Position players reported to Spring Training today — everyone arrived on time and everyone passed their physicals, no issues this year — and a special guest instructor showed up as well: Mariano Rivera. “I’ve decided to come back,” he joked. He’ll be in camp for ten days or so. The odds Rivera could come back this year and dominate are like, 95%, right? Right. Here is the rest of the day’s news from Tampa:
- It was a pretty light day on the mound. Esmil Rogers (live batting practice) and Justin Wilson (bullpen session) were the only no doubt Opening Day roster guys to throw. All the catchers took batting practice and Carlos Beltran went through a full workout. The rest of the position players begin working out tomorrow. [Chad Jennings]
- Mark Teixeira said he lost 15 lbs. of fat and gained 13 lbs. of muscle this offseason by changing his diet — “No gluten. No dairy. No sugar. No fun.” — and getting back to lifting heavy weights. He feels much stronger than last year. Oh, and Foul Territory is not coming back. Lame. [Jack Curry, Brendan Kuty, Jennings]
- Alex Rodriguez spoke to Joe Girardi and will work out at first base this spring. “I’d run through a wall for Joe,” he said. Girardi said he is planning to play A-Rod in the first or second Grapefruit League game next week. [David Lennon, Erik Boland]
- Quote of the day from new hitting coach Jeff Pentland: “I’m only a good hitting coach if we have good players. I’m not a fool to think I’m better than the players.” [Boland]
Here is your nightly open thread. The Knicks, Nets, and Devils are playing, and there’s a ton of college hoops on as well. Talk about those games or anything else here.