Mariano Rivera's family bound for Florida and retirement announcement
Mariano Rivera's family is on its way to Florida for the expected announcement that one of baseball's greatest relievers will retire after the season.
TAMPA, Fla. — Mariano Rivera's family is on its way to Florida for the expected announcement that one of baseball's greatest relievers will retire after the season.
Numerous reports — one by The Associated Press — have said this will be the last season for the 43-year-old closer.
A news conference is scheduled for Saturday at the Yankees' spring-training complex in Tampa.
Rivera said after working out Friday that those wanting to know his plans will have to wait. He said "whatever's out there is speculation until I talk to you guys.
"My wife is traveling today," Rivera said. "They're traveling, coming here."
Rivera is baseball's saves leader with 608 and has a record 42 postseason saves with an 0.70 earned-run average while helping the Yankees win five World Series titles.
Rivera, coming back from knee surgery, is expected to make his 2013 spring training debut Saturday against Atlanta.
"I'm not going to rush it," Rivera said. "When I get the chance, do what I have to do."
Rivera pitched in nine regular-season games last year. His season ended when he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee while tracking down a fly ball during batting practice in Kansas City on May 3. He had surgery on June 12.
KISSIMMEE, Fla. — The Houston Astros hope the regular season doesn't look like this.
The Atlanta Braves sent 26 batters to the plate over the first three innings, piling up 14 runs and 14 hits — six for extra bases — in a 14-9 split-squad win Friday.
Astros starter Jordan Lyles was pounded for six runs and seven hits while getting just two outs.
After losing 106 games in 2011 and 107 last year, the Astros already have a banged-up potential rotation, with Lucas Harrell slowed by a strained groin and Erik Bedard by a strained gluteal muscle.
"We're not concerned at all," Astros manager Bo Porter said. "On a positive note — I want to stress this — from the fourth inning on we won the ballgame 7-0. It speaks to the never-say-die attitude of our ballclub and these guys fighting back to make it a ballgame."
The Astros join the Mariners, Angels, A's and Rangers for their debut season in the American League West this year.
• Allen Craig, coming off a breakout season, agreed to a $31 million, five-year contract with the Cardinals. Craig, 28, became the team's primary first baseman last year after Lance Berkman got hurt. Craig hit .307 with 22 home runs and 92 runs batted in despite not playing until May 1.
• RHP Josh Johnson, acquired in an offseason trade from the Marlins, struck out five in 3-2/3 hitless innings for the Blue Jays in a 7-1 split-squad win over the Braves in Kissimmee, Fla.
• Defending champion Japan beat Taiwan 4-3 in 10 innings in Tokyo in the World Baseball Classic. Japan plays the Netherlands Sunday with a chance to secure a spot in the March 17-19 final round in San Francisco.
• In Phoenix, Italy pounded out a 14-4 WBC victory over a Canada team featuring Joey Votto and Justin Morneau. Italy faces the U.S. Saturday night.