Yankees notebook: Mariano Rivera cherishes his final opener - The Jewish Voice
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Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Yankees notebook: Mariano Rivera cherishes his final opener

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On the final Opening Day of his career, Yankees closer Mariano Rivera returned to the outfield to shag fly balls during batting practice, just like he did on the day he tore his ACL last season.

“Yes, I did,” Rivera said. “It felt good. I didn’t go full-strength, but I will at one point. It feels good. I will continue doing it. I won’t change anything.”

At 43 years old, Rivera would have retired this season if not for last year’s fluke season-ending injury along the warning track in Kansas City. He instead announced in spring training that this will be his final season.

“To me, being here is a blessing,” Rivera said. “Having the opportunity one more time to be part of this team and have another Opening Day here at home, it means a lot. That, I will always appreciate.”

Jeter continues rehab: Left behind at the Yankees’ spring-training complex in Florida, Derek Jeter played catch and got treatment on his sore left ankle Monday. He has not played in a game since March 23, and hopes of him joining the Yankees on Saturday seem overly ambitious.

“There is no exact schedule for Derek because it’s what his ankle allows him to do,” manager Joe Girardi said. “We’re really not going to know that until he goes out there.”

Good news for Teixeira and Hughes: Re-examined by the Yankees’ medical staff on Monday, first baseman Mark Teixeira received clearance to remove the brace from his injured right wrist except during workouts.

“It was the news that I wanted to hear,” he said.

Phil Hughes came through a seven-inning extended spring-training start on Monday and seems likely to make a rehab start for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Saturday, setting up a likely season debut on April 11.

Yankee clippings: David Phelps pitched out of the Yankees’ bullpen but remains on track to start Saturday. … Ichiro Suzuki batted seventh against the lefty Jon Lester but will move up to No. 2 in the lineup against right-handers. … The teams wore commemorative patches and observed a pregame moment of silence to honor the victims and first responders of the Sandy Hook school shooting. … With the addition of Vernon Wells, the Yankees once again opened with baseball’s highest payroll. … The Yankees announced an attendance of 49,514, the largest Opening Day crowd at the current Yankee Stadium.

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