Mar
09

Spring Training Game Thread: The Beginning of the End

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(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

This afternoon, Mariano Rivera will make the first appearance of his final season as a player. The long-time closer officially announced he will retire at the end of the season this morning, meaning the farewell tour is underway. Today will be his last first Spring Training appearance and tomorrow will bring another last first something. It’s bittersweet.

The exciting thing is that Rivera will not be the only legacy Yankee to make his Grapefruit League debut today. Derek Jeter is also in the lineup for the first time and will unsurprisingly DH. It will be a few days/weeks before he gets back on the field and plays shortstop in a game following his offseason ankle surgery. Here’s the lineup.

  1. DH Derek Jeter
  2. RF Ichiro Suzuki
  3. SS Eduardo Nunez
  4. 1B Juan Rivera
  5. 3B Jayson Nix
  6. LF Matt Diaz
  7. C Chris Stewart
  8. CF Melky Mesa
  9. 2B Corban Joseph

And on the mound is the organization’s 12th best prospect, right-hander Jose Ramirez. No word on the second stringers, but Rivera will indeed pitch today.

This afternoon’s game is scheduled to start a little after 1pm ET and it can be seen on both YES and MLB.tv (no local blackout). Enjoy.

  • http://www.retire21.org first name only male

    Mo is clearly the greatest closer in history. Miles ahead of whoever you want to put in second place. Can anyone think of a player, in any sport, who has dominated his position as uch as Mo? The only person that comes to mind is Jerry Rice.

    • CS Yankee

      Wilt

      • trr

        no; not close. And time will only add to his legend.

    • Kevin

      I would agree, but it’s complicated by the question of whether relief pitching is just for starters who couldn’t cut it, or if it’s a unique position. Is it more like saying the best shortstop or more like being the best pinch hitter? There’s definitely an argument that a guy like Verlander could have been twice the pitcher Mariano was.

      • http://www.retire21.org first name only male

        Interesting arguent. While I don’t think Verlander would be twice the closer Mo is, it would be interesting to be able to project something like that.

        I think that looking at a Closer as a “failed pitcher” is kind of like considering a 3B a “failed shortstop” or a 1B as a “failed 3B”. I think you need to view each position individually.

        • Kevin

          I agree to an extent, but you can’t just ignore that the players who become closers would normally be kept as starters if they show any aptitude for it. Now, many starters can’t be relievers for psychological or workload related reasons; but I can’t think of any reason a pitcher would have the “stuff” to start but lack the “stuff” to pitch in relief. But many players have lacked the stuff to start and instead pitched well in relief, and almost every pitcher’s stuff plays up out of the bullpen.

          • Improbable Island’s Dirty Midget Whores (formerly RRR)

            You know what though? I don’t think if you put some Frankenstein version of Pedro Martinez, Sandy Koufax,and Whitey Ford combined he would be able to come anywhere close to the dominance that Mo has had in relief pitching. Whatever the reason it really is a different animal than starting.

    • Sweet Dick Willie

      Gretzky?

      8 MVPs his first 8 years in the league.

      • Improbable Island’s Dirty Midget Whores (formerly RRR)

        Yep. Absolutely.

    • Improbable Island’s Dirty Midget Whores (formerly RRR)

      Ruth. LT. Jordan. Gretzky.

      DEFINITELY Gretzky, actually. Here’s a fun fact: If you take out every goal Gretzky ever scored he’d STILL have the record for most points in assists alone.

  • Ron

    Ramirez has been amazing this spring if he pitches like this in AA he can be an option next year for the 5th starter.

  • Mykey

    Man Ramirez has been fun to watch.

  • Havok9120

    It’s fun to watch a guy bust a move in ST.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    I’d wager the light turnout on here is because SPRING IS HERE, if only for a few days.

    • Havok9120

      Is it nice up there for you guys too? Beautiful couple of days here.

  • Havok9120

    Well, who had Ramirez in the pool?

  • trr

    that was some bottom of the 9th – first and second, nobody out, and we get an awful strike out and 3 groundballs that my grandmother could’ve hit harder. I know we’re missing pieces, but this team sucks offensively. There, I said it

    • Improbable Island’s Dirty Midget Whores (formerly RRR)

      Meh, I’ll wait until the regular season before I get frustrated over RISPfail.

      • trr

        well improb, you’ve only got 3 weeks to wait…

        • Improbable Island’s Dirty Midget Whores (formerly RRR)

          True. We’ll see, won’t we?