Thursday, August 11, 2011

Rivera mad at himself for bad streak

Mariano Rivera is really mad at himself right now, but he is probably the only one in the New York Yankees clubhouse upset with his recent performances.

Rivera was happy that the Yankees won today's game despite his giving up a three-run home run in the 9th inning. But he was unhappy that he didn't pitch well for the third straight game. Mo usually shrugs off such outings so it was quite enlightening to hear him talk about being angry that he hasn’t done his job recently, but he also said that he isn’t concerned.

Neither is his manager Joe Girardi. Despite a flurry of probing questions, Girardi never once expressed any concern about his closer. Either Girardi is a better actor than I thought or he really means it when he says that he has absolutely no worries about this being anything more than a mini-slump for Mo.

One of the many things I love about Mo is that he never loses his confidence, perspective or even his sense of humor. Reporters crowded around peppering him with questions about his recent streak of bad pitching performances, with the obvious implication that he is beginning to falter due to his advancing age. A lesser man would have gotten completed frustrated and annoyed. Instead, Mariano gently reminded the reporters that he has a brief slump every year.

“We always have this conversation for 16, 17 years," Rivera said to the great amusement of the Yankee beat writers.

Yes, they have. And still the writers feel the need to write a bunch of stories about Mariano’s inevitable decline. But this will all be forgotten as soon as Mo pulls off a few consecutive saves on his way to surpassing Trevor Hoffman for the most saves in baseball history. That feat will officially mark Rivera as the top closer of all time, even though he already is. Definitely not the kind of guy you worry about.

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