Tuesday, May 28, 2013


Franco catches Mariano Rivera ceremonial first pitch

5/28/13,  Rivera throws ceremonial first pitch at Citifield, ap

5/28/13, Mariano Rivera embraces former New York Mets closer John Franco after Franco caught Rivera's ceremonial first pitch before the interleague game v Yankees at Citi Field," ap. Below, ap


Monday, May 27, 2013


Rivera recalls 2 saves in one day at Subway Series Two Stadium Doubleheader, July 8, 2000

5/26/13, "Last Subway ride for Mariano Rivera," Newsday, Erik Boland

"Mariano Rivera's most memorable Subway Series moment wasn't when he notched career save 500 or career RBI No. 1, which happened the same Sunday night in 2009. Nor was it the 2000 World Series, when he saved Games 4 and 5.

"[When] I saved two games in one day; we played in two stadiums in one day," he said of the strange doubleheader that took place at Yankee Stadium and Shea Stadium on July 8, 2000. ...

He smiled. "The only good thing about that for me is the traveling," said Rivera, 20-for-22 in saves against the Mets in the regular season. "We don't get into any planes."

That's not to say he doesn't appreciate the passion of the city for the game, even though that excitement level is not considered as high as it once was.

"For me, they're not our rivals. It's more the fans," said Rivera, who will be honored by the Mets before Tuesday night's game at Citi Field. "The fans make it huge.""


Rivera has pitched 2 saves in one day 6 times:  5/26/10, 5/3/07, 9/29/04, 7/8/2000, and I don't have the other 2, but a 5/3/07 AP article said he had 5 as of 5/3/07 citing Elias. The link from Sporting News is now inactive.

2 Saves in one day 5 times for Mariano Rivera, per AP article (5/3/07), (now inactive):
From AP, "Rivera Earns 2 Saves in Yankee Sweep (of Texas)," published on SportingNews.com, 5/3/07


The 6th 2-save in one day date, 5/26/10, isn't in the record books:

The 5/25/10 game was shortened due to rain. It's final 3 innings were played on 5/26 along with the game originally scheduled for that day. He pitched the ending of the 5/25 game as well as the 5/26/10 game, both were 1-run games. Baseball Reference now has "susp" (for "suspended") written on the stat sheet for 5/25/10Noted here, "Andy Pettitte Beats Twins, Mariano Rivera Gets 2 Saves in One Day," Daily Skew. And here:
5/27/10, NY Daily News, "Two saves in one day against Minnesota Twins no issue for New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera," M. Feinsand


Rivera's first major league rbi was at the 2009 Subway Series on 6/28/09. As it happens, it was a bases loaded walk off Krod in the top of the 9th. His 4 out save that date was regular season save #500.

6/29/2009, "Rivera’s RBI part of walk to save No. 500," Gordon Edes, Yahoo.com

 "As for applying the finishing touch to victories, the Mets can roll out K-Rod, Krypton Man or King Kong, it won’t make a difference. The Yankees’ Mariano Rivera, the heavyweight champion of closers, is nowhere close to retiring his belt, as he proved in spectacular fashion Sunday night by not only recording four outs for his 500th save, but by going toe-to-toe with Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez with a bat in his hands and emerging triumphant, drawing a bases-loaded walk for his first career RBI."...

6/28/2009, Rivera hitting foul ball in his 9th inning at bat v Mets prior to getting his walk and first career rbi, photo ap


5/26/13, "One Mo time: Rivera vs. Mets," ESPN, Simon and Sharp

"They said it

"He basically dominates you with one pitch. Everybody says the same thing. He'll tell you what's coming and you're still not going to hit him. His ability to locate that pitch and the presence. He's the best to ever do it and I've seen first-hand how dominating he can be."
-- Mets third baseman David Wright

Magic Mo-ment

Rivera's signature moment against the Mets came in Game 5 of the 2000 World Series when he retired Mike Piazza on a fly ball to Bernie Williams in center field for the final out of the Yankees' third straight World Series title.

Over a three-year period from Game 4 of the 1998 ALDS against the Cleveland Indians through the end of the 2000 World Series, Rivera appeared in 24 postseason games. The Yankees won every one." photo after 2000 World Series game 5, AFP/getty

Saturday, May 25, 2013


Rivera in 11 in St. Petersburg v Tampa Bay


5/25/13, Rivera after 4-3 win v Tampa Bay in 11 innings in St. Petersburg, ap

5/25/13, Rivera in the 11th, epa photo


Rivera greets Manchester City player Vieira

5/24/13, "With expansion team, Major League Soccer getting bigger in Big Apple," Denver Post, Nick Groke

"News dropped like a boulder in a lake when Major League Soccer said this week it's adding a 20th team that will start play in 2015 — the neatly named New York City FC.

The announcement really put the Major in MLS. The league, as was long rumored, added a second team to the biggest market in the United States. And equally big on the news meter, the new team's ownership group combines two monster-sized teams.

NYCFC will be majority owned by Manchester City of the English Premier League (one of the biggest-payroll soccer teams in the world), with a 75 percent stake. The remaining 25 percent piece of the pie will be owned by the New York Yankees (the highest-spending baseball team in the world)."...photo, Mariano Rivera greets Manchester City's Patrick Vieira during practice last week in New York, ap


Rivera thought soccer was his main sport:

11/22/11, "Yankees' Rivera a big hit at Ridgefield charity event," NewsTimes.com, Richard Gregory, photos GreenwichTime.com

"Rivera was in town on Monday evening to speak at the Ridgefield Friends of Best Buddies fundraising event....The highlight of the evening was the light-hearted question-and-answer period between Rivera and the kids in the audience.

...Here are a few of the questions and Rivera's responses:

What is your second-best sport?

"Baseball," Rivera said with a laugh. "My best? Soccer. I always thought soccer was my main sport, and baseball came second.""

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


Rivera in the 10th in Camden Yards


5/20/13, Rivera in the 10th in Camden Yards, final 6-4 Yankees in 10, ap

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


Rivera at the Stadium v Mariners, May 2013


5/14/13, Rivera and Austin Romine after 4-3 win v Seattle, ap

Sunday, May 12, 2013


Rivera v Kansas City Royals, Pettitte-Rivera win-save #81, #70 in regular season


Rivera v Royals, Sat. May 11, 2013, getty. final 3-2 Yankees

5/11/13, Rivera and Chris Stewart after Royals game, final 3-2 Yankees, ap

5/11/13, Rivera and Chris Stewart after Royals, ap

5/11/13, Rivera v Royals, ap

Andy v Royals, 5/11/13, getty, final 3-2 Yankees

More on Pettitte-Rivera 81 win-save total including 11 post season dates.


5/11/13, "There has never been a pitcher quite like Mariano Rivera," Sam Mellinger, Kansas City Star

"Rivera’s retirement is a mile marker in baseball history. He is the oldest player in the sport, the last No. 42, and who’s to say if we’ll ever see another like him? His career has basically been one 18-year-old peak — that knee injury the only interruption. He is the all-time saves leader (622), a career 2.21 ERA and the only man since World War I to pitch more than 1,000 innings and average fewer than one baserunner per three outs.

He’s been even better in the postseason — an 0.70 ERA and an integral part of five world championships. Even his greatest professional disappointment is a symbol of his dominance. Game seven of the 2001 World Series is among the most incredible outcomes in recent sports history because Rivera gave up the winning run (on a blooper over the shortstop).

He first pitched in the big leagues 18 years ago this month. That’s long enough that guys he currently pitches against not only watched him growing up, many can’t remember major-league baseball without him."...

photo John Sleezer, no date given


Rivera's last day in Kansas City

Rivera signs for fans in Kansas City, 5/12/13, getty

Rivera with Kansas City GM Dayton Moore and George Brett (left), 5/12/13, getty

Rivera tips his cap to fans in Kansas City with KC GM Dayton Moore and George Brett, 5/12/13, getty

Rivera jogs in from the bullpen in Kansas City, 5/12/13, final 4-2 Yankees, ap

Below, 5/12/13, Rivera v Kansas City, final 4-2 Yankees, epa

5/12/13, Rivera and Chris Stewart after game, final 4-2 Yankees, epa

5/12/13, Rivera gives thumbs up to a fan on his last day in Kansas City, Reuters

Rivera and George Brett, 5/12/13, getty. final 4-2 

Saturday, May 11, 2013


No Mo Zone in Kansas City, May 2013


Rivera stretches in Kansas City, May 10, 2013, EPA photo

photo h4entertainment

No Mo Zone, 5/10/13, EPA, left, below.
final 11-6 Yankees


Rivera in Colorado May 9


Rivera v Rockies in the 9th, 5/9/13, final 3-1,Yankees. EPA photo via NY Post

5/9/13, Rivera v Rockies, EPA photo

Rivera and Chris Stewart, 5/9/13, final 3-1 Yankees, ap
Rivera v Rockies, May 9, 2013, final 3-1 Yankees, ap

Thursday, May 09, 2013


Rivera in Colorado, May 2013

5/8/13, Rivera v Rockies in the 9th, final, 3-2, Yankees, ap

5/8/13, Austin Romine and Mo greet after Rockies win, final, 3-2, Yankees, ap

Wednesday, May 08, 2013


Rivera chats with Colorado Rockies workers


5/8/13, "Mariano Rivera shared with staff of the Rockies," La Prensa Panama, Henry Cardenas

image from MLB.com

5/7/13, Rivera in the dugout in Denver, getty

Tuesday, May 07, 2013


For Mariano Rivera, everything has changed over the years except the results-Tim Marchman

5/6/13, "Rivera's Key: Change...Oh, and Cutter," Tim Marchman, Wall St. Journal

"Mariano Rivera is perhaps the most revered player in the majors today, as well as the oldest, so before this season began you had to be slightly afraid for him. Who would want to see a pitcher who's been so nearly perfect for so long in diminished form? The idea of it could make you cringe.

As if to impart some final lesson in his final tour, Rivera has spent the first five weeks of the year pitching exactly as well as he always has. (Career ERA coming into the year: 2.21; 2013 ERA going into Sunday's game: 2.19.) Open him up, it seems, and you'd get nothing but wires and gears. If, after his final game, he were to announce that he is in fact an advanced defense project, a human drone, no one would be surprised, and he'd be elected to the Hall of Fame on the first ballot anyway. Everyone would acknowledge that while the situation is unusual, it isn't his fault that he was made and not born.

That he's doing this at all at 43, let alone coming off a freak knee injury that cost him a year, is even more outlandish than you might think. While it hasn't been rare for elderly starters to take their turns over the last 30 years, just five relievers have pitched 10 or more innings at Rivera's age. Only one, the mostly forgotten Doug Jones, pitched well, and with a 3.93 ERA he wasn't remotely close to Rivera's class. The man is now, as he always has been, utterly unique.

The best illustration of this might be his best pitch, the famous cutter he throws around 90% of the time. Casual attention suggests it's just the same as it's always been—perhaps a bit slower, but still running like a chain saw and darting around in ways that shouldn't really be possible, especially for such a heavy pitch.

According to data from Pitch F/X, a camera system installed in each big-league park that tracks the speed and trajectory of every pitch, this is actually true. His cutter is coming in at 90.8 miles per hour this year, down from 92.2 two years ago, but moving slightly differently—8.2 inches vertically and 2.2 horizontally, as opposed to 7.4 and 2.5 in 2011. In other words, Rivera has been able to compensate for speed with motion, remaining just as effective all the while. 

This isn't normal. For obvious reasons there aren't many pitchers to whom to compare Rivera, but the few who have pitched in their 40s during the seven years for which Pitch F/X data is available haven't shown any tendency to add movement as they've aged. At 41, for example, when Trevor Hoffman was brilliant, his fastball moved 12.3 inches vertically and negative 1.3 horizontally; at 42, when he was awful, those numbers were 11.7 and -1.9; at 43, he was out of the game.

Not too much should be made of this—the relationships between speed, movement and effectiveness are complicated and mysterious, and the small margins here give a hint as to why old salts have always claimed baseball is a game of inches. It is, though, a view on Rivera's particular genius, and how the key to his unnatural consistency has always been his willingness to accept change.

It may be that few remember it now, but Rivera didn't throw his famous cutter when he first came to the majors, and he didn't throw it for his first couple of years as a reliever, during which he was as good as he's always been. In those years, in fact, his main pitch was a hard, high fastball that seemed to burst out of his hand and run up toward the top of the strike zone, the precise opposite of a cutter.

This sort of thing runs through his whole career. A fly-ball pitcher at the beginning of his career, he spent most of his eternal prime inducing grounders until, over the past few years, he no longer did. He has struck out as few as 15% and as many as 31% of the batters he has faced in different years. He has had years where a quarter of the balls put in play against him were line drives, and years in which fewer than 10% were. Over the years, everything has changed but the results.

You can draw whatever life lessons you like from that, but the main thing is clear: No one should ever be afraid for Mariano Rivera, and if by some chance he decides to come back for another year, he'll devise some way to make it another nearly perfect one."


Five and a half minutes of Mo highlights

Rivera highlights, at 1:45 for about 2 seconds you see Willie Randolph picking Mo up from a heap on the mound after 2003 ALCS game 7:

by Michael Pagano, via William's sports blog

Sunday, May 05, 2013


Rivera v Oakland A's at the Stadium


5/4/13, Rivera and Chris Stewart after game v Oakland A's at the Stadium, final 4-2 Yankees, ap

5/4/13, Rivera in the 9th v Oakland A's at the Stadium, final 4-2 Yankees, ap

5/5/13, "Mo finds relief after 8 shutout innings from Hughes," NY Post, George King, photo Bill Kostroun

Saturday, May 04, 2013


It's been one year since Mariano Rivera's knee injury-Perry

5/3/13, "It's been one year since Mariano Rivera's knee injury," Dayn Perry, CBS Sports

"Exactly one year ago Friday, Yankees closer Mariano Rivera shredded his knee while shagging flies in Kansas City. He missed the balance of the 2012 season, and as a consequence many of us wondered whether Rivera had pitched for the last time -- or at least pitched up to his impossible standards for the last time.

Well, that's what we get for even momentarily doubting Rivera. This season, the venerated reliever has pitched to a 1.59 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and 12.00 K/BB ratio and logged a majors-leading 11 saves. In other words, Mariano Rivera is still unmistakably Mariano Rivera.

At this point, we've run out of ways to rhapsodize about Mariano Rivera, but still: If this keeps up, it'll be the 12th time in 17 full seasons that he's notched a sub-2.00 ERA. And he's doing it all at age 43 and, as mentioned, coming off a major injury to his drive leg. Since 1900, just 51 pitchers have even appeared in the majors at the age of 43 or older, but to do what Rivera is poised to do -- i.e., continue utterly dominating the opposition -- is something else altogether. There's also this:

That, courtesy of Brooks Baseball, is Rivera's velocity chart (his famous cutter is indicated in red). What's important here is that Rivera isn't biologically superhuman among major-league pitchers. He gets older and his gun readings drop, just like the rest of them. But while guys like Tim Lincecum and Roy Halladay seem to be falling prey to diminished velocity, Rivera just does what he does -- run that cutter to his glove side and record out upon out upon out. Call it adaptability if you like or call him a pitcher who was never beholden to the radar gun.

Unfortunately, Rivera will make good on his promise to retire at season's end. But as this one-year mark passes, he's proved that not even middle age or serious injury can lessen him. I'll say something about him I've never said about another player and will surely never say about another player to come: I believe Rivera could play until age 50 and beyond and remain among the best. What a singular pitcher he is."


5/3/13, "Year after devastating injury, Rivera essential to Yankees' success once again," Joel Sherman, NY Post

"According to the data at Fangraphs.com, Rivera’s cutter is down to a career-low average of 90.3 mph. Still, his strikeouts per nine innings (9.53) and walks per nine (0.97) are significantly better than his career rates — and his career rates are great.

If there are early indicators of worry it is that the ball has been in the air at a greater frequency than his norm, and his line-drive against percentage — a sign of the ball being hit hard against him — is by far a career high."...



Wednesday, May 01, 2013


Rivera v Astros at the Stadium, 7 pitches


5/1/13, Chris Stewart and Rivera after game v Astros, final 5-4 Yankees, ap

5/1/13, Rivera v Astros, final 5-4 Yankees, getty

5/1/13, Rivera in the 9th v Astros,  5-4 Yankees, final , ap

5/1/13, Rivera after win v Astros, final 5-4 Yankees,


Rivera v Astros at the Stadium

Rivera in the 9th v Astros, 4/30/13, , final 7-4 Yankees, getty

Rivera in the 9th v Astros, 4/30/13, final 7-4 Yankees, ap


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