Yankees happy to hear bin Laden news

There has been reaction to the death of Osama bin Laden from the sports world. New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter offered his thoughts before the team's game Monday in Detroit. AP video. (May 2)

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DETROIT -- Among the statements released by political figures regarding the death of Osama bin Laden, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee's contained a memorable phrase:

"Welcome to hell, bin Laden.''

That view, while not in those words, seemed to be endorsed in the Yankees' clubhouse.

"Justice prevailed,'' Mariano Rivera said. "You do something like that, somewhere along the way you're going to pay. This was the time.''

Said Jorge Posada: "I'm happy for the city of New York. I think the firemen and the policemen . . . Everything they went through, I think it's just one of those steps we needed to cross. It's good to see.''

In the visitors' clubhouse here, one of the two televisions had the MLB Network on; the other -- the one with the sound turned up -- had CNN and its coverage of the Navy SEALs operation that took out bin Laden in Pakistan.

"You're happy,'' said Derek Jeter, who said he was out to dinner with Posada and CC Sabathia when he heard the news. "It's been a long time. It's been almost 10 years. Even though it's been 10 years, it sort of seems like it was just yesterday. I think there are a lot of happy people.''

Rivera, Jeter and Posada are the only remaining players from the 2001 Yankees team that played in a memorable seven-game loss to the Diamondbacks in the World Series.

"For us, we almost felt like we were representing New York at the time,'' Jeter said. "I'm not sure about the whole country -- I don't know if the whole country was pulling for us -- but I was well aware of what it meant to New Yorkers at the time because we had a lot of people come up to us on the streets and say they weren't necessarily baseball fans but they found themselves pulling for us at least for that month and the postseason.''

Players found out what they meant to the city five days after the attacks when they visited the rescue staging area at the Javits Center.

"What sticks out the most is when we went to visit the Javits Center,'' Rivera said. "They had some people there, firefighters, policemen . . . and the people that lost their loved ones. And what came to mind was, what can we say? What can we possibly say that will bring peace or joy or hope to these people?''

The Yankees and Mets had roles in New York's attempt to return to some semblance of normalcy after the attacks.

Alex Rodriguez, who was with Texas in 2001, recalled Mike Piazza's two-run homer off Steve Karsay in the eighth inning that gave the Mets a 3-2 victory over the Braves on Sept. 21, 2001 -- the first professional sporting event contested in the city after the attacks. "The one thing we can all remember is that great home run Mike Piazza hit,'' he said. "I think we all know where we were at that time.''

Andruw Jones had a pretty good view of that home run; he was playing centerfield for the Braves at the time. "It was a special night,'' he said. "It was an emotional game. We wanted to win, but it was pretty good for the New York fans that they could win that way.''

Rodriguez echoed the sentiments expressed by the Mets less than 24 hours earlier, saying it was "emotional'' hearing the "U-S-A'' chants that cascaded around Citizens Bank Park during the Phillies-Mets game as word spread of the terrorist's death.

It was news that Joe Girardi didn't find out about until Monday morning, as he had gone to bed early the night before.

"I know our country has been trying to serve justice for the last 10 years, and it was done,'' Girardi said. "I think people, when crimes are committed against you, want to see justice, and I think justice happened.''

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