Yankees closer Mariano Rivera isn’t known as an outspoken, confrontational guy, but he’s taking issue with the comments made by umpire Joe West on Wednesday.
West told the Bergen Record that the pace at which the Yankees and Red Sox play their games is "pathetic and embarrassing," in reference to a questionable decision by home plate umpire Angel Hernandez to refuse to grant time to several batters during Tuesday night’s game.
Rivera found West’s remarks insulting, going so far as to say that if the 31-year veteran doesn’t have four hours to spend on baseball, he ought to consider switching careers.
"It’s incredible," Rivera told The New York Post. "If he has places to go, let him do something else. What does he want us to do, swing at balls?"
Ironically, Rivera’s most recent appearance as a hitter came in a three-hour, 38-minute marathon against the Mets last season, during which he drew a bases-loaded walk from fellow closer Francisco Rodriguez.
Rivera added that the players don’t intentionally drag games out longer than necessary, noting that they’re just as invested in keeping fans engaged from beginning to end.
"We don’t want to play four-hour games, but that’s what it takes," Rivera said. "We respect and love the fans and do what we have to do, and that’s play our game."
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