“It’s my right hand. I don’t really need it,” the former Red Sox hurler said. “I don’t see any reason I can’t work around it unless for some reason the doctor tells me I have to protect it for some reason that we don’t foresee. I plan to be able to manipulate my glove around it and not really worry about it.”
Added Miller: “I’m not that concerned about it. I think I can work around it when it comes to fielding the ball, catching the ball from the catcher. Catching the ball in play, I guess maybe a hard comebacker or something like that if I’d need more protection. We’ll see what the options are. I’m not too concerned. It’s my right hand.”
Miller was injured when he was hit by a line drive in Wednesday’s spring training game against the Braves.
“It hurt pretty bad,” Miller said. “It got me pretty square, I could tell. It was at least going to be a pretty good bruise. I think all things considered, it couldn’t be a better spot. I’ll survive.”
Miller is slated to visit a hand specialist Friday, and if he doesn’t get the go-ahead to pitch, he won’t be happy.
“I’d probably find another doctor,” Miller said. “I can’t imagine not playing because of something on my right hand.”
Keeping Miller in the bullpen would be a big help to the team, as new closer Aroldis Chapman will miss the first month of the season due to his league-issued suspension, so Miller is expected to reprise his closing role from last season in the interim. Manager Joe Girardi, for one, appreciates Miller’s approach.
“Winning and helping his teammates; that’s what he cares about,” Girardi said. “We’ve seen that in the year that we’ve had him. His attitude toward Chapman coming in and just the way he’s gone about his business. He cares about winning.”
Meanwhile, fellow reliever Brian Mitchell is not as optimistic. He broke his left big toe while covering first base in the same game. He will see a specialist Monday to determine if he’ll need surgery.
“It’s crazy,” said Mitchell, who was wearing a walking boot on his left foot Thursday. “I’m not trying to be too roller coaster right now. Just have to roll with it. It’s just a bump in the road and we’ll get past it, hopefully quicker than later.”
“We are leaders in developing the game, and we’re going to continue to do that and take a leadership role on the women’s side of the game,” U.S. Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati said Thursday during a conference call with reporters. “We are committed to working with the players’ association to address some of the issues they’ve raised and getting an agreement done starting in January of 2017. I’m confident that will happen.”
The women receive less than the men for travel and per diems, even though they provided the federation with more money last year when it won the World Cup and are expected to net $5 million in profit this year, as compared to the men losing $1 million. Although it must be taken into consideration that these are peak revenue-producing years for the women due to the World Cup and Olympics — a USSF spokesman said overall revenues associated with the men are nearly twice as much as the women — the females say their success should translate into more equal pay.
“There’s no justification to not be paid the same as the men,” Becky Sauerbrunn said in an interview with espnW. “We do everything the men do. We’re marketable. We’re popular. We are a revenue-generating team. There is nothing we don’t do for this federation, so we should absolutely get paid the same as the men do.”
The players were on spring break in South Padre Island, Texas, on March 16 when one of them saw the car go into Laguna Madre Bay while he was standing on his hotel balcony.
Three of the players ran out of the hotel and jumped in the water, swimming over to the car. However, they initially were not able to break the windshield glass as the car began to sink.
“I was getting worried that we were going to watch this girl drown to death, because no matter how hard we were hitting it, it [the glass] wasn’t cracking or spidering for a while,” senior linebacker Anthony Lazard told The Des Moines Register.
Eventually the players were able to make a hole in the damaged windshield and pull the woman to safety. Three other Cyclones helped her when they got to shore. Luisa Maria Castro, who later was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated, was very thankful for the players’ actions.
“I have no words to express how appreciative I am of them,” the 22-year-old told the Register. “Even when I messaged them, I still felt that the words or what I was saying to them to thank them and how grateful I was — it just felt like that wasn’t enough.”
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On April 1, 2003, in the second game of the season, which Red Sox newcomer hit a home run in the 16th inning for a 9-8 victory over the Devil Rays in Tampa?
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “If it’s the right decision to help the team win, I’m going to be happy. I’m going to be ready for the bench. I’ll get ready for everything in the season and do my job. It’s going to be difficult. I have to be happy and do a great job. It’s still a fantastic spring. … Nothing is easy.” — Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval, on being replaced as starter by Travis Shaw