Sveum: No issue with hurlers shagging fly balls

Sveum: No issue with hurlers shagging fly balls

CHICAGO -- Cubs manager Dale Sveum didn't see the video of Yankees closer Mariano Rivera tearing his anterior cruciate ligament, but he heard about the injury and how it happened while Rivera was shagging balls in the outfield.

Despite how the injury occurred, Sveum said he has no issue if pitchers want to run down balls in the outfield, and the skipper said he wouldn't stop any of his own pitchers from doing so.

"You don't want to see people throwing crazy or jumping over walls and doing those things, but I don't think you worry about injuries like that," Sveum said. "The game's been going on for a hundred years, and every once in a while, yeah, you do see something happen like that. But part of that is some of the pitchers' conditioning in shagging fly balls and doing things like that. Sometimes those things are unfortunate, but people can get hurt walking to the ballpark every morning, too."

Rivera's injury has brought about speculation that this could be it for his storied 18-year career. Sveum, who played 30 games with the Yankees in 1998, said Rivera is one of the greatest pitchers and people he's been around.

"He's one of the ultimate professionals on and off the field," Sveum said. "His stats talk [for themselves]. He's the best closer, relief pitcher that's ever put on a uniform. In postseason play, regular-season play, there's never been somebody that dominant for such a long period of time -- even at the age he's been at, he's still been very dominant. More importantly, I played with him in '98, and he's the ultimate professional and teammate that anybody can ever have."