By Billy Perlmutter

He’s 43, coming off a torn ACL, and has recently announced his retirement. Yet he’s leading all of Major League Baseball in saves. His name? C’mon, who else could it be? It’s the all-time saves leader in MLB history, 12-time all star, 5 time world champion, and ageless wonder: Mariano Rivera.

How is he doing this? What exactly is he doing? Why are there many this many question marks after 3 sentences? Well, that’s Mariano for you. He amazes all baseball fans, and makes middle-aged men feel very self-conscious. Rivera has nothing else to play for in his illustrious career.

He has simply done it all: Set records, won numerous awards, won a handful of World Series rings (literally), and baffled everyone in Major League Baseball ever since the birth of the cutter.

Rivera basically uses one pitch. And that one pitch has made him of the greatest pitchers of all time. That one pitch is the cutter. Once discovered while playing catch in the outfield at Yankee Stadium, Mo’s cutter has effectively made him the best closer that will ever live.

What else has made Mariano Rivera the best? Well it’s what has made every other “great”, great: the numbers. A career 624 saves (and going up), 2.20 ERA (and going down), .210 batting average against, 90% save percentage, and that’s just his regular season numbers. In the postseason he’s converted on 42 of his 47 save opportunities. That’s all you need to know.

After all these years of playing in New York, in front of the harshest media in the world, Mariano is still somewhat of a secret. I couldn’t for the life of me tell you what his wife’s name is, or what she looks like. But I could probably name five of Derek Jeter’s girlfriends over the past 10 years. That says a lot about Mo. Even after all this time of being the best at his position – which just happens to be one of the most scrutinized in all of sports – he has managed to keep his private life, private. And that itself might be as great an achievement as any other he has attained.

Mariano Rivera still to this day raises a lot of questions. “How?” is the most common, and most logical one, because it seems virtually impossible to be that good, for that long, with one pitch.

Both Yankee fans and baseball fans won’t realize how special Mo was until he’s gone, simply because there has never been anyone like Mariano Rivera, and there never will be again.

 

Filed under: Billy Perlmutter, MLB

Tagged with: ,


Readers Comments (0)


You must be logged in to post a comment.