9/26/2013 12:39 A.M. ET
Mariano amazed at bobblehead turnout
By Josh Vitale / MLB.com
NEW YORK -- Mariano Rivera was amazed at what he saw on the clubhouse TV sets during Tuesday night's game against the Rays. That night's stadium giveaway was a bobblehead doll with his likeness, and thousands of fans lined up to claim one.
"It's amazing, isn't it? I saw, they showed a view from the outside," Rivera said. "And my God, there were like 1,000 people there. Amazing."
Transportation problems delayed the shipment, so the first 18,000 fans were given vouchers they could redeem for the bobbleheads. The Yankees announced during the game that fans holding vouchers could claim their figurines between the third inning and 30 minutes after the game, leading to lines spanning multiple levels of the stadium. Many waited for hours.
On Wednesday the Yankees announced that as a result of the difficulties, they would offer any fan with a ticket to Tuesday's game a chance to redeem it for a free ticket to any game in 2014, excluding Opening Day and Old-Timers Day. In addition, fans with vouchers who did not redeem them on Tuesday may still do so at the ballpark on Thursday, or by mail.
Rivera didn't know much about the situation, saying, "[It's] not my territory."
Yankees pay tribute to Pettitte on Wednesday
NEW YORK -- On Sunday, Mariano Rivera had his day at Yankee Stadium. On Wednesday, the team's other beloved future retiree got his chance to enjoy the spotlight.
The Yankees honored Andy Pettitte before the game against the Rays. The veteran hurler, who announced on Friday that he will retire at the end of the season, made his final Yankee Stadium start on Sunday.
The video board in center field played a tribute to Pettitte's storied 18-year career, and longtime teammates Rivera and Derek Jeter presented him with a framed base from Sunday's game, autographed by all of his teammates.
Pettitte will make the final start of his career on Friday in Houston against the Astros, the only other team for which he has played. The left-hander is 10-11 with a 3.88 ERA this season, and he will retire as the Yankees' all-time leader in strikeouts.
Hafner activated from the disabled list
NEW YORK -- On July 26, Travis Hafner strained the rotator cuff in his troublesome right shoulder. On July 27, he was placed on the disabled list.
Nearly two months later, the veteran designated hitter is finally ready to rejoin the Yankees, having been activated from the 60-day disabled list on Wednesday.
To make room for Hafner on the 40-man roster, CC Sabathia was placed on the 60-day DL, retroactive to Aug. 21, with a Grade 2 strain of his left hamstring.
Manager Joe Girardi said that Hafner will be used as a pinch-hitter for the remainder of the regular season. Alex Rodriguez, who is still dealing with injuries to both legs, has played exclusively at DH since Sept. 11, and Girardi hasn't yet considered making any changes to that plan.
Hafner is batting .205 with 12 home runs and 37 RBIs over 81 games this season.
Granderson excited about first free agency
NEW YORK -- Baseball players don't have much control over their fate early in their career. They don't get to choose which team drafts them, and the team that drafts them controls at which level of the organization they play and whether they will be traded or kept.
In fact, players don't get their first say in their career until they become free agents. This offseason, outfielder Curtis Granderson will hit free agency for the first time in his 10-year career, and he's excited about the possibilities.
"You get an opportunity to see what, if other, interests are out there," Granderson said. "You get a chance to make a decision, finally, for the first time in your professional career in terms of where you might want to go play. You can take your time and decide certain things."
Granderson, 32, looked poised to cash in on a high-paying multiyear deal after strong 2011 and 2012 seasons in which he averaged 42 home runs and 113 RBIs, but an injury-riddled 2013 campaign could have softened his market.
A broken arm in Spring Training and a broken pinkie in May -- both sustained on hit-by-pitches -- limited Granderson to just 56 games so far. For the season he is batting .233, with seven home runs and 14 RBIs.
"I don't know [if that will affect me], because I've never done it before," he said. "I'm not too sure how it's going to end up playing out."
Granderson hasn't thought much about the possibility of signing a one-year qualifying offer -- one that would likely be worth around $14 million -- but said it is definitely something he would consider and compare with any other potential offers he receives.
Asked if he thinks he'll re-sign with the Yankees, he said, "I'm not the one writing the checks."
"I've enjoyed my time here," he added. "It's been four seasons, and it's been great. The organization, from top to bottom, has been good to me. I've enjoyed the city, I've enjoyed everything about it. But at the same time, it's definitely a business, and we'll see how it all ends up shaking out."
Josh Vitale is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.