New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera is known for shutting down tense, in-game situations. But he almost ignited one off the field.
Rivera reportedly told teammate Joba Chamberlain to zip it while he was talking to reporters before Saturday’s game, according to the New York Daily News.
Chamberlain, who was talking to fans and signing autographs when the incident occurred, was none too pleased.
When asked after the game what occurred, Chamberlain was not willing to share.
"I’m not talking about it," Chamberlain told the paper. "That’s between me and Mo."
On Sunday, Chamberlain said the two met and put the issue to rest.
”It’s one of those things, I’m around him more than I’m around my family,” Chamberlain said after arriving at the ballpark Sunday. ”He’s a brother to me. I’m pretty sure everyone has an argument with their sibling. We laughed and joked this morning. It’s just another day.”
It wasn’t just another argument, though.
The tension between the two Yankees reliever was real.
Rivera seemed to get sidetracked more than once while answering questions with Chamberlain bellowing in the background, and jokingly asked, ”Is this guy always loud like this?” Rivera then shouted to Chamberlain, ”Joba! Yo, bro, shush. Stop it.”
Chamberlain barked back that Rivera speaks to reporters every day, but ”I don’t get to see my family every day.” And when Rivera’s interview wrapped, Chamberlain said, ”Seriously. Don’t ever shush me again. I don’t get to see my family very often.”
On Sunday, Chamberlain said that no apologies were even necessary.
”For what?” he asked. ”It’s over with, it’s done, it’s not really an issue.”
Still, he said that he wouldn’t have approached the situation differently if he had the chance to do it all over again.
”I wouldn’t change anything I do in life,” he said. ”It happens, you fess up to it, you talk, you laugh and you move on. That’s all you can do. It’s not really a story to begin with.”
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It’s certainly not an issue to Yankees manager Joe Girardi.
”Everything is good there,” said Girardi, who acknowledged that he hadn’t spoken to either pitcher about the spat. ”You know, there’s a lot of things that happen during the course of the season, when you’re together all the time. There’s going to be things that happen.
Hopefully it’s not in front of people where you can see it, but sometimes it is,” he added. ”Brothers fight, little silly things. It’s over, as far as I’m concerned.”
Rivera was honored before Sunday’s game, his last scheduled visit to Kauffman Stadium – and the same place where he tore the ACL in his right knee shagging fly balls last season. Rivera was joined on the field by Royals general manager Dayton Moore and Hall of Famer George Brett.
Meanwhile, Chamberlain said he felt good after a 30-pitch bullpen session.
The reliever has been out since late April with a strained right oblique, but said he didn’t feel any discomfort while throwing a range of pitches at Kauffman Stadium. The plan is to send him on a rehabilitation assignment Tuesday for Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes Barre in Toledo.
”I think we’ll see how it feels Tuesday and go from there,” said Chamberlain, who joked that he would throw the first inning, and New York City tabloids would make a big deal of the starter-turned-reliever going back to being a starter in the same way they blew up the Rivera spat.
Chamberlain didn’t know whether he’d need more than one rehab outing.
”I’m just going to try to get in an inning Tuesday and see how I feel,” he said. ”Other than Tuesday, I don’t really know.”