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G.O.A.T.

(By YetiVedder)

You should probably listen to this song while reading this post.  It is only fitting…

I hate the New York Yankees with every bone in my body.  I am a born-and-raised Boston Red Sox fan and nothing makes me happier than when the Yankees run into some bad luck.  I always hated specific players on the Yanks.  Jorge Posada for always talking smack from the dugout.  A-Rod, for, well, being A-Rod.  The slap of the ball out of Arroyo’s glove or the legendary Varitek fight.  Gary Sheffield for stupid reasons like having the largest glove on the planet.  Aaron Boone for first hitting that homerun that killed the 2003 season and Grady Little’s managing career.  Then getting hurt in the offseason only to allow the Yanks to pick up the best player in the game at that time.  Joba Chamberlain for being a young punk who would throw at Kevin Youkilis for no reason!  The list goes on and on and on!

As much as I loathe the Yankees, I have a great love for the rivalry.  While I have grown to hate some of the Yankees, there are players you can’t help but respect.  Robinson Cano has one of the sweetest swings in baseball and he never says a word.   Derek Jeter is the definition of professional.  He always says the right thing and gives 100% effort on all plays.  I still miss the days where you could debate who was better, Nomar or Jeter, and yes there definitely was a debate at one point!  I still say Nomar was better at his peak and before all his wrist stuff happened, but I may be a little biased!

And then there is Mariano.

Mariano Rivera has always been the Yankee that I respected most.  As much respect as I have for Jeter and Cano, I always hated seeing Mariano come into the game mainly because I knew that meant 99% of the time the Red Sox were going to lose.  As a Red Sox fan, you don’t fear Cano or Jeter, but you did fear Mariano.  The thing is, Mariano did this against every team!  He was unhittable and he did this with one pitch!  His cutter has to be ranked as one of the best pitches of all time.  There were so many times that Mariano Rivera made me miserable, but then again he also gave me some of the happiest baseball memories of my life.  In 2004, when he walked Kevin Millar (which doesn’t get enough respect if you ask me) that led to the Dave Roberts steal of second base.  That led to Billy Mueller (Mariano Kryptonite) singling up the middle, allowing Roberts to tie the game and the Red Sox to begin the greatest comeback in postseason history!  The Sox went on to win the World Series and made this Sox fan one of the happiest people on the planet.

The funny thing is that the one moment I remember most about Mariano came the following season when the Red Sox got their World Series rings.  Mariano was introduced and the Fenway faithful gave Rivera a loud ovation for giving up that run that led to the comeback.  Mariano simply smiled and tipped his cap.  It made me laugh as a Sox fan, but also Mariano earned the respect of Red Sox nation.  How can I tell that, you ask?  Because at Fenway Park, great Yankee players get booed unless they are respected.  A-Rod gets booed.  Jeter doesn’t.  Joba got booed (before he jumped on trampolines), Mariano no longer did after that day.

When I saw the news that Mariano Rivera tore his ACL last night and was done for the season, and maybe his career, I had mixed emotions.  I was glad that the Red Sox wouldn’t have to face him.  I was glad that the Yankees, a team I hate, would no longer have a lights-out closer.  I thought right away that it probably costs the Yankees 5 wins this season.  I also thought that it was a horrible way for the greatest closer of all time to go out.  He should have gone out doing what he does best, pitching.  He should not be forced out by a freak injury while shagging fly balls.  It is a sad, sad day for the rivalry.  Mariano Rivera is hands down the greatest closer of all time.  He is a player that only had one pitch and wasn’t supposed to do much.  He is a player that took that one pitch and drove my team crazy with it for years.  He is a player on a team that I hate with every bone in my body, but a player that I can’t help but have great respect for.

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2 Comments on “G.O.A.T.

  1. mommyhatesme
    May 4, 2012

    The greatest pitch that baseball has ever seen has been taken from us. Hell of a run!

  2. mommyhatesme
    May 4, 2012

    Also Mo has been about a 2.5 WAR pitcher over the past few years; not quite 5 wins. Factoring in some combo of Robertson/Soriano replacement and the drop off is likely only 2 wins or so in actual win reduction. How many wins this change actually takes away in real life is another debate.

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