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Wise on Mo: laid-back guy, great teammate

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Even before Mariano Rivera announced he would be retiring at the end of the 2013 season during a Saturday morning news conference, Dewayne Wise was discussing his career prowess against one of the greatest closers in the game with teammate Keenyn Walker.

Two singles in two at-bats.

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"I was telling [Walker] that I would choke up like this much because you know you are going to get that cutter inside," said Wise, showing how he would move his hands about one-quarter up the bat against Rivera. "It's amazing that a guy can have that much success throwing one pitch.

"You know what you are going to get. It's tough because he had that pitch to perfection. He could throw it on both sides of the plate."

Wise was teammates with Rivera last season, when the closer's year ended after nine games due to a torn ACL in his right knee that he injured while shagging fly balls. Rivera was characterized by the White Sox outfielder as a laid-back guy and a great teammate.

"A lot of young guys kind of watch how he prepared himself, go about his business every day," said Wise of Rivera. "I noticed some young guys would go up and talk to him about pitching.

"Obviously, he is one of the best ever to play the game at that position. He was good for the game."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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