Yanks Find Themselves Short on the Long Ball

AP Photo

SARASOTA, Fla. — Symbols can be powerful in spring training. The games are exhibitions, the lineups filled with strange names. On Monday the Yankees faced a playoff opponent from last fall, the Baltimore Orioles, and brought just two players from the postseason roster: Brett Gardner and Jayson Nix. The starting first baseman wore No. 98.

The Rivera they brought here was Juan, the veteran outfielder trying to cling to a fading career. The Rivera who stayed behind in Tampa offered a sliver of hope to a team that badly needs it.

Mariano Rivera took the mound again. His work was tidy — 32 pitches, done by 10 a.m. — but meaningful. For the second time this spring, Rivera threw batting practice. He wears a sleeve on his surgically...

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