Thursday, August 13, 2009

Cranky, Eh?

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.


  1. I know, I noticed that too! I seriously can't help but imagine Mo and his arm getting into chick-fights, like his arm is PMS-ing and is wailing about men and ice cream or something.

  2. Hahaha @ Crazy Yankee Chick...I feel like Mo hasn't looked as dominant since he came in for Hughes, in the game CC pitched against Chicago. He's still been sooo awesome, but just going off of watching him all the time, it seems like his location has been a little off lately. I don't have stats to support this, it's just something I feel like I'm seeing from at bat, to at bat. On the other hand, Mo's walked 7 dudes this entire season (filth) so I'm clearly a moron. Buuut, out of the 39 hits he's allowed this season, 8 have come since 8/02, which happens to be that Chicago game. Here's to hoping everything alright!

    Said this the only other time I commented here but I love this blog!

  3. "Cranky" for Girardi has become what "balky" was for Torre and, given Girardi's propensity for vagueness if not outright lying about injuries, I for one am a bit concerned about this news about Mariano's shoulder. In good part, though, it's as Jay said--Mariano is as central to this team as anyone, and everyone knows it. Hopefully this is just a stretch that he endures at various times, can get some rest, and be fine. Any soreness might have been exacerbated by all the close games right after the break, when he pitched in five of six games. All were close, but the really annoying one was July 22 against Baltimore, when Bruney allowed the two two-out homers in the 9th and couldn't finish the job himself, and Mariano had to come in to salt it. That crap needs to go down the stretch.

  4. Sorry, I didn't insert "Jason from The Heartland" for my name in the comment immediately above.