Sunday, March 10, 2013

Baseball world rushes to celebrate Mariano Rivera

The praise and accolades for Mariano Rivera flowed in from all over the baseball world.

Mo’s official announcement of his retirement following the 2013 baseball season prompted teammates, competitors and opposing managers all across the United States to pay tribute to a man who will go down in baseball history as the greatest closer ever.

Even former Boston Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbum, excuse me, Papelbon (sorry, old habits die hard), rushed to embrace Mo. Papelbon, who now closes games for the Philadelphia Phillies, calls Mariano Rivera the Godfather. It’s a nickname that fits, despite Mo’s good nature, because he is ruthless and unforgiving on a baseball mound.

About the only one to voice anything close to negativity was, ironically, former New York Yankees great Goose Gossage. I understand his frustration as he feels that praising Mariano as the greatest closer ever diminishes what he and others did in the role. But I think it’s possible to appreciate what closers of Goose’s era did while acknowledging that Mo’s postseason dominance allows him to shine above all others. And even Goose’s relatively mild criticism was coupled with extensive praise for Mo’s role as the best possible role model for young relievers such as David Robertson and Joba Chamberlain.

Mo’s eagerness to work with youngsters, as he voiced during his press conference yesterday, is one of the personal factors that help him shine above the rest. He has this tremendous talent and impeccable mindset. But instead of hoarding his wisdom, Mo shared it with anyone who would listen, including Papelbon, who was then closing games for the Yankees’ fiercest rival. It’s one of the many reasons why so many people have been so outspoken in professing their respect and admiration for the great Rivera and vowing to enjoy the last year he will give us.

No comments:

Post a Comment