Bob Klapisch relates a story from last year's All-Star Game when Mo supposedly requested K-Rod's locker be placed on the other side of the clubhouse.
There's a story that Yankee insiders have been telling since the All-Star Game last July. As the Stadium clubhouse was being prepared for the influx of American Leaguers, Mariano Rivera pulled aside Yankees clubhouse manager Rob Cucuzza and made an emphatic request.
Keep K-Rod's locker on the other side of the room.
This doesn't sound like Mo, and we don't know who Klapisch's 'Yankee insiders' are, but if it's true, it really shows how unlikeable K-Rod is. If a guy like Mariano (who, by all accounts, is a great person and teammate) distanced himself from him, there must really be something wrong.
I personally hate K-Rod's theatrics on the mound. Some might ask how he's any different than Joba, but Joba is small potatoes compared to K-Rod. He's the Manny Ramirez of pitchers (falling to his knees, screaming, throwing his hands into the air, pumping his chest, etc.). Joba at his fist-pumping-est most doesn't come close to K-Rod's 'show' when he closes out a game.
Ironically, the closer most opposite K-Rod (in terms of temperament) will now be pitching across town from him.
Comparing the two closers via stats is difficult because K-Rod just turned 27 and has been pitching full-time since he was 21. Mo didn't debut as a full-time reliever until 26. K-Rod has a five year head-start. We can't compare them by age because they haven't pitched at the same ages save for one season. If we go by their first six years (the length of K-Rod's career), Mo had a better ERA+, lower WHIP and fewer HRs - the only stat in which K-Rod tops Mo is K/9. Perhaps we can compare their most recent six years... it's still the same: Mo leads in every category (including groundball and line drive rate) except strikeouts.
Is K-Rod's temperament the reason Mo dislikes him? Was Mo being over-sensitive last July?
- The Yanks won their ninth straight game Saturday afternoon, edging Detroit 4-3. Joba dominated the Tigers' 'B' lineup, throwing 3.1 innings of one run, four hit, no walk, five K ball.
Detroit's top prospect Rick Porcello didn't fare nearly as well: 2.1 ip, 4 h, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K. Of course, he's only 20.
Johnny Damon threw out a runner at home (yes, you read that right), and Melky went 2-3 with a double and a steal.