Friday, November 23, 2018


Bud Selig: "To the greatest relief pitcher of all time, Mariano Rivera"-July 16, 2013


"Mariano Rivera Career Highlights," You Tube video. Bud Selig remarks @15:54. "To the greatest relief pitcher of all time" took place at MLB All Star game, July 16, 2013. Rivera retired at end of 2013 season.

Mariano Rivera, Baseball Reference


Added: From Joel Sherman, author of "Birth of a Dynasty" about the 1996 Yankees, and who watched Rivera's entire MLB career: "Rivera was the best reliever ever and arguably the best postseason performer ever."...11/24/18, "Why Mariano Rivera will not get every Hall vote, but he's got mine," NY Post, Joel Sherman. Sherman notes that Rivera pitched 3 days in a row in the 1996 World Series (10/21, 10/22, and 10/23). Rivera also pitched 2 innings on 10/26/96 in game 6. He pitched 107.2 in regular season followed by 14.1 innings in post season, for a total of 122 innings in 1996.



12/21/18, "Column: From Sammy Sosa to Jon Garland: A look at the 35-man ballot for the 2019 Baseball Hall of Fame," Chicago Tribune, Paul Sullivan


Mariano Rivera: Greatest reliever in baseball history and all-time saves leader. Only question is whether he’ll be the first unanimous selection. (Spoiler alert: No.)"...


Added: "On the merits alone, there is simply no compelling case to be made for leaving Mariano off of even a single ballot....We will never see another Mariano Rivera. He is, by any standard, the most dominant relief pitcher in baseball history, the baseline against which all other relievers are judged. His postseason heroics will never be matched."...

12/22/18, "Mariano Rivera Should be Baseball’s First Unanimous Hall of Famer,", Bobby Montano


"Rivera pitched 1,283.2 innings [in regular season plus 141 in post season for a total of 1424.2 innings] in his 19-year career (1996-2013), almost all of them in the 8th or 9th inning of close games. He was on the mound for the final play of an MLB record 952 games, recorded another MLB record 652 saves and compiled the best league-adjusted ERA (2.21 ERA, 205 ERA+, 49 ERA-) for any pitcher with over 1,000 innings pitched in the history of baseball. He walked only 2 men and allowed per 7 hits 9 innings pitched for a clean 1.000 WHIP, and, most impressively, gave up one home run every 18 innings pitched [in regular season. In 141 post season innings Mariano gave up only 2HR, one per 70 innings]. All of this in the steroid-era against many of the game’s most fearsome hitters.

This translates to a 56.2 WAR,[regular season only?] which is the most WAR compiled by a reliever by a truly laughable amount. Jay Jaffe’s JAWS ranks him second, but that’s because Dennis Eckersley’s total is skewed by his years as a starter. As Mike wrote, among pitchers with 80 percent or more of their appearances in relief, Rivera is first in WAR—Hoyt Wilhelm is second at 50 WAR in more 1,000 more innings, and if you squint, you can see Goose Gossage’s 41.9 WAR in 3rd place. Rivera’s contemporaries in the top 30, Tom Gordon (34.9) Joe Nathan (26.7), Billy Wagner (27.7), Trevor Hoffman (26.7) and Jonathan Papelbon (23.5) are not even close.

[At least six "next Marianos:"]

That is especially noteworthy because of an obsession among baseball writers to anoint his successor, even when Rivera himself was still dominating. A Google search of “next Mariano

reveals that Roberto Osuna, Zach Britton, Joba Chamberlain, Craig Kimbrel, Kenley Jansen and Jonathan Papelbon have all been dubbed baseball’s next Rivera. The best of these comparisons occurred while Rivera was playing, and almost always ended in a humorous fashion.

That’s because of almost superhuman longevity, which is worth detailing in a quick exercise by highlighting three seasons in the beginning, in the middle and very end of his career.

At age 26, Rivera logged what is one of the most dominant seasons in relief in modern baseball history. In 107.2 IP he pitched to a 2.09 ERA (240 ERA+) with a 1.88 FIP, 10 strikeouts per 9 innings pitched and surrendered only 1 home run. He was worth, according to Baseball-Reference, an absurd 5 wins as a multi-inning setup reliever and was a key player in the shocking 1996 World Series run. In 2006, a decade later, 36-year-old Rivera posted another 4 win season. In 75 innings had a 1.80 ERA (252 ERA+) despite only recording 6 strikeouts per 9 innings (but walked only 1 per 9) and surrendered 3 home runs. This was hardly a notable season at the time; it was just another season of Mariano Rivera being Mariano Rivera.

Finally, at age 43 in 2013 (a year after a season-ending ACL injury), Rivera had 44 saves in 64 innings. His 2.11 ERA (190 ERA+), nearly 8 Ks per 9 and impeccable control (1 walk per 9) remained in line with his career numbers; he retired because of the travel, not because of any regression or diminished returns. This, more than anything else, is what separates Mariano Rivera from his peers—three seasons, each almost ten years apart, in which he was virtually unhittable.

But if Rivera’s regular season achievements have no comparisons, it is the postseason where the separation is most stark. There’s almost no point repeating the laundry list of achievements, but two things stand out: 1) Rivera got better across the board in October (he had a 0.70 ERA) and 2) in 141 postseason innings ([equivalent of] two full seasons), Rivera surrendered only two (2!!) home runs. He won 5 World Series, was on the mound for the final out of four consecutive World Series and had some of the most heroic performances in the recent Yankee dynasty. The unfavorable endings of the both 2001 World Series and 2004 ALCS are so memorable not just because of their natural excitement, but because so much of the action came against Rivera—it’s as if nobody could believe their eyes.

All of this adds up to a simple, undeniable fact: we will never see another Mariano Rivera. He is, by any standard, the most dominant relief pitcher in baseball history, the baseline against which all other relievers are judged. His postseason heroics will never be matched, his longevity defies belief and, of course, he did it all with one pitch for two decades.

Tom Kelly, the manager of the 1996 Minnesota Twins, best summarized him after an early season matchup against the ’96 version of Rivera: “He should be in a higher league. Ban him from baseball; he should be illegal.” Voters now have a chance to actually put him in a higher league by making him baseball’s first unanimous Hall of Famer.

After all, if Rivera pitched without peers throughout his career, that is how he ought to be inducted to the Hall of Fame: a cut above the rest, having accomplished what nobody else could do, or will ever do again."


Saturday, November 17, 2018


1996 ALDS Game 2, 10/2/96, Rangers at Yankees, Mariano Rivera for 2 and 2/3 hitless frames. MLB announcer: "A lot of people think this man should be considered for the Cy Young"


1996 ALDS game 2, Oct. 2, 1996, Rivera takes the mound for 2 and 2/3 hitless frames. Final in 12 innings, Yankees 5, Rangers 4. Game duration, 4:25. WP: Brian Boehringer, • LP: Mike Stanton. (No save).

MLB national announcer:

"You know, you talk about finishing strong in a baseball season. Rivera had a wonderful season, but in the month of September he was 4 and 1, seventeen innings pitched, 22 punch outs and only one walk. Talk about finishing strong down the stretch. And they needed him, and that's why a lot of people think this man should be considered for the Cy Young."

1996 AL Cy Young voting: Mariano Rivera third, 13% of votes


Baseball Reference:

Rivera entered in 7th in relief of Andy Pettitte, one out, Rangers ahead 4-2. Rivera retired Ivan Rodriguez and Rusty Greer. Rivera enters in the 8th, score now 4-3 Rangers. Rivera retired Juan Gonzalez, Will Clark and Dean Palmer. Rivera enters in the 9th, score now tied 4-4. Rivera retires Tettleton, McLemore, and Elston. Wetteland pitched 10th and 11th, Graeme Lloyd, Jeff Nelson, Kenny Rogers, and Brian Boehringer pitched the 12th. Yankees win in bottom of 12th 5-4.

Mariano Rivera: Total post season innings pitched: 141. ERA: .70. Post season home runs in 141 innings: 2


Via 11/16/18, "1996 ALDS Game 2: Rivera hurls 2 2/3 hitless frames,", Mesabi Daily News


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?