Thursday, December 16, 2010

Mariano loyal to the Yankees to a fault

Mariano Rivera is one of those guys who I'd have to see DNA evidence before I believe he was lying about anything so I have no problem believing Mo when he says he did not approach the Boston Red Sox about a new contract.

I never believed all those reports of Rivera supposedly approaching the Red Sox about a potential deal. I remember watching Andy Pettitte's Centerstage interview when he told Michael Kay that he never even considered playing for the Red Sox even though Boston offered him a hefty contract in 2003 that was worth a lot more than what Pettitte's hometown Houston Astros ultimately paid for his services. If you ask Mo, his answer would probably be the same as Pettitte's. Mo has been a member of the New York Yankees family since he was a kid and he probably can’t even picture himself closing games for the Saux.

The truth is Mo is loyal to the Yankees to a fault. Unlike Derek Jeter, Mariano had the leverage of another team – the Yankees hated rival – bidding for his services. But instead of using the Red Sox offer to squeeze a well-deserved raise out of the Yankees, he quickly signed a new deal that will pay him about the same amount of money as his old contract. He makes more money than any closer so it's not like he's hurting for cash. But he is also the best closer ever in the history of baseball, and despite turning 41 this year, has shown absolutely no signs of slowing down.

In the euphoria of winning the 2009 World Series, Mo said he wanted to pitch another five years. Well, one year down, signed for two more and I have no doubt that if Mo continues to pitch like Mo, another two seasons after that is fully within his grasp. I also know that no matter how long he chooses to pitch, all that pitching will be done wearing Yankee pinstripes.

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