Monday, June 29, 2009
Mariano Rivera-Simply the Best
Mariano Rivera notched his 500th save last night becoming only the second pitcher in history to accomplish that and made me stop and think back. I am 31 years old and have seen pretty much every save that MO has ever had, i am a diehard fan and go or watch just about every single game. Mariano Rivera started out as a skinny little kid that was a starting pitcher in the minor leagues. He came up in 1995 and if Buck Showalter knew what he had in MO things may have drastically been different for lots of people. The Yankees lost a thrilling division round playoff to the Seattle Mariners that year in 5 games. Buck Showalter didn't know what he had in MO and if he did the Yankees probably would have won and maybe gone on to win the World Series and there would of been no Joe Torre and maybe not all those championships but who knows. Mariano Rivera failed as a starting pitcher and was converted to relief and thank goodness Buck and Gene Michael and some others saved him because if it was up to George Steinbrenner they would of traded him to get a shortstop because they were so worried about a kid named Derek Jeter being the starting shortstop for the Yankees. It is really funny how all these years later they are still teammates and both headed to the Hall Of Fame. Mariano Rivera started out as a setup man in 1996 for John Wetteland and made the games 6 innings when Mo would come in for the 7th and 8th and just blow people away and hand the ball off to Wetteland for the save, the Yankees won the World Series that year and next year Wetteland was gone and MO became the closer which he has stayed ever since. Mariano is such a humble man that he didn't even think about that in the offseason until they called him up and said you are going to be our closer and he said ok I will do my best. Mariano Rivera is such a cool customer and never shows too much emotion either way, he acts the same all the time, no matter if it is playoffs, World Series, regular season, spring training. It is funny that now you have Jonathan Papelbon, K-rod even Joba Chamberlain who have some histrionics to them and you still have MO just simply walking towards the catcher and shaking hands. The game last night was a time when he truly could of let loose with emotion but he did what he always does and of course everyone of his teammates walked up to him and hugged him, Derek Jeter had a moment with him and Jorge Posada also had a nice embrace, these guys have been together for a long time and it was great to see. The thing that makes MO great other then him just saving all of these games and being the best in the postseason and never sweating even after he does blow games is how humble he is and what a great person he is. They asked him about saving 500 and what he means and he still thanked go and all of his teammates, it is truly a pleasure to have witnessed his whole career and being able to tell my kids and grandkids one day that i saw the greatest closer of all time pitch. I don't know what will happen when he finally decides to hang it up but it will be a sad sad day. I definitely would love to be there the day he is in Cooperstown inducted into the Baseball Hall of FAme. Congratulations MO you are simply the best.