Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Yankees David Robertson thinks Mariano Rivera 'might Brett Favre us'

David Robertson sounded a little skeptical after the New York Yankees closer-in-waiting was asked if he believes Mariano Rivera will hand over the position after this season.   Earlier this week, Rivera— the future Hall-of-Famer— said he made an "irrevocable" decision regarding his future but wasn't ready to reveal it.

Most pundits think the 42-year-old Rivera is ready to pack it in— all except the man with most to gain, Robertson— Rivera's presumed successor.

"He may have hinted, but you never know.  He could Brett Favre us," Robertson said on Tuesday morning before the Yankees' second pitchers and catchers workout of spring training.

Rivera— the all-time saves leader— sounded like he would call it a career after the 2012 season.

"Decisions like that are always hard.  Always," Rivera said on Monday.  "[It] involves what you do, it involves what you have done for 22 years, you know?"

"But at the same time, they have to be made."

Robertson had a breakout season in 2011 and emerged as one of the the major league's top relievers.

In 70 games, the 26-year-old had a 4-0 record, 1.08 ERA, and 100 K's in 66.2 innings— mostly as Rivera's set-up man.

He made the All-Star team for the first time last year.

The righthander was money on the mound but had manager Joe Girardi ready to cash him in a lot of games.  Robertson had the habit of loading the bases before striking out the side— which he always seemed to do.

The heir apparent says closing games is "something I would want to do, but I'm not going to focus on that right now," said Robertson.  "I'm not really worried about that at all.  All I'm worried about is the season that's upcoming."

Robertson said he knows where his priorities are "Get my outs, and get the ball the ball to Mo."

Asked if he is preparing to follow in the footsteps of the greatest reliever of all time someday.  Robertson didn't sound like a guy who thinks "someday" is coming next year.

"I'll believe it when I see it," said Robertson.

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