There Are Closers And There Are Closers

K-Rod…
K-Rod.jpg
…walked Mo with the bases loaded in the top of the ninth tonight to put the Yankees up by two runs and hand Mo his first RBI ever.
mo.mets.jpg
And then Mo finished off the Mets in their half inning for the Yankees’ 4-2 victory, the series sweep and his milestone 500th career save.
After he notched the final out, there was no fist pumping, no theatrics, just his customary classy, humble demeanor. His teammates gathered around to congratulate him, and I sat in my living room sobbing like a sentimental fool.
woman-crying.jpg
Mo is my favorite Yankee, and I was touched by the outpouring of affection for him.
So while an actual ball game did take place at Citi Field – Wang got his first win of the year, the bats struck early against Livan Hernandez, Cano was horrible in the clutch, Hughes was impressive in relief, the Mets looked absolutely hapless – this one was about Mo.
And we go around the horn.
From Newsday…
From the Daily News…

Mariano Rivera earns 500th save as Yankees sweep Mets

From MLB.com…

From the New York Times…
Milestone for Rivera and Sweep for Yanks

I hope he’s celebrating with some champagne. He said on ESPN tonight that he doesn’t even drink coffee, but maybe he’s having a little toast with his pals. Here’s one from me, Mo:
“Thanks for all those saves (and even the non-saves). Don’t ever retire. We need you. Here’s to your continued good health.”
Clink.

champagne_toast-268x300.jpg
Enter Sandman…

28 Comments

I love seeing the pitcher hit and all the extra managing that goes with that.
.
Felicidades Mo! Eres el orgullo de Panama!
Emma
http://crzblue.mlblogs.com/

i liked the way all the Yankees hugged Mo after the game.. way cool..
and i thought it was funny how Girardi sent Cervelli out to the on-deck circle to warm up trying to fool the Mets into thinking Girardi was gonna substitute a hitter for Mo (so that K-rod would pitch to Jeter), lol

Great weekend series for the Yanks, full of history and wins! This looks like it’s going to be a real rollercoaster season. Have to enjoy the ride when it’s going up. I think Cano has to be dropped to either 6th or 7th in the lineup. As for Wang, I don’t know if he’s going to keep this up against the better offenses of the AL. Hughes is starting to look pretty good.

I am glad that we don’t have to deal with K-Rod theatrics, and there is no one with more class than Mo. I got chills watching the hugs at the end of the game. It was another important milestone in, what Jon Miller called it, “a brilliant career”. How appropriate was it that he picked up a RBI with his 500th save? It was nice that Wang was finally able to get the first win under his belt. Hopefully, they’ll become more frequent as the season progresses. Granted, I’d prefer to see Phil Hughes in the starting rotation, but how stellar has he been? Winning is so much more fun!

Scott
http://fotr.mlblogs.com

Mariano is also my favorite Yankee, not only because of his accomplishments but because of his demeanor and because of the fact that he never appears to have any “off the field” drama.

On ESPN quite a while after the game ended they had a formal interview with our great closer and as always he presented himself in a way that can make all Yankees fans proud. When asked if he was focused on the save # 500, he said “I don’t play for the records, I play for the New York Yankees.” I had to smile a few minutes later when the interviewer asked him about performance enhancing drugs to which Mo said that he doesn’t even drink coffee. I personally don’t know how anyone could perform in any capacity without coffee but as always I love and respect the greatest closer in the game.

Rivera is the ultimate class act in baseball and arguably the most important player on the team for the last dozen years. People can hate the Yankees all they want, but they can’t ever say anything negative about Mariano.

—and by the way, I blame this recent Yankee winning streak on Julia and that silly “they don’t play like a team” line she dropped on you last week.

Nice going, Julia. They’re only 3 back now…

Steve T.
http://soxblog.mlblogs.com

There are only a few — and I mean a FEW — reasons I would want to regain my hearing (I am deaf).

One of the reasons is to hear “Enter Sandman” blaring on the PA system and the crowd cheering as Rivera enters in the top of the ninth at Yankee Stadium.

Call that a “Mastercard” moment…priceless.

-Chris
http://www.generationthird.com

I was lucky enough to meet Mariano Rivera at a Phillies vs Yankees spring training game, and I have to say he was one of the classiest and down to earth players I have ever met. Congrats to him on his 500th save, he deserves it. And by the way K-rod is far and away the most arrogant show-off punk I’ve ever seen step foot on a baseball field. I’m so tired his antics.
Please check out my final thoughts on interleague play, Billy Mays’ beard, and caveman Eric Bruntlett http://payoffpitch.mlblogs.com
Thanks! And great post by the way.

They just don’t get any better or classier than Mo. He is a true gentleman and wonderful person. I loved his comment, “I just do my job…you can decide.” Well, I think the votes are in and Mo es el mejor. This was a great moment for him and his team.

I was at the game which, aside from the first inning, was kind of a bore – until Mo came in. Even without Enter Sandman playing, it’s always an electrifying thing to see. He’s cool personified. That at bat – priceless! By the bottom of the 9th the Yankee fans pretty much outnumbered the Mets fans, and it was a great moment. Daily News back cover headline ” 500 and 1″. I wonder if ESPN games can be made Yankees Classics? I think Cano needs a couple of days off….

Hi Jane,
Watching that 9th inning was the highlight of my weekend, Mo’s walk and then getting his 500th was amazing, a class act as always…….now please Girardi, Pena in for Cano, he has go to sit, let us all take comfort in the fact that we are not Met fans……..

I was so pumped when Rivera got that save. I am a huge fan of him because of the way he plays the game and respects it. He is a true professional and this milestone assures him a hall of fame bid from me and probably a ton of other legit voters.
-Dillon
http://dillonm.mlblogs.com

Wow. That was the definition of “awesome”.
–Jeff
http://redstatebluestate.mlblogs.com/

Hi Jane …

What a weekend !! How can it be topped any better than with Mo getting his 500th Save & lst RBI…especially against K-Rod.. :o). Mo is just plain magnificent as a player and more importantly as a person. I don’t think any player in the history of baseball has exhibited as much class and humility as Mo. Joe D thanked God for making him a Yankee…I thank God for allowing me to be witness to Mo’s talent for all these years. I am so happy I was at the game. Congrats Mo …the GREATEST EVER !!!

It was nice to see Wang get his first win too. He’s coming around game by game and if we have him at full swing after the All Star break with AJ & CC pitching like they are capable….with Joba cutting down on walks and hopefully going deeper …with Pettitte having a typical Pettitte second half …the Yankees will have the most spectacular rotation in baseball. The bullpen has been doing a great job …Hughes has looked TERRIFIC !!! Ace, Coke, Robertson, Bruney …Yep…the bullpen is definitely looking a lot better.

I was at my first games at Citifield on Friday and Sunday. Very nice ballpark …the Blue Smoke RIBS are DELICIOUS!!
I liked most things about the Park with the exception of the scoreboards …so much advertising around them it takes away from the screens. I wasn’t that enamored with the Jackie Robinson Rotunda (what’s with that ?? why wasn’t it the Tom Seaver Rotunda since he was their greatest player??). I understand the tributes to Jackie and it could have been done in another area but he was a DODGER ..the Dodgers should do the major tributes to him..not the Mets. Unfortunately not much Mets stuff so you could have felt you were at any ballpark. The different sized walls in the outfield are kind of weird too. I was in right field (on TV when the mighty Gardner hit his homer..just a few rows back from the ball) and lost sight lines. I couldn’t see any of the scoreboards either. Left field second level on Sunday …lost the plays in left field if they went deep enough. All in all tho’ I liked the ballpark …like most of the new parks pretty similar in looks ..that’s the one thing I like about Yankee Stadium…it’s shape ..not the same as the others. I think both parks need some improvements in some areas. Citi definitely needs more of the Mets less of other teams. You definitely know you are in YANKEE Stadium …no mistaking with all the Yankee memories around the place.

Anyway …that’s my little critique on Citi. New York is lucky to have two wonderful homes for their teams. I know one thing for sure …the Yankees LOVE Citifield…haha.

Sorry for the LONG post … here’s hoping the Yankees can keep up the winning ways.

Go Yankees 2009 !!!

I’m not a Yankees fan but I do have to give credit where credit is due. Mariano Rivera is one of the greatest pitchers of all time. The best thing about this is that he is clean. It’s been hard recently seeing the players that defined my generation turn out to be frauds. It is really refreshing to see someone who achieved great things do it the right way.
http://moneyball.mlblogs.com/

Hey there — first up, Peggy3, don’t apologize for your long post. It’s great to get a passionate Yankee fan’s take on all that stuff, plus thanx 4 the detail on Citi Field, which most of us won’t (ever?) get to see…meanwhile, what a great way to cap off the weekend. With so much sadness and melancholy all around, at least there was some looking back that allowed us to look ahead a little, Thank You Mo. And thank u too, Miz J, for giving us the insights into him with your book that we uninformed out in the hinterlands would otherwise not have had. Saw the 1st inning, the bottom of the 9th, and one of Cano’s trademark GIDPs in-between, which was enuf…onward & upward!!

I can’t believe he is so close to Trevor!! That’s pretty scary. I didn’t realize he was that close. But very cool. That’s a huge milestone.
http://kaybee.mlblogs.com

Emma, it was fun seeing the Yankees participating in NL style games this past week, even if we did lose a few. The strategy involved is interesting. And, of course, it was great fun to see Mo pick up a bat – twice!

I don’t think Girardi was fooling anybody with that Cervelli move, Levelboss, but it was funny just the same – especially Jeter’s expression.

A terrific weekend, Len. I agree about Wang. He was fine against the toothless Mets, but I’m not comfortable having him face the powerhouses yet. And yes, Hughes has looked sensational in relief.

I’m glad that the game was on ESPN for all to see, Scott. A wonderful setting for Mo and his milestone. Getting back to Hughes, I know he’s supposed to be a starter, but he looks so good out of the pen that I’m wondering if he’s the answer to our eighth inning situation (Bruney is still to iffy for me) and, ultimately, Mo’s replacement?

I watched that interview with Mo, Diane, and while I loved listening to him talk, I was disappointed that the “Conversation” wasn’t longer. They kept promoting it all night and then it was – what – five minutes? Grrr.

High praise for Mo, Steve. We Yankee fans thank you for it. He’s a special player, no question. And – shockingly – he’s a team player!

Chris, those “Enter Sandman” moments are priceless indeed – and I don’t even like the music! There’s just something so special about Mo’s graceful trot onto the field and how it never changes through the years.

You were so lucky to meet him, phi8008. It would be the thrill of a lifetime for me.

I loved that line too, Ellen. And he credited his teammates, which they must have appreciated.

I heard you were at the game, Ladyjane! And I agree about Cano. He had that one day off last week when his wrist was sore and maybe it’s still bothering him (or it’s the flu). But Pena or Ransom should take his place now that Jeter’s back in the lineup.

Jmf414, see above about Cano. My sentiments exactly. Today’s off-day should help too. And yes, it was a great weekend to be a Yankee fan, in the ninth inning especially.

He’s a first ballot HOF-er for sure, Dillon. I can’t imagine how that wouldn’t happen.

“Awesome” is used very often, but last night was just that, Jeff.

Thanks for the review of Citi Field, Peggy. It’s interesting to hear the different points of view. I’ve read reports from people who absolutely love the scoreboards and how everything is so clear and easy to find. You make a good point about the need for more Mets monuments and history. Maybe they’ll add more exhibits or memorabilia as time goes by. Great win for the Yanks!

Moneyball, Mo is my favorite player because he seems to do everything the right way: his pitching, his attitude, his demeanor, his treatment of others, on and on. Just love the guy.

The part about Mo in my book that you’re referring to is the scene that makes grown men cry, Dave. He was so wonderful and caring to Jen Royle and her family when her father was sick. That’s the kind of person he is. Truly.

He said in the ESPN interview that he doesn’t think about catching Trevor, so don’t worry, Kaybee! The record is safe!

We as Yankee fans are so lucky to have seen Mo grow up before our eyes. He is not only a great baseball player but more importantly a great person with class and dignity so much of that is missing in today’s players. It will be a very sad today when he put on his uniform for the last day.

Not sure what was more exciting last night however the save or the RBI. I have seen Mo save plenty of games before but never have and probabbly never again will see him with an RBI

It was a great night for Rivera and for Wang as well. Congrats.

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com

Gayle, you and Ladyjane picked a great game to see together. I’m so envious. I can’t even imagine life without Mo, can you? He said last night in the ESPN interview that he’ll hang it up when he feels he’s no longer helping the team. I dread that day.

Thanks, Julia.

Jane, thank you for the great post on Mariano. What a great Yankee! I love seeing emotion in our players. It makes baseball more human.
http://catlovesthedodgers.mlblogs.com

Great headline. Truly fitting.
It was kind of an emotional sight. Mo has been playing the game right and has been as dominant in the game as a player can be. It’s unbelievably amazing. Also, as I’ve said before, feels like he could pitch forever.
He’s be the definition of classy throughout it all and I’m beyond grateful he’s played in pinstripes.
– V [ http://flairforthedramatic.mlblogs.com ]

Jane – Mo is truly the best. It will be strange when he retires, sort of like how I felt when Larry Bird left the Celtics. But Larry Bird is nowhere near the man that Mo is. I’m glad I got to watch that last night, and really, all his games. I thought it was sweet that Wang had him sign a ball for his son because he wants him to know he played with the one of the greatest. I don’t care what anyone else says, there are the rare good guys in sports and Mo is one of them.

So K-Rod walked Rivera with the bases loaded!?!? Ha!!! (wish I had watched the end of that game last night on TV, but I didn’t) Thanks so much to your Yanks for sweeping the Mets!!
Sue
Rants, Raves, and Random Thoughts

I agree, Cat. Seeing their emotions reminds us that they’re human beings, not just elite athletes. Mo rocks.

I’m grateful too, V. What would our Yankee fan lives be without him in pinstripes?

Maybe he’ll never retire, YRC. Maybe he’ll be a miracle of nature and never get old! Don’t I wish.

You’re welcome, Sue. You would have loved the end of the game, but maybe you can catch a clip of it. So now your Phillies owe us big time!

One hell of a player that Mariano Rivera.

For sure.

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