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First Pitch: Mo came back to win

TAMPA, Fla. -- Yankees manager Joe Girardi hinted Wednesday could be the day Mariano Rivera returns to game action, pitching an inning vs. Robinson Cano and the Dominican Republic.

If it is, Rivera will likely receive a standing ovation, much the same way he did last spring when there was an equal presumption he was going to retire at season's end.

But Rivera didn’t come back this year to revel in self glory.

When Rivera decided to return this winter, he did so with a definitive statement about what type of fire he would bring to the 2013 season.

“I’m not just coming back to play,” Rivera said in a statement released by the team. “I’m coming back to win.”

Well, if the 43-year-old Rivera goes out on top, it will be quite a tale. The Yankees have begun this year in very unhealthy fashion. Every presumed starter in the lineup, except for Cano, the nearly 40 Ichiro Suzuki and whomever ends up behind the plate, will enter this season having dealt with an injury in the spring or after a 2013 campaign that included a major injury.

Many felt the Yankees were not going to be as good as usual this season. With each passing day, they seem to get more bad news, which could make Rivera's final chapter even more dramatic.

UP NOW: Mark Teixeira is the latest hurt Yankee. There is a lot of stuff on the blog from Tuesday so take a gander below if you missed anything.

ON DECK: Hiroki Kuroda gets the ball against the DR. The game is on YES at 1 p.m. Afterward, we will be hightailing it to Jupiter where the Yankees will be in action on Thursday and Friday against the Cardinals and Marlins. As always, thanks for reading.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: WHAT IS A REASONABLE EXPECTATION FOR THIS YANKEES TEAM?