Thursday, May 26, 2011

Mariano's remarkable feat worthy of praise

Mariano Rivera has spoiled us fans of the New York Yankees for a long time.

Mo is easy to root for not only because of his brilliance, but because of his modesty. He didn’t even really want to talk about what is truly a remarkable accomplishment: becoming the only pitcher in Major League Baseball history to appear in 1,000 games for the same team. That’s just unbelievable when you think about how difficult it is to pitch in that many games, especially for one team in an era of frequent trades and free agency.

I’m constantly reminded of how truly blessed and spoiled we are by Rivera when I watch other baseball teams play. I was at a Mets game with my good friend Scott a few weeks ago when Francisco Rodriguez came in to close out the 9th inning. Me being accustomed to watching Mo end games with less than 10 pitches, I started gathering my things for a quick exit. But that 9th inning lasted closer to 40 minutes than the 5 minutes it usually takes Mo to finish a game. I had a taste of what other fans have to deal with because guys not named Mariano Rivera are their closers.

Yankees fans will eventually feel that type of pain whenever Rivera decides to call it quits. Joba Chamberlain said Mo could pitch until he’s 50. Selfishly, I hope that he does because no one will ever be able to fill his legendary shoes.

A lot of attention has been paid to Derek Jeter’s pursuit of 3,000 hits, a magnificent accomplishment for another future Hall of Famer. But I hadn’t heard about Rivera’s feat until yesterday’s game. I was glad to see it got so much attention and love in the press today because it is truly a remarkable feat, one worthy of unending praise, just like the man himself.

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