There was a brief George Steinbrenner sighting yesterday. The Yankee owner barked off a couple of words to a pack of reporters and then tooled off in his golf cart. Nothing surprising but naturally enough to make the back pages on a slow sports day in New York.
No one in the Yankee universe is prepared to think about life after Mo, even though, at age 36 and his place in the Hall of Fame assured, it's agreed these now are all gravy seasons.
Good as he feels, even Rivera concedes the inevitable could happen at any time. A pitcher's arm can withstand just so much toil and stress. In his case, his durability has been almost as remarkable as his dominance.
"The last few years I've been feeling good," Rivera said after completing his physical. "Last year (in which he posted a 1.38 ERA with 43 saves and finished second in the Cy Young Award voting to Angels starter Bartolo Colon) I felt especially good. But only God knows where I'll be next year. I'll pitch as long as God lets me."
We can only hope it is for another few seasons.
Meanwhile, there are a couple of puff pieces about Mike Mussina and the possbility of his signing an extension, and, in a move that is bound to unleash wisecracks galore, the Bombers signed the hunky, and by now, clunky, starting pitcher Scott Erickson to a minor league contract. Thank you, Mr. Giambi, you old bird dog you.