Mariano Rivera expected to miss rest of season with torn ACL in right knee

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UPDATE: Mariano Rivera addressed reporters a short while ago, confirming that he has a torn ACL in his right knee and also hinted that there is damage to his meniscus.

Rivera was quite emotional throughout, particularly after being asked whether he’ll attempt to come back from the injury or call it a career (via Bryan Hoch of MLB.com).

“At this point, I don’t know,” Rivera said, repeating softly, “At this point, I don’t know. I have to face this first.”

11:37 PM: Uh-oh. According to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com, Mariano Rivera was diagnosed with a torn ACL in his right knee.

It’s being called a “preliminary report” and Rivera will travel back to New York to see team doctors, but he will almost certainly miss the rest of the season. Just awful. Let’s hope he doesn’t go out like this.

8:10 PM: YES Network has posted video of the injury. Check it out if you want to be thoroughly depressed.

7:54 PM: This is extremely preliminary, but Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News reports that Rivera was diagnosed with a “twisted right knee” after being examined by a Royals’ associate physician and Yankees trainers.

We’ll know something more definitive after he undergoes an MRI tonight.

7:35 PM: Yankees bullpen coach Mike Harkey told Sweeny Murti of WFAN that Rivera indeed slipped on the warning track while shagging fly balls on the warning track.

They actually just showed the replay of the injury on the YES broadcast and well, it doesn’t look good at all. We’re still awaiting official word on the exact nature of the injury.

7:27 PM: Troubling news for the Yankees.

According to Erik Boland of New York Newsday, Mariano was carted off the field after suffering an apparent injury to his right knee during batting practice. Sweeny Murti of WFAN reports that the injured occurred when Rivera was shagging fly balls.

Daniel Barbasi of the Wall Street Journal reports that Rivera was “smiling and laughing” as he was being carted off, but that the all-time saves leader needed to be helped into the Yankees clubhouse by manager Joe Girardi and wasn’t putting any weight on his right leg. We’ll pass along an update as soon as it’s made available.

Rivera, who has hinted at retirement following 2012, has a 2.16 ERA, five saves and an 8/2 K/BB ratio over 8 1/3 innings of work this season. The 42-year-old right-hander hasn’t had a stint on the disabled list since 2003.

MLB to crack down on sign stealing

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We’ve had a couple of notable incidents of sign stealing in Major League Baseball over the past couple of years. Most famously, the Red Sox were found to be using Apple Watches of all things to relay signs spied via video feed. Sports Illustrated reported yesterday that there have been other less-publicized and unpublicized incidents as well, mostly with in-house TV cameras — as opposed to network TV cameras — stationed in the outfield and trained on catchers, for the specific purpose of stealing signs.

As such, SI reports, Major League Baseball is cracking down beginning this year. Within the next couple weeks an already-drafted and circulated rule will take effect which will (a) ban in-house outfield cameras from foul pole to foul pole; (b) will limit live broadcasts available to teams to the team’s replay official only, and the replay official will be watched by a league official to keep them from relaying signs to the team; and (c) other TV monitors that are available to the clubs will be on an eight-second delay to prevent real-time sign stealing. There will likewise be limits on TV monitors showing the game feed in certain places like tunnels and clubhouses.

Penalties for violation of the rules will include the forfeiting of draft picks and/or international spending money. General managers will have to sign a document in which they swear they know of know sign-stealing schemes.

As was the case when the Apple Watch incident came up, there will not be any new rules regarding old fashioned sign stealing by runners on second base or what have you, as that is viewed as part of the game. Only the technology-aided sign stealing that has become more prominent in recent years — but which has, of course, existed in other forms for a very, very long time — is subject to the crackdown.

While gamesmanship of one form or another has always been part of baseball, the current wave of sign-stealing is seen as a pace-of-play issue just as much as a fairness issue. Because of the actual sign-stealing — and because of paranoia that any opponent could be stealing signs — clubs have gone to far more elaborate and constantly changing sign protocols. This requires mound meetings and pitchers coming off the rubber in order to re-start the increasingly complex series of signs from dugout to catcher and from catcher to pitcher.

Now, presumably, with these new rules coming online, teams will figure out a new way to cheat. It’s baseball, after all. It’s in their DNA.