Saturday, August 31, 2013


Rivera v Baltimore Orioles at the Stadium in August


8/30/13, Rivera v Orioles at the Stadium, final 8-5 Yankees, getty, via cbs sports

 8/30/13, Rivera and Austin Romine after Orioles win, final 8-5 Yankees, getty

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


Before 'Enter Sandman' the Yankees tried other classic rock songs like “Paradise City” and “Welcome to The Jungle” by Guns N’ Roses, but they just didn’t work for them or the fans'

"Speaking of “Enter Sandman,”  it wasn’t the first choice for Rivera’s now famous entrance song. The Yankees tried other classic rock songs like “Paradise City” and “Welcome to The Jungle” by Guns N’ Roses, but they just didn’t work for them or the fans. Then one of the scoreboard workers, Mike Luzzi, brought in some CD’s and suggested “Enter Sandman” — it couldn’t have worked out better."...
8/27/13, "Enter Sandman: Mariano closes it down in style,", Anthony Fusilli

"The cut fastball. That one pitch, from that one player, single-handedly changed the course of Major League Baseball over the past 17 seasons.

Mariano Rivera has been the anchor at the end of the New York Yankees bullpen for the last 17 years.

There hasn’t been a more dominating or imposing pitcher in the game since his entry as a full-time player in 1996. He is the greatest closer of all time, and he did it with one pitch. A pitch he didn’t even try to do on purpose. “It was a gift from God” Mariano has said many times over the years. He discovered it while playing catch with Ramiro Mendoza. Thankfully for the Yankees, he and then-pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre, didn’t make any adjustments when Rivera told him his pitches were moving and he couldn’t control it. That one pitch helped the Yankees win five World Series and reach two others.

Since Mo took over as the Yankees closer in 1997, he has established himself as the greatest closing pitcher of all time. He has an MLB record 646 saves and counting. He has a postseason ERA of 0.70 and he has an MLB record 42 postseason saves.

Mariano Rivera has dominated baseball these past 17 seasons, and by the tone of his entrance music  – “Enter Sandman” by Metallica — you would think he’s an arrogant/cocky player. But, it’s the complete opposite. Rivera has been one of the more classy players in MLB history. He doesn’t celebrate a save by untucking his jersey, by shooting an invisible arrow or by screaming or pumping his fist. He simply walks up to the catcher, gets the ball and shakes the catcher’s hand. The same routine, every game, the past 17 years.  You can’t ask for a better player or person.

Speaking of “Enter Sandman,”  it wasn’t the first choice for Rivera’s now famous entrance song. The Yankees tried other classic rock songs like “Paradise City” and “Welcome to The Jungle” by Guns N’ Roses, but they just didn’t work for them or the fans. Then one of the scoreboard workers, Mike Luzzi, brought in some CD’s and suggested “Enter Sandman” — it couldn’t have worked out better. It has been one of the most intimidating theme songs ever. When you hear the opening guitar riff, you know your team is almost assured the inevitable fate. Rivera alone is an intimidating force; add the heavy tune of “Enter Sandman” and you have yourself a guaranteed nightmare for opposing teams." from ttf



Rivera meets Blue Jays staff in Toronto, asked, 'his toughest opponent to strike out? Edgar Martinez...who hit .579 against him.'

8/27/13, "Yankees’ Mariano Rivera takes his farewell tour into a Blue Jays boardroom," John Lott, National Post

"Twenty hand-picked employees of the Toronto Blue Jays, representing an array of departments, sat around tables arranged in a U-shape, awaiting the man who would sit in the office chair in the middle of the boardroom.

He entered to applause, although he wore the uniform of an arch-enemy, the New York Yankees. And for close to an hour, Mariano Rivera answered questions in animated fashion, laughed, spun stories, asked questions of his guests and thanked them for doing important jobs behind the scenes.

This was the latest stop on the Mariano Rivera farewell tour, in which the famed Yankees closer steps into the shadows to visit with the folks who sell tickets, maintain the stadium, work in merchandising, police the crowds and wear a mascot’s outfit, as Markwell Ottolino-Perry has done for eight years. The Blue Jays may lack an ace on the field, but Ottolino-Perry was their Ace at Tuesday’s meeting....

His toughest opponent to strike out? Edgar Martinez, the former Mariners designated hitter, who hit .579 against him. “You throw the ball behind his head and he can still hit it,” Rivera said.

Ottolino-Perry, the Blue Jays’ Ace, wanted to know Rivera’s favourite mascot. Rivera remembered the Seattle Moose, who, during the 1995 division series with the Yankees, broke his ankle when he crashed into the outfield wall in the Kingdome. Moose was wearing inline skates while being towed by an all-terrain vehicle.

How did Rivera get his famed No. 42? Not because he asked for it. When he was first called up in 1995, he was given No. 58. The next year, when he came up to stay, he was handed No. 42. Only later did he realize its significance as Jackie Robinson’s number. Major League Baseball retired the number for all teams in 1997 in honour of Robinson, but allowed those already wearing it to continue to do so. Rivera is the last; when he retires, no one will wear it again."...

8/27/13, "Yankee Doodles from Rogers Centre: Departing Mariano meets Jays' employees, Gibbons will return as manager in 2014," Buffalo News, Mike Harrington. top photo by Mike Harrington. photo below by John Lott

 "The Yankees and Blue Jays meet in the middle game of their three-game series tonight and a lot has gone here this afternoon in Rogers Centre before a pitch has been thrown.

Be sure to read my column in Wednesday's Buffalo News about Mariano Rivera's meet-and-greet Q&A with Blue Jays employees.

Twenty members of the staff, most of them not related to the actual playing of the game, met with Rivera and Yankees PR head Jason Zillo in a third-floor conference room for about 45 minutes talking about baseball, life, his retirement plans and his thoughts on his career.

Rivera is doing this in every city on his farewell tour over his final season as a way to say thank you to all the people who make baseball games possible.

"It is been a privilege for me to be in baseball," Rivera said. "I want to make sure I say thank you to all of those involved. I want to make sure I thank you guys for what you do in baseball, to help us prepare for every day."

I've been at plenty of great games in my career, including some of Rivera's greatest triumphs and greatest failures. This was as riveting as any of them. It was an unvarnished chance to listen to a man who is one of the game's greatest ambassadors.

And he talked about everything: The evolution of the cutter, his toughest hitter to face (Edgar Martinez), his post-retirement plans (fishing and hanging out with his family, perhaps even in his pajamas), and even his favorite mascot (he liked the Mariner Moose).

The most emotional moments were saved for his thoughts on the late George Steinbrenner, particularly how The Boss came up to him after he lost Game Seven of the 2001 World Series in Arizona.

"The first one that came to my locker was the Boss," Rivera said. "He looked at me and I looked straight at his face and I said, 'Boss, I gave my best and my best wasn't good enough tonight.' And he said I know and he hugged me and I hugged him. To me that was George Steinbrenner.

"If there was something I could change, I wish he could be alive so I can say thank you for all he did for me.""Caption for top photo: ""My view of Mariano Rivera and the Blue Jays employees today. Yankees PR head Jason Zillo is moderating to Rivera's left." Mike Harrington. Middle photo, Rivera with 30 year Toronto Blue Jays staffer Sheila Stella, courtesy photo, via Toronto Sun


8/27/13, "Yankees' Mariano Rivera a class act all the way," Toronto Sun, Bob Elliott

"“I’d be running or shagging flies in the outfield, someone would say ‘The Boss wants to see you,’ ” said Rivera. “He’d ask, ‘you OK?’ I say yes. He’d say, ‘I love you,’ I’d say, ‘I love you Boss.’”."


Sunday, August 25, 2013


Rivera and Austin Romine in Tampa Bay. Sandman sculpture created by Tampa Bay Rays


8/25/13, Rivera and Austin Romine after 3-2 Tampa Bay win in 11 innings, getty

8/25/13, Rivera and Austin Romine in Tampa Bay after 3-2 win in 11 innings, AP

8/23/13, Mo "autographs a sand sculpture of himself produced by Sanding Ovations of Treasure Island," ap

8/23/13, This link includes MLB video of Mo's 2013 All Star game entrance at Mets Citi Field, right below first pic. of sculpture.

8/23/13, "Rays honor Rivera with real 'Sandman'," FoxSports


Wednesday, August 21, 2013


Rivera after pitching in two games v Blue Jays in one day


8/20/13, Rivera greets "pinch runner Ichiro Suzuki (31) after Suzuki scored the game-winning run on Jayson Nix's RBI single in the ninth inning of the second baseball game of a doubleheader against the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium," ap. Final score game 2, 3-2, Rivera the winning pitcher. Final score game one, Blue Jays v NYY, 8-4. Rivera also pitched in the first game but wasn't involved in the decision.


Monday, August 19, 2013


Mariano Rivera in Boston



From top, final 9-6 Yankees:

8/18-8/19/13, Rivera in Boston,  getty, ap, getty

8/19/13, Rivera greets Ichiro after game, getty

Friday, August 09, 2013


Rivera and Jeter in 1996


1996, Rivera and Jeter leave the field after a game, NY Post, Specker

2/18/13, "Many will cite Steinbrenner’s open wallet and all the stars it bought to explain this level of sustained success. But the cornerstones of relentless contention have been how two stars aligned so ideally for so long."..."Yankees worried about Jeter and Rivera for first time since '96," NY Post, Joel Sherman

Wednesday, August 07, 2013


Rivera meets with Chicago White Sox staffers before Tuesday's game

8/6/13, "Mo forges bond with White Sox fans, staff,", Scott Merkin

"Team presents Yankees' closer with framed scorecard, collage and check"

8/6/13, Prior to the game Mo meets with some White Sox staffers,


Rivera met with military members in San Diego before Saturday game at Petco Park

8/3/13, "Mariano Rivera speaks to military members,", Dennis Lin

"Mariano Rivera met with nine current and former military members before Saturday's game at Petco Park." Padres photo

"Rivera, who is retiring after this season, has been making special appointments at each final stop at a visiting ballpark. Typically, he’s sat down with long-time team employees.

He’d never been to Petco Park before Friday’s series opener, so he chose to meet with some of the people he admires the most.

“I’m telling you guys,” Rivera said, “thank God for you guys. I don’t know how you do it.”"...


Tuesday, August 06, 2013


White Sox await final visit from Rivera

8/4/13, "White Sox await Yankees' Rivera's final visit," Scott Merkin,

"If Robin Ventura has his way, the only time he will see former teammate Mariano Rivera on the field over the next three days at U.S. Cellular Field is when the Yankees closer is honored by the White Sox prior to Tuesday night's contest.

"He's had a great career, been a great teammate and I think he's a good example for a lot of people to follow because he does a lot of good stuff," said Ventura of Rivera. "A better person than he is a player."

According to White Sox senior vice president of communications Scott Reifert, the team will present Rivera with what it hopes is a funny gift and another more touching gift in honor of the all-time saves leader's impending retirement at the end of the 2013 season. The goal was to have the gifts connected to Rivera's experience at U.S. Cellular Field and Comiskey Park, where Rivera made his debut as a starter on July 4, 1995....

There also will be a group of 12 to 13 people visiting privately with Rivera before batting practice Tuesday at U.S. Cellular Field, as this unique meet and greet arranged by Rivera and the Yankees continues at each of his final stops.

"We've selected a representative group of people that will mean something to him, representing who the White Sox are," Reifert said. "It's a group of different people that will get a kick out of meeting and talking with Mariano. It really is a neat gesture.""


Sunday, August 04, 2013


Rivera in the ninth in San Diego

8/3/13, Rivera v San Diego Padres, final 3-0 Yankees, ap

8/3/13, Rivera v Padres, YES Network

Saturday, August 03, 2013


San Diego Padres give Rivera new beach bikes for himself and his family in sendoff before game


8/2/13, Rivera tries out new beach bike given to him by San Diego Padres before the game," final 7-2 Padres, ap

8/2/13, "Rivera's farewell tour hits San Diego," Dennis Lin,

"The Padres presented him with his latest retirement gift — five custom beach cruisers, one each for his wife and three children, and one for Rivera."...

8/2/13, Rivera and beach bike, uncropped, ap

Friday, August 02, 2013


Vin Scully calls Rivera's last inning at Dodger Stadium

8/1/13, "Broadcasting Legend Vin Scully Calling Baseball Legend Mariano Rivera’s Save Last Night Was Legendary [VIDEO],", Zach Berger (about 6 minutes)

"There are some rare moments in sports when two legends come together and create absolute awesomeness. Last night, one of those moments happened when Scully got to call Yankees closer Mariano Rivera’s 1-2-3 save against the Dodgers, taking the opportunity to give a history lesson on Rivera’s career. (MLB video at link)

That was the last time that Scully will ever call a game involving Mariano Rivera, the best closer in the history of Major League Baseball. Soak it in, folks. Soak it in."

Thursday, August 01, 2013


Rivera meets with longtime Dodgers employees

7/31/13, "One to save: Mariano Rivera speaks to longtime Dodgers employees," LA Times, Steve Dilbeck

"Yet there he was, meeting privately with approximately 20 longtime Dodgers employees before Wednesday’s game, expressing his gratitude for their being there, answering questions, posing for individual photographs and handing each a signed baseball.

“It’s a privilege and honor to be here,” he told the small group. “Thank you, I know you all have busy schedules.

“But it’s important to me to be able to say thank you. We always see all the people on the field, but not those behind the scenes. I just wanted to be able to say thank you for what you’ve done for baseball.”

Rivera, universally considered the greatest closer in baseball history, is retiring after this season. Yet, in addition to the usual gifts presented by opposing teams, Rivera has made a point at each final stop of a visiting stadium, to sit down with long-time team employees.

So Wednesday he met with approximately 20 members of the Dodgers organization – ushers, ticket takers, maintenance workers, front office workers, even a long-time season ticket holder – in a room under Dodger Stadium.

And gave them over 45 minutes of his time, most spent answering their questions about his five world championships, being the last to wear No. 42, playing for Joe Torre, his experience at the last All-Star game, how he handles defeat."...above getty photo

7/31/13,  Rivera tribute at Dodger Stadium, getty

7/31/113, Dodgers present Rivera with fishing rod, Fox Sports

7/31/13, Jay Z and Jack Nicholson at Dodger Stadium on day of Rivera sendoff, ESPN photo

7/31/13, "The Stars Came Out To See Mariano Rivera's Last Game At Dodger Stadium,", Cory Gaines


Jackie Robinson's widow Rachel recorded a video for Mo's appearance at Dodger Stadium

8/2/13, "Special Surprise For Mariano Rivera In Los Angeles,"


Rivera v Dodgers


7/31/13, Rivera v Dodgers, final 3-0 Yankees, ap

7/31/13, Rivera and Jeter after game v Dodgers, ap 

7/31, Rivera v Dodgers, ap (close-up of top photo)

7/31/13, Rivera tips cap after Dodgers honor him, ap


Mattingly, Magic, and Mo before Yankee-Dodgers game


7/31/13, "Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, left, greets New York Yankees relief pitcher Mariano Rivera as Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner and former Los Angeles Laker Earvin "Magic" Johnson looks on during a ceremony for Rivera prior to their baseball game," final 3-0 Yankees, ap

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