highlight how premature you’re being in already calling the 2012 season over for the Yankees. It’s May 4th. Deep breaths. Stay away from sharp objects. Step away from the ledge.

    4. May 4th, 2012 | 9:32 am

      @ MJ Recanati:
      Yankees only have 3 SP and now just two non-LOOGY RP in the pen with any late game experience. They are counting on a 39-year old Andy Pettitte to come out of retiremnet, after being out a year, to save their staff.

      A-Rod, Cano and Tex are slumping…and A-Rod and Tex are coming off down years last season.

      The Yankees bench is basically Andruw Jones.

      All the deep breaths in the world ain’t changing this.

    5. MJ Recanati
      May 4th, 2012 | 10:32 am

      Steve L. wrote:

      Yankees only have 3 SP

      The Yankees have a five-man rotation, just like the other 29 teams in baeball. That you or I may only personally trust some portion of that rotation doesn’t mean that other teams don’t have the same — or other –challenges to overcome.

      Steve L. wrote:

      A-Rod, Cano and Tex are slumping

      It’s May 4th. If they’re still slumping in August, it’s a different story. A player can change the course of his offensive season in a matter of a few days or weeks.

      Steve L. wrote:

      A-Rod and Tex are coming off down years last season.

      True. So was Derek Jeter after 2010 (and 2008). So was Curtis Granderson after 2010. You can’t make declarative statements about a season on May 4th.

      Steve L. wrote:

      The Yankees bench is basically Andruw Jones.

      I can’t argue this. Whether it’s Cashman or Girardi, the mishandling of Swisher’s injury is curious at best. He should’ve been put on the DL immediately so that reinforcements could’ve been called up. Fortunately this state of short-handedness won’t last too much longer.

      Steve L. wrote:

      All the deep breaths in the world ain’t changing this.

      You choose to worry over minutiae and you choose to ignore the problems of the Yankees’ potential playoff spot competitors. It’s a choice to be this anxious and it’s a choice to be so mindful of your own team’s warts while ignoring the warts of others. There’s an appropriate level of worry but I think you’re overstating the importance of these points just a little.

    6. Raf
      May 4th, 2012 | 1:53 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      Steve L. wrote:
      The Yankees bench is basically Andruw Jones.
      I can’t argue this. Whether it’s Cashman or Girardi, the mishandling of Swisher’s injury is curious at best. He should’ve been put on the DL immediately so that reinforcements could’ve been called up. Fortunately this state of short-handedness won’t last too much longer.

      Yeah, I still don’t know what’s that all about. I mean, Nunez in the OF? Really?

    7. May 4th, 2012 | 2:21 pm

      BTW, where are all our Yankees fans today? No one wants to share thoughts on Mo?

    8. MJ Recanati
      May 4th, 2012 | 2:22 pm

      Raf wrote:

      I mean, Nunez in the OF? Really?

      I get the idea that Nunez playing the OF expands his utility to the team and, really, we already know he’s an atrocious defensive infielder so maybe he’s better-suited to the OF. The reality, however, is that you can’t just stick a guy in the OF when he’s only played a total of 36 career innings out there (never played there in the minors).

      If Nunez is to be transitioned to a LF role, he should be in Triple-A learning how to play the position. Otherwise, DL Swisher and call up a goddamn backup OF.

    9. Garcia
      May 4th, 2012 | 3:19 pm

      Steve L. wrote:

      BTW, where are all our Yankees fans today? No one wants to share thoughts on Mo?

      It’s shocking, to the point where it has me numb, and w/o much to say. It’s sad, very, very sad. I miss him already. Not much to say here, I think.

    10. #15
      May 4th, 2012 | 5:05 pm

      @ Steve L.:
      We are grieving for the loss of a hero and need a little quite time to ourselves.

      Can’t hardly believe this is how it might end. It was excruciating to watch during the pregame last night, but I must have replayed it 20 times. He deserves to go out better. Maybe he gets fired up to come back next year but I doubt it. Too big of an injury, too late in his career. The one similarity to Thurman…. Both deserved a chance to hear the accolades while they were still wearing the uniform.

      Andy to the rotation, Hughes to the pen, D-Rob to the closer role. Someone needs to burn the bags carrying the team bats. Other than Jeter, who is freaking on fire, the rest of them look lost at the plate.

    11. Raf
      May 4th, 2012 | 6:12 pm

      Steve L. wrote:

      BTW, where are all our Yankees fans today? No one wants to share thoughts on Mo?

      Shocked and numb, I imagine.

    12. Raf
      May 4th, 2012 | 6:14 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      If Nunez is to be transitioned to a LF role, he should be in Triple-A learning how to play the position. Otherwise, DL Swisher and call up a goddamn backup OF.

      My thoughts exactly. I can understand being pushed into the role in a pinch, but he’s been out there longer than I would’ve expected, given the OF’ers in the minors.

    13. redbug
      May 4th, 2012 | 6:23 pm

      @ Raf:

      Shocked and numb is apt.

      Mo hinted this was his last season. We all knew this amazing ride had to end some day. It’s been years really that he’s been getting a standing ovation whenever he comes in, but it’s been louder and longer this year. So well earned. The Yanks never would’ve made the post season all these years w/o him.

      Mo is such a good man. He makes me proud to be a Yankee fan (same w/ Jeter).

      His career shouldn’t end this way. It should be on the mound – post season or not. Not in Kansas City, in the outfield, before the game. Though Mo loved playing the outfield. He always wanted to play a game ou there. Maybe it’s sort of fitting.

      Damn.

    14. BOHAN
      May 4th, 2012 | 8:06 pm

      “I’m coming back. Write it down in big letters.” — thats what Mo said today. So I think there is a good chance we’ll see him next year now.
      To start being all “gloom and doom’ about the Yankees season is insane. Like many others have said its only May 4th and only 25 games into the season. There’s 5 months and 137 games left in this season. Let’s not get all crazy and say the season is over in May.

    15. Evan3457
      May 4th, 2012 | 8:09 pm

      Mo will be back. He’s said so.

      =======================================

      I can’t pretend to tell you how the injury to Mo affects the clubhouse, but I can tell you this: the Yanks are better off than most teams would be, if they lost a top closer.

      In the first place, they have David Robertson.
      In the second place, if he can’t handle it psychologically, they have Soriano, who closed for the Rays (in the AL East, you know?) just two years ago.
      In the third place, having to replace a closer is not nearly the catastrophic blow some people might think it is, to wit:

      The Nationals are currently on their 3rd closer of the season, having lost both Storen and Lidge to injury. They’re 16-9.

      The Giants have lost Wilson to a season ending injury. His replacement, Casilla is 4-0 in save situations.

      After a 6-9 start, the Reds are 3-3. Having lost Madson to a season ending injury, his replacement, Sean Marshall is 5 for 6 in closing out games.

      The Jays are doing just fine without Sergio Santos. The Rays are gangbusters without Kyle Farnsworth. OK, the Red Sox probably could’ve used Bailey here and there.

      Here’s the topper: Last season, the season-opening closer for the Cards was Ryan Franklin. He lost the closer’s job in mid-April to Fernando Salas, who amassed 24 saves in holding the job until late September, and then lost the closer’s role to Jason Motte. All Motte did was close out a title.

      In the fourth place, Robertson and Soriano are not the only pitchers with late inning experience on the Yankees’ roster. When Pettitte comes back, if Hughes hasn’t gotten going in the rotation, he goes to the pen, and plugs up the 7th inning hole left by moving Soriano up.

      ==============================================
      Whether this plays out emotionally as well as I foresee…that, I couldn’t tell you. Everyone has to accept their new role and do their jobs. And they’ll miss Mo, even if things go well.

      If everyone does their job, it’s still probably gonna cost the Yanks 1-3 games over the course of the season. But strategically, the Yanks are as well-set for such a loss as they can be. As they should be, because they’ve been planning for this for at least 2 years now.

    16. Evan3457
      May 4th, 2012 | 8:10 pm

      Oops. Reds are 6-3 after a 6-9 start.

    17. Ryan81
      May 4th, 2012 | 10:43 pm

      I just want to be on record for this now that Mo basically guaranteed an attempted comeback: Cashman will most definitely offer him a minor league contract. He played hardball with a 37 year old Jeter (wanted to pay like an average shortstop because they thought his production would bottom out to that of an average shortstop), no way he doesn’t try to strong arm a 43 year old reliever whose coming off a torn ACL that won’t allow him to start start pitching again until December/January at the earliest.

      And if you thought the Jeter negotiations were contentious, imagine asking Mariano Rivera to agree to show up at Yankees spring training without a guaranteed roster spot…

    18. May 5th, 2012 | 8:18 am

      I agree.

      I know it was the right thing for Mo to say he’s coming back.

      But, I don’t want to see him on the mound as a 43-year old with a huge knee brace on his push-off leg under his uniform.

      And, yes, the Yankees will not pay him what he’s making now. They are supposedly looking to lower their payroll. And, Mo is a very proud man. I don’t see him taking a contract for $1.5 million or something like that.

      It’s almost better to say this is the end than to see this get ugly next year.

    19. MJ Recanati
      May 7th, 2012 | 9:29 am

      @ Ryan81:
      Except that Jeter was coming off a bad year and had no leverage in the marketplace. It’s highly probable that a team would take a one-year, multi-million dollar flier on the best closer in baseball history and, because of that high probability, Rivera would have the leverage needed to keep Cashman’s offer honest at fair market prices.

      No one was going to give Derek Jeter even 50% of what the Yankees offered him, least of all on a multi-year basis. As such, the Yankees had the leverage to put downward pressure on Jeter’s contract demands.

    20. MJ Recanati
      May 7th, 2012 | 9:32 am

      Steve L. wrote:

      I don’t see him taking a contract for $1.5 million or something like that.

      The Yankees won’t low-ball Rivera because there will be plenty of suitors lined up to offer him more than $1.5M. Joe Nathan got a two year deal worth a shade under $4M/season after pitching 45 ineffective non-closer innings in 2011 and not pitching at all in 2010.

    21. Raf
      May 7th, 2012 | 1:25 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      The Yankees won’t low-ball Rivera because there will be plenty of suitors lined up to offer him more than $1.5M. Joe Nathan got a two year deal worth a shade under $4M/season after pitching 45 ineffective non-closer innings in 2011 and not pitching at all in 2010.

      Yep. Rivera’s situation doesn’t compare to Bernie’s, Jeter’s or Posada’s situations.

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