Mariano Rivera said his chances of returning from major knee surgery for last year’s Yankees postseason were very slim, but if he made it back, baseball’s all-time saves leader would have retired. However, Rivera said that mindset is not influencing his decision on whether to continue playing after this season. “It has no impact on what I do,’’ said Rivera, who stated he has made a retirement decision but has not made it public. So how close was Rivera to making it back last October? “Not close — they shut me down early,’’ said the 43-year old with 608 saves. Rivera, who suffered a torn right ACL in early May, has not been limited in workouts and will throw a third bullpen session tomorrow. * Mark Teixeira’s offseason program included ways to avoid the injuries that limited him to 123 games last year, when he batted .251 with 24 homers and 84 RBIs. He was bothered by wrist and calf injuries and suffered from a bronchial infection early in the season. “I wanted to be smarter,” Teixeira said. “Why do I get injured?” Teixeira said he is enjoying the Yankees being underdogs. “It’s fun when everyone counts us out,” Teixeira said. * Travis Hafner brought a first baseman’s glove to camp, but unless somebody else needs it, the leather won’t get used. “I haven’t thrown much in the last five years,’’ the left-handed hitting DH said. “I haven’t [taken ground balls] for a couple of years. Usually people who need first-base mitts call me.’’ * Highly regarded pitching prospect Mike Montgomery was slated to throw batting practice, but was scratched with a strained back.
Mo: ’12 playoffs eyed as ‘closer’
New York Post | Feb 18