Saturday, July 26, 2008
Mariano in the 8th, 2 runners on in Fenway, gets last 5 outs, 7/25/08
- Back cover New York Post, 7/26/08
- summoned with one out in the eighth, re-proving one more time why
- striking out three,
- retiring five of the six he faced,
kicking the plug out on the crazed crowd of 37,744, dragging the Yankees another game closer to the Red Sox"...
- who picked up the last five critical outs Friday night."
Rivera in Boston 7/25/08 from Boston Globe
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Tim Marchman on Mariano's 1.2 inning All Star performance--NY Sun
7/16/08, "Rivera was spectacular. He threw 26 pitches, 18 of them strikes.
- He got five outs, an extraordinary thing for a one-inning closer to do in an exhibition. He allowed nary a run;
- deserved the win, and
- had the win in hand."...
"No debate: Rivera is the best closer in history"--Mike Lupica
(Mike Lupica): "We will make this more than it is this week at Yankee Stadium, the last All-Star Game in the place, maybe the last great baseball occasion in the place if the Yankees don't find a way to make the playoffs this season. All the way until the last out Tuesday night, we will hype this up as if it were the Super Bowl of All-Star Games, or the Olympics, because it is the Stadium and it is the Yankees and it is New York and it is, after all, what we do here.
- We will, to the end, continue to call this The House That Ruth Built, even though it is not, it is not Babe Ruth's Yankee Stadium, not the one he saw from home plate or Joe DiMaggio saw or Yogi or The Mick. It is The House That Mayor Lindsay Rebuilt in the 1970s, unless you think you can still walk across the outfield grass and past the monuments when the game is over and it is time to go home.
But there is one player who will participate in this game Tuesday night who does
- not have to be hyped up as he stands with one last collection of baseball stars and the baseball ghosts of this Stadium and the one before it that Derek Jeter is always talking about.
- And that player is No. 42 of the Yankees, the last player to wear Jackie Robinson's number in baseball:
Mo Rivera is as good a reason as any that this game be played at this place this season, the last of the current rendering of Yankee Stadium,
- because he is the biggest star of all of them Tuesday night,
- as much of an immortal as any Yankee, as Ruth or DiMaggio or Lou Gehrig or Mantle or anybody.
The beauty of baseball and the beauty of sports is that there is always a debate about this giant of the sport or that. Some will say that Ruth will always be the biggest player of them all, has to be, just because of the distance he put between himself and the rest of the field when he seemed to invent the home run in baseball at the same time he was inventing the Yankees.
- But there will be others who say that the best player of them all was the great Henry Aaron or Willie Mays and maybe someday - if he ends up getting enough rest to hit 800 home runs - some will say that Alex Rodriguez, Mr. Fun, was the best ballplayer of them all.
There will always be the debate about starting pitchers, all the way back to the real Cy Young. They will fight about whether you would give the ball to one of them if you had to win one game, or give it to Sandy Koufax or Bob Gibson or Tom Seaver or Steve Carlton or somebody else.
- the best closer in history,
- the best money pitcher in history,
- a power relief pitcher and
- in the history of baseball.
He is the Babe Ruth of what he does for a living, has done full-time,
- closed games for the Yankees, since the 1997 season. In terms of the classy way he carries himself on the field, he is probably closer, at least in spirit, to Joe DiMaggio. He will never get the kind of monument behind the outfield walls of the new Yankee Stadium that the sainted Yankees have, he just has had the kind of career that merits it. He is a Yankee of the first rank, because
no other Yankee has been better at what he does than he has been.
And, at the age of 38, still is.
- The other day he was talking about the 2008 Yankees, as flawed as they are, and how even through the injuries and the terrible hitting they have still managed to hang around in the American League East this season. Maintained contact with the Tampa Bay Rays and the Red Sox.
"They know we're still here," Mo Rivera said.
The Yankees are still here. Less than they have been in other seasons since they were reinvented and reimagined as Joe Torre's Yankees
ahead of John Wetteland. You want to know how long Rivera has lasted, how long he has pitched at this high level? Wetteland, long since retired, was born in 1966. Rivera, who will turn 39 this November, was born in 1969. And will be at the Stadium tomorrow night.
- And is still here.
By now the world knows about the lowest postseason earned-run average in history and
- the most saves in postseason history and
- all the big games he finished when
the Yankees were still winning it all. There are all the postseason days and nights that are part of his legend, including
- that night in October of 2003, Game 7 against the Red Sox, the game that ended with Aaron Boone's home run, when
- Rivera pitched three innings at the end of Game 7 and seemed perfectly willing to pitch all night if it meant putting the Yankees back in the World Series.
When it was over that night, when Boone's ball was over the wall and the Yankees came running onto the field,
- Mo Rivera ran for the pitcher's mound at the Stadium and dropped to the ground in celebration.
"The best," Torre said of the game that night, and the way it ended.
- It was the last night the Yankees made a World Series and once more,
He hasn't always been perfect, because no one is, so there was the night when Sandy Alomar Jr. beat him in a game in the first round and helped knock the Yankees out and there was the bottom of the ninth in Game 7 against the Diamondbacks and there was the worst night of all, for him and his team, when he couldn't get the last three outs he needed against the Red Sox, Game 4 of '04, and keep the Red Sox down against the Yankees, where they had always been.
- It does not change his standing, or his rank. When he does come through the bullpen doors tomorrow night, whenever they play "Enter Sandman," when the place goes wild for him once more,
- In this Yankee Stadium, in the rebuilt Stadium and not the one Ruth built,
- the man running toward the pitching mound
- is the greatest Yankee of them all."
"Mariano Rivera is the Brightest Yankee Star of All," 7/14/08, Mike Lupica column in the NY Daily News. And Mike Lupica is the bravest NY Daily News employee of them all.
Monday, July 14, 2008
Mariano Rivera MVP of Yankee Dynasty--Joel Sherman, NY Post
- where we should be asking if Rivera -
- not Whitey Ford - is the greatest pitcher in the entire Yankee history."
Mariano greets Yogi at All Star game, 7/15/08,
"Mariano Rivera may be the greatest reliever of all time..." Francona, 7/14/08
- but only
- because Francona was asked about it by reporters.
- "Mariano Rivera may be the greatest reliever of all-time, but he's not a starter," Francona said."...
- "We will treat every player in this game with a lot of respect, certainly knowing that there are Yankees in this game -- but other than that I think doing it correctly."
- "I'm going to stick my neck out and say we'll prepare from him," Hurdle said."...
- P.S. "When it was pointed out that in 2006 White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen announced ahead of time that he'd give the ball to Rivera in the ninth, Francona replied: "Ozzie does a lot of things." reported in USA Today, "MLB to Rivera: You New Here? by Reid Cherner and Tom Weir, 7/14/08
Monday, July 07, 2008
"The greatest closer of all time."--Lupica, NY Daily News
- Mo Rivera, who had pitched two more innings on this night, he was gone. Mo's big moment this time was when he struck out Manny Ramirez, pinch-hitting in the top of the ninth with the go-ahead run on third and two outs.
- It was supposed to be pretty good,
- the greatest closer of all time against one of the great righthanded hitters of all time.
Strike one, looking.
Strike two, looking.
- Ramirez never took the bat off his shoulder and Rivera got the Yankees through the top of the 10th and now it was the bottom of the 10th."....
Big meeting on the mound before Manny's at bat, Arod giving Molina a pep talk.
Top of the 10th, tie game, Rivera's second inning, go-ahead run in scoring position.
But Manny apparently had no intention of swinging.