Posted tagged ‘Mariano Rivera’

Photo of the Day: Mariano Rivera’s #42 retired with the legends

September 23, 2013
(ELSA/GETTY IMAGES)

(ELSA/GETTY IMAGES)

Exit Sandman. The greatest closer in the game of baseball celebrated a 50 minute ceremony as a good bye send off from the Yankees organization at Yankee Stadium yesterday. The whole ceremony and game gave me chills down my back because it reminded baseball fans everywhere that this will be the last time you will see #42 in pinstripes pitch in the Bronx again. It’s sad to see him go, but it was special to see him given his own day for all his accomplishments. No one will be better than Mo and there will only be one Sandman. He pitches like a legend and leaves the game of baseball like a legend…

Photo of the Week: Mariano Stands Center Stage

July 18, 2013

Via New York Times:

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Mariano Rivera took center stage in the All Star game and produced a 1-2-3 8th inning for the American League. What made the inning special was the long standing ovation by the crowd and both dugouts during his warm up pitches. The whole scene just gave me and probably most of America goosebumps after such a great display of respect for a remarkable person and player. We may never see “Enter Sandman” enter that stage ever again so it was good to see the best closer in baseball history go off as MVP…

The Sports Cycle Video: MLB Playoff Race with special guest Mark Freund

September 21, 2011

Donnie Dwyer talks to MUTV Assistant Sports Director Mark Freund about the playoff race in the month of September and about the great career of Mariano Rivera. Check it out…

Trevor Hoffman retires as a Milwaukee Brewer but is he a Hall of Famer?

January 19, 2011

Via ESPN.com Rob Neyer’s Sweetspot Blog:

May 18, 2010.

That was the day on which Trevor Hoffman stopped being a closer, and started being something else. On the 18th of May, Hoffman turned a 4-1 lead over the Reds into a 5-4 loss. It was his fourth blown save of the young season, his ERA was 13.15, and manager Ken Macha had seen enough. Exit Hoffman, enter rookie John Axford.

Hoffman was 42. Most closers don’t make it that long, and nobody lasts forever (though Sinatra gave it a shot).

The problem was that Hoffman was four saves short of 600, and we do like our round numbers. A couple of months later, Hoffman got No. 597. Eleven days later, No. 598 (after a couple of poor outings). Eleven more days later, a quick (and exceptionally easy) two-out save against the Pirates for 599. And 10 days later — noticing a pattern here? — Hoffman pitched a solid ninth inning against the Cardinals to hit that big round number.
I wish I could say that one of Baseball’s Greatest Mysteries is why the Brewers and Hoffman didn’t stop right there. After all, would there be any number more memorable in this era than Trevor Hoffman’s 600 saves, if he’d stopped right there?

Alas, it’s not much of a mystery. In this case, utility (and perhaps a bit of sentiment) trumped roundness. On the 29th of September, the Brewers played two games against the Mets. In the first game, Milwaukee took an 8-7 lead with two runs in the eighth. In the bottom of the ninth, young John Axford — who had taken over as the Brewers’ closer, and with great success — retired the Mets in order to earn the save.

If there hadn’t been a second game, that probably would have been that.

But there was a second game, and even though Axford had thrown only 14 pitches in the first game, Hoffman got the call to protect the Brewers’ 3-1 lead and pitched a perfect ninth of his own. Goodbye, 600; hello, 601.

Milwaukee would play four more games, but there was only one more ninth-inning save situation and Axford converted it; Hoffman didn’t pitch again. Happily, while that last save pushed him above 600, it also dropped him below 6; entering that last appearance, Hoffman’s ERA for the season was 6.02, but afterward it was 5.89.

So he’s got that going for him.

Not that he really needed it. Those 601 saves should be plenty. I don’t think Hoffman’s Hall of Fame chances will be hurt by Mariano Rivera any more than Alan Trammell’s were hurt by Cal Ripken, or Tim Raines’ were hurt by Rickey Henderson.

OK, bad examples.

Still, it’s hard to predict exactly what will happen when Hoffman appears on the Hall of Fame ballot. It will be an exceptionally crowded ballot. Hoffman will still be No. 1 or 2 on the all-time saves list … but how much good did that do Lee Smith, who pitched exactly 200 more innings than Hoffman and finished with roughly the same ERA.

When it comes to relief pitchers, Hall of Fame voters should be exceptionally picky. They weren’t with Rollie Fingers and Bruce Sutter, but Sutter had the splitter and Fingers had the handlebar. They’ve been picky with Smith, and were picky for many years with Gossage.

Things don’t always happen the way we think they will. Hoffman had to sweat for No. 600. He might be sweating again, five years from now.

These question arise because John Franco who is fourth in closing games with over 400 saves got eliminated from Hall of Fame contention. I will miss hearing “Enter Sandman” as he leaves but what he has done for baseball and the closers position is remarkable. He could have retired after one of his best seasons but gave a crack at it and did not succeed like he wanted to but got to 600 saves. He is a true gentleman and a huge hall of famer and will be on the first ballot. Soon they will be calling his name in Cooperstown with his San Diego Padres cap and a day to remember…

The Yankees George “The Boss” Steinbrenner dies at 80

July 19, 2010

Last week was a wild week and nothing as surprising as the Yankees owner George Steinbrenner died the day of the All Star game, July 13th at the age of 80. The cause of death was a heart attack. Steinbrenner was taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa, Fla., and died at about 6:30 a.m. ET, according to reports.

He was a legend himself in the new Yankee Stadium

When the  New York Yankees lost their legendary owner, this is what people had to say about his legacy:

“George was ‘The Boss,’ make no mistake,” Hall of Famer. “He built the Yankees into champions, and that’s something nobody can ever deny. He was a very generous, caring, passionate man. George and I had our differences, but who didn’t? We became great friends over the last decade and I will miss him very much.” – Yogi Berra

“He was and always will be as much of a New York Yankee as Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford and all of the other Yankee legends,” baseball. “Although we would have disagreements over the years, they never interfered with our friendship and commitment to each other. Our friendship was built on loyalty and trust and it never wavered.” – MLB commissioner Bud Selig

“It’s a difficult time, on a great day for baseball, the All-Star Game, something everyone looks to,” Yankees and AL manager. “A great man in baseball passed. He’s meant so much to not only this organization, but to the game of baseball, and to all of us personally.” – Yankees Manager Joe Girardi

“Few people have had a bigger impact on New York over the past four decades than George Steinbrenner.”  “George had a deep love for New York, and his steely determination to succeed combined with his deep respect and appreciation for talent and hard work made him a quintessential New Yorker.” – New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg

“I think he’s a father figure to everyone that was in our organization in the past or present, because he really took care of his players.” I remember my first, second year, I was on third base and got doubled off on a line drive in the infield and we won the game. After the game he was yelling at me for, ‘Don’t ever get doubled off again. We won the game, but he expected perfection, and that rubbed off. And whether it was the players, the front office, the people working at the stadium, didn’t make a difference. He expected perfection.” – Yankees Shortstop Derek Jeter

…These quotes are just so powerful…

In 37-plus seasons as owner, Steinbrenner led the Yankees to seven World Series championships, 11 American League pennants and 16 AL East titles.

New York was 11 years removed from its last championship when he headed a group that bought the team from CBS Inc. on Jan. 3, 1973, for about 10 million dollars.

He revolutionized the Yankee franchise and the world of sports by starting his own television network and ballpark food company. Forbes now values the Yankees at $1.6 billion, trailing only Manchester United ($1.8 billion) and the Dallas Cowboys ($1.65 billion).

The Steinbrenner family said that funeral arrangements will be private. However, details about an additional public service will be announced at a later date.

Flags were lowered to half-staff at New York’s City Hall and a marquee outside the $1.5 billion Yankee Stadium  “the house that George built” to honor “George M. Steinbrenner III, 1930-2010.”

…Wow, a Yankees Legend dies on a very special night of the All Star game. It was a very sad day that Tuesday night and the Yankees organization and the whole ballclub handled the situation well and the honor ceremony (below) before the game against the Rays at the Stadium hit my heart very deep. The class man himself Derek Jeter said a beautiful speech along with the flowers at home plate by Mariano “Mo” Rivera and the moment of silence just touched baseball fans all around the world…

…The man created a dynasty and a world of entertainment. He did some of the most amusing things by firing and hiring managers like Billy Martin and creating the Yankees from a team of scrubs to a team of legends again. It’s something no other owner in other sport has done and he is going to be missed dearly. I will miss his amusing remarks, new stadiums, and dream teams. He created the Yankees to the Bankees and I don’t think that will change anytime soon…

For more on this story and future developments go to ESPN.com and Yankees.com