If this bit of news were recorded by PeteAbe himself and not his fill-in Josh Thomson, I wouldn't have needed to make this connection:
Mariano Rivera didn’t throw at all today and was unavailable to pitch. “He was feeling a little cranky today,” Joe Girardi said. Rivera told us his right shoulder was sore, but he did not classify the soreness as painful. He said he has felt this pain before and felt fine soon after. Girardi said he’d be “shocked” if Rivera weren’t available tomorrow in Seattle.
Of course, "cranky" was the term Girardi used at the end of last season, when Mariano was supposedly leaving to go back to New York from Toronto for "a physical" instead of going with the team to Boston:
Girardi was asked several times and in several ways whether Rivera had an injury to his elbow and shoulder. He denied it every time. The questions were very exact. “He said his whole body was cranky,” Girardi said.
The beat writers all found this to be perplexing, since Rivera could have got a physical just about anywhere and if they were intent on having it done by a certain team doctor, they could have flown him out to Mo, not the other way around. Some of the writers called Brian Cashman, who said that Rivera need an MRI which ultimately revealed that he needed surgery.
Again Mariano is making travel arrangements separate from the team for personal reasons, according to Thomson in the same article. Marc Carig of the Star Ledger talked to team spokesperson Jason Zillo who said it has nothing to do with health issues. "No tests were done and none are scheduled" and Mo will be in Seattle for the game.
Is there a reason that Girardi chooses "cranky"? Cranky is a strange and vague term to use for describing injuries. We all know was "sore" and "stiff" and "tight" mean. It seems like cranky is his go-to line when he doesn't want to give away information about an injury because it means nothing to anyone but him. Cranky is what a four year old is when you wake them up from a nap. Cranky is how your grandmother got when your little brother broke her lamp.
Rivera hits these rough patches seemingly every season and Girardi has dramatically improved the way he relates to the media so hopefully the the connection is nothing more than semantics. If nothing else, every time there is an sort of uncertainty about Rivera's health, it makes you take stock of how important and valuable he is to the team. In Mo we trust.