Well, we waited and waited for Rivera because we thought he would come during the game between the Yanks and the Diamondbacks. And the game dragged on. And on. It was a 3 1/2 hour game which saw the Yanks smash the D-backs 11-6 and featured a mammoth home run by Juan Miguel Miranda, the fellow who defected from Cuba on a raft. You’ll be hearing a lot more about him, possibly this coming season. A Dominican scout told me that he thought he’d make the Big Team this year. The guy’s a first baseman, so I don’t know where they might make room for him. Anyway, keep your eyes and ears open for this fellow. The Bombers lost their game with the Rockies, 3-0. So, the Yanks stand at 4-1 and the Bombers at 2-2. Today they play against each other, not the usual 5-inning intra-squad game, but a regularly-scheduled 9-inning affair.
So, Mariano didn’t make it, we thought. But, I walked into the cafeteria to eat a late lunch and there he was with his wife and some friends, sitting with a few of the players who had finished the game earlier, chowing down on rice, pork chops and salad. Dock, whom I mentioned in the last post, introduced me to him, so I got to say hello. Later, Victor Mata, El Jefe of the baseball teams here, the head coach, so to speak, showed him around the campus and they stopped to talk on the balcony outside my room. Mariano asked how the players were doing in the classes and I asked him how his elbow was after his late season injury (it’s fine). He graciously let me take a photo of him and Victor (see below). It was only after he left that I realized I should have asked Victor to take a photo of me and Mo together. I hardly ever think of taking my own photo, for some reason or another. If RJ visits, I’ll try to get a photo of him and me together.
Anyway, it was an eventful day, long to be remembered as the day I met Mariano Rivera, future Hall of Famer and All-Time Yankee Great!