NYHC GIANT Posted February 14, 2007 Share Posted February 14, 2007 Give the best closer in baseball history his money so we can put these articles about "no respect" to rest. TAMPA -- Mariano Rivera acknowledged the absence of longtime teammate Bernie Williams on Monday, calling it "strange." Could players be saying the same thing about the Yankees closer one year from now? Rivera's commitment to the team expires after 2007, and while he said he would love to retire in New York, he realizes that scenario is not yet certain. "Definitely, I want to finish my career here," Rivera said. "But if they don't give me the respect that I deserve, [if]I have to move on, I have to move on. The Yankees always give me respect. When it comes to these times, I don't like to talk about it." Rivera -- with Williams' apparent parting, now the longest-tenured Yankees big leaguer -- met the media near the front entrance of the Yankees' Minor League complex, his words draped by the background of passing traffic. Though he appears to have given some thought to his baseball fate, Rivera insisted that he is not upset. Rivera's focus, he said, remains on helping the 2007 Yankees accomplish their goal of a World Series championship. That mission begins Tuesday, as pitchers and catchers officially report to Legends Field. As Rivera noted, he is under contract with the team, and would not let any uncertainty concerning his future creep into his current obligations. "I'm not that kind of player," Rivera said. "I play for the team. I'm a team player. I don't have to think about that stuff." Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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