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Sweeny Says: Mariano Rivera On The Mound

Mariano Rivera

New York Yankees relief pitcher Mariano Rivera winds up in the sixth inning of the Yankees’ 9-2 loss to the Minnesota Twins in a spring training baseball game at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Fla., Sunday, March 13, 2011. Rivera threw 12 pitches, nine of them for strikes, and retired all three batters he faced. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

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Sweeny Murti
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A surer sign of spring you will not find than Mariano Rivera making his first appearance of the exhibition season. It’s usually a couple weeks after everyone else, but it’s more telling than any blooming flower or singing bird. And even those birds aren’t as well tuned as Rivera, who in his 2011 debut struck out three Twins batters on 12 pitches.

“It’s silly,” said Joe Girardi, who as manager inherited the finished product of Rivera and knew better than to mess with his spring training program. Rivera does whatever he wants to do and is ready when Opening Day rolls around. And the way he threw yesterday, Girardi said he’d be confident in Rivera if Opening Day was tomorrow.

Listen to Mariano Rivera after his outing against the Twins Sunday:

Russell Martin had never caught Rivera before. Not once. Not in a bullpen session, not on the side, not at all. He went to the mound before Rivera’s inning, got the sign for cutter and the sign for sinker, then went back behind the plate and watched what was as close to perfect as you will see on March 13th.

Listen to Russell Martin talk about Rivera’s outing:

Whatever fears and worries you have about the Yankees as Opening Day nears, you know one thing: Mariano Rivera will be ready.

Sweeny Murti
Yankees@wfan.com
www.twitter.com/YankeesWFAN

pixy Sweeny Says: Mariano Rivera On The Mound