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Terry Collins hopes Yankees' Mariano Rivera can go out on his own terms

Yankees closer Mariano Rivera walks backs into the

Yankees closer Mariano Rivera walks backs into the team's clubhouse after a press conference at Kauffman Stadium the day after he tore an ACL while shagging balls during batting practice before a game in Kansas City. (May 4, 2012) Credit: Getty Images

The Mets and Yankees are the best of rivals, but the sadness over the career-threatening knee injury suffered by Yankees reliever Mariano Rivera was felt Friday night at Citi Field. Mets manager Terry Collins almost cringed when asked about Rivera's fluky injury suffered while shagging fly balls before Thursday's game in Kansas City.

"Freaky things happen," Collins said. "That's a very, very sad time. This game is about the stars, and when you lose a guy of his caliber, the entire industry is hurt. I just hope he comes back from it and when he decides that he's done, he goes out the way he wants to."

Collins said many pitchers prefer to get in their running by shagging fly balls, and he cited instances of pitchers he's worked with who used the return throws from the outfield as part of their throwing program between outings.

With a shake of his head, he added, "We all said today, 'I wonder if we're going to have to start renting out shaggers?' "

Asked if he will let Mets pitchers continue shagging fly balls, Collins didn't hesitate: "Absolutely."

Batista gets start

After Chris Schwinden's poor start in Houston on Wednesday and his demotion Friday, Collins said long reliever Miguel Batista, 41, will start Tuesday in Philadelphia. The Mets plan to call up another reliever by Sunday; D.J. Carrasco is under consideration.

Schwinden was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo and utilityman Vinny Rottino was called up because he can play infield and outfield and catch.

Collins said of Batista: "We saw last year how effective he can be in that role, so right now, as we wait to see how Chris Young comes along, this guy needed a start and he was here." Young could be ready by late May at best.

As for prospects Matt Harvey and Jeurys Familia, Collins said it's more important for them to continue their development at Buffalo.

Musical tribute

All Mets starters used walk-up music by the Beastie Boys as a tribute to the group's Adam "MCA" Yauch, who died Friday.


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