Monday was Mariano Rivera’s special day and not even two noteworthy snubs could ruin it.
It’s clear from Joe Girardi’s decision not to allow Jorge Posada to catch Mo for the historic save that the manager of the New York Yankees cares nothing about Yankee legacies or about Posada’s feelings. Girardi could have sent a clear message that all slights (real or imaginary) were forgiven, that everything was well and good between him and Posada, could have lessened the blow that will come from leaving Posada off the postseason roster by simply allowing the long-time Yankees catcher to get behind the plate one last time to partner with Rivera in closing a Yankees victory. But Girardi couldn’t bring himself to make that simple goodwill gesture, even with the Yankees holding a comfortable lead in the division race. It says a lot about Girardi’s character. But Jorge handled the snub with grace, stopping to happily acknowledge Russell Martin on his way to the mound to congratulate Mariano Rivera.
Even more appalling than Girardi’s refusal to allow Posada to catch Mo was the YES Network’s cutting off Mariano’s press conference right after he took one question in Spanish. As a Puerto Rican Yankee fan celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month, I was incredibly insulted. I have to say that it’s not the first time I’ve felt snubbed when watching a YES press conference (they have often asked Spanish-speaking reporters to wait while the players answered the questions of all the English-speaking journalists first), but I was completely shocked that they would cut away from Mo on the day he broke the all-time saves record. I don’t remember Derek Jeter being cut off on the day he went five for five to pass 3,000 hits.
The full press conference is now up on the YES Network website and Mo apparently did some interviews with Spanish-language outlets afterwards. But I think Mo deserved to speak all day if he wanted (not that he would because he is way too humble for that) and the rest of us deserved the opportunity to listen to everything he had to say, whether it was said in English or Spanish. The powers that run the YES Network may not have even realized it nor did it on purpose, but their decision to cut off Mo’s press conference was incredibly offensive. They owe us better than that.
Even with the snubs, Rivera’s accomplishment ruled the day. I just wish Girardi and the YES Network bosses had truly appreciated it and cooperated fully in the celebration.