Saturday, May 05, 2012
'Rivera is the best closer in the history of our game,' Joe Maddon
5/4/12, "For Rivera, Maestro of Ninth, Injury Is Not Final Symphony," NY Times, Tyler Kepner
"Mattingly added: “I’d hate to see him end like this. I’d rather see him come back and pitch than thinking your last view of him is going down on the track.”
Joe Maddon, the manager of the Tampa Bay Rays, had a similar reaction.
“It upsets me,” Maddon said in St. Petersburg, Fla. “He is a very special person. You know that the moment you meet him. He’s the best closer in the history of our game. You don’t want to see him possibly ending his career shagging a fly in Kansas City. I think he’s the player most responsible for their success over the last 15 years.”
Unquestionably, as Maddon said, Rivera is the best closer ever. His 2.21 career earned run average is the lowest, with a minimum of 1,000 innings, since 1920, and he is even better when the games matter most.
Rivera’s postseason E.R.A. is 0.70. He has not allowed a postseason homer since the 2000 World Series. His ability to pitch multiple innings in October, the way the pioneering closers did, has made him invaluable."...