It was a touching moment, Rivera’s final game at Yankee Stadium, where he came in and was removed in the 9th by long-time teammates Derek Jeter and Andy Pettite. Even though the Yanks had no playoff hopes, Yankee Stadium was packed, and they roared as he tipped his hat. The opposing team also gave him a standing O. He grasped both Pettite and Jeter and had a hard time letting go. After giving everyone in the dugout a hug, he heard the crowd roaring “We Want Mo!”, and he obliged with one last tip of his cap on the field. What an incredible moment. The legacy that he built, the number of people he’s loved by. What a player, what a man. That was a great moment for baseball.
But he meant more than that to me. His attitude. He was never flashy. No showboating. He was competitive, but always in control of himself. It says alot that Boston gave him a standing ovation in his last appearance there as well. He will be missed. He is a classic. Epic. Legendary. He always came out of the bullpen to the “Enter Sandman” song by Metallica.
Rivera was a 5 time World Series Champ (’96, 1998-2000, 2009) and a 13 time All-Star. He had 42 saves and a .70 ERA in the postseason, and finished with the most saves all time with 652 saves, a 2.21 ERA, 1173 K’s in 1283.2 Innings Pitched.
The Yankees missed the playoffs for only the second time in 19 years this year. They had the highest opening day payroll of $230 million dollars. With the retiring of Pettite and Mariano, Jeter aged at 39, A-Rod involved in a likely suspension and aged at 38, and Robinson Cano becoming a free-agent next year, I see some tough years ahead for them. I loved Mariano, but facing him when he was playing your team was like you were already watching a loss.
Thank you Mo, thank you Mo