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Mariano optimistic for Yanks despite injuries

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Mariano optimistic for Yanks despite injuries play video for Mariano optimistic for Yanks despite injuries

TAMPA, Fla. -- As Mariano Rivera looks ahead to his final Opening Day, the Yankees' closer said that he does not know what emotions will be flowing through him when the team is announced before the April 1 game against the Red Sox.

Rivera said that he is focused on finishing the spring strong and being ready for the season, but he is also making sure to spread some optimism around the clubhouse in what has been an injury-marred Grapefruit League campaign for the team.

"It's part of the game. No one wants to get hurt," Rivera said. "No one likes to get hurt, but it happens. What we need to do is play the game we know how to play; do the little things, pitch, and we'll win games like that. Someone will step up. Someone will do what needs to be done to win games."

With Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira and Phil Hughes among the bigger names expected to begin the year on the disabled list, Rivera suggested that the Yankees may have answers to their problems already in camp. The solution could come from a relatively unheralded name.

"Again, for example, we had Scott Brosius," Rivera said. "He came from Oakland [in 1998], we had no clue about him, and he did a tremendous job -- and so many others. It can happen like that.

"You don't need to have just big names to do the job, to get the job done. You have to have the heart and will to do the job. That's what separates. I believe that everyone who is here is capable of doing that."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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{"event":["spring_training" ] }
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