This weekend, spring training has a different feel for some of the New York Yankees. While a separate squad is playing games in Florida, the other half of the team will be taking an international trip to visit their great friend, Mariano Rivera, in his home country of Panama. It is a trip that the Yankees are taking to honor their former teammate. After the service Rivera gave as a closer, he is showing his teammates how he is serving his country.
On Friday, Rivera took a group of Yankees that included Jennifer Steinbrenner Swindal, the daughter of the late George Steinbrenner, manager Joe Girardi, team president Randy Levine, outfielder Brett Gardner, Willie Randolph, and many others on a tour of the famous Panama Canal. After the tour, the Sandman took Derek Jeter and David Robertson to a children’s hospital.
Brett Gardner couldn’t have said it better when he told the media about Rivera’s importance, even when he is a former Yankee:
He’s been such a fixture with the Yankees for such a long time. Such a leader and such a great presence in the clubhouse,” said Gardner. “We definitely miss him. Obviously wish him well in the next phase of his life. We love him and support him and that’s why we’re here.
The New York Yankees will be playing two games with the Miami Marlins at Rod Carew Stadium in Panama this weekend. It all starts Saturday at 9:05 PM ET when Adam Warren will take on Miami pitcher Brad Hand. In Sunday’s 2:05 ET game, CC Sabathia will take on Nathan Eovaldi. Neither game will be on TV, but we will have recaps for each game here at Yanks Go Yard.