If the New York Yankees plan to keep calling on Mariano Rivera in the ninth inning, they might want to think carefully about who would be handing him the ball.
Rivera isn't happy that Joe Torre could be out as manager in New York and said the team's decision will be factored into whether he returns.
"I don't feel good about it," Rivera said yesterday, two days after the Yankees' third straight first-round exit. "I don't see why they're even thinking [about letting Torre go]. I wish he's back, definitely. If you ask me what I would want, I want him back."
Rivera, who made $10.5 million this season, is eligible to become a free agent. He said whether Torre returns will help determine whether he remains with the Yankees, the only major league club he's pitched for.
"It might do a lot of it," he said. "I mean, I've been with Joe for so many years, and the kind of person he has been for me and for my teammates, it's been great. The thing is that I don't see why they have to put him in this position."
Rivera, who turns 38 Nov. 29, plans to speak with Torre soon.
"I'm an optimist, so hopefully nothing happens and he stays here," Rivera said.
But deciding Torre's fate might take the Yankees longer than their playoff run. Meetings on the manager's future won't start until tomorrow at the earliest and might not even begin until next week.
Since owner George Steinbrenner said last weekend that he didn't think Torre would remain if the Yankees failed to advance, players have urged the 77-year-old owner to retain the manager who helped New York overcome a 21-29 start and reach the playoffs for the 13th straight year.
A baseball official with knowledge of the team's intentions said the Yankees plan to make offers to Rivera, catcher Jorge Posada, and third baseman Alex Rodriguez before they are allowed to negotiate with other clubs.
The Yankees briefly barred reporters from some New York papers from entering the stadium yesterday until their photographers left the area by Torre's house in suburban Harrison, team spokesman Jason Zillo said.
Indians hang looseRain showers prevented Cleveland's players from getting in a final workout at Jacobs Field yesterday, so the Indians took their swings in the indoor batting cages to tune up for Josh Beckett, who will start for the Red Sox tomorrow night in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series.
If the Indians are feeling any pressure just eight wins away from their first World Series title since 1948, they aren't showing it. Their clubhouse looked more like a fraternity house's living room.
As former Red Sox outfielder Trot Nixon held court for reporters wanting to discuss his return to Red Sox Nation, Grady Sizemore walked by and couldn't help but take a swipe at his teammate.
"I'm the mayor of Boston," Sizemore said, mocking Nixon. "I'm seeking another term."
Indians manager Eric Wedge, who pushed all the right buttons against the Yankees in the Division Series, isn't planning any changes to his roster. Wedge, though, did make one slight alteration: he shaved his beard. Asked why he laughed and said, "We don't need to be talking about my shaving habits." . . . Cardinals reliever Russ Springer agreed to a one-year contract.