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New York Yankee notes: Mo calls out West

You had to expect some reaction from the Yankees and Red Sox to umpire Joe West calling their slow play "pathetic and embarrassing."

I did not, however, expect that reaction to come from Mariano Rivera. And I absolutely never expected the elegant Rivera to so directly and harshly call out West.

"It's incredible," Rivera told The Post. "If he has places to go, let him do something else. What does he want us to do, swing at balls?" ...

"He has a job to do. He should do his job," Rivera said. "We don't want to play four-hour games, but that's what it takes. We respect and love the fans and do what we have to do, and that's play our game."

Just a couple of other notes this morning.

  • Nick Johnson has already shown the Yankees that his biggest value to their lineup is his patience.

    In this Moneyball era, in which on-base percentage has become the statistical holy grail, Johnson has become renowned for his penchant for not swinging - and getting on base. His 99 walks in 133 games last year were the second most in the National League, and his .426 on-base percentage trailed only Joe Mauer and Albert Pujols in all of baseball - a remarkable feat precisely because Johnson is not Mauer or Pujols and doesn't routinely get pitched around.

    It surprised when Johnson drove in the winning run in the Yankees' first victory of the year Tuesday night - with a bases-loaded walk. In his first two games as the Yankees new No. 2 hitter, Johnson got on base five times in 10 plate appearances, all without benefit of a hit. He has five walks and an HBP in three games, doing his job and doing it well, no disrespect to the man he replaced, Johnny Damon, a player with more power, better hair and a much more ebullient demeanor.

    "That's exactly why Nick was signed - to get on base," says Kevin Long, the Yankees hitting coach. "Jeter's gift is staying inside the ball. Alex's gift is his power. Nick's gift is his eye and his selectivity at the plate."

  • The Yankees announced the plans for Tuesday's World Series ring ceremony. Bernie Williams will throw out the first pitch.