Friday, May 4, 2012

Mariano Rivera, Out for the Season

In what seems to be an epidemic in the sports world as of late, Mariano Rivera tore his ACL last night, shagging balls during Yankees batting practice in Kansas City. We'll wait until next week until BockerKnocker gets back from his out of town business trip (read: he's up to no good) for his no doubt heart-wrenching reaction, but in the meantime, we'll get some reflection from Mambinite and sullen Knicks soldier, El Miz:

Last night, while shagging fly balls in the outfield to warm up for a game, Mariano Rivera tore both his meniscus and ACL, and likely was on the field in Yankees uniform for the last time.  A sad end to a truly legendary character, a man who dominated professional sports like no other in the 90's and 00's -- counting Tiger, MJ, Kobe, and Tom Brady as his main competition. Not bad company. 5 world championships, 7 appearances in the World Series, 8 appearances in the AL pennant, and 17 total playoff appearances over a an 18-year career. Not a bad resume, either.
When he burst on the scene in '96, Mo was a true menace: 107.2 innings pitched, 130 strikeouts...and only 1 guy hit a home run off him all season.  Rivera ended the year with a 1.88 ERA, setting up for the esteemed John Wetteland, he of the sweat-stained cap.  The Yanks went on to beat the Braves in six games to win the first of five championships over the next 13 years (Just for contrast's sake, '96 was Pettitte's second full season, Jeter's first full season, and a 24-yr-old Jorge Posada had 1 hit in 14 at bats. That's how long Mariano has been dominant).

Arguably Mo's best statistical season was in 2008, at 38 years old -- in 70 innings, he stuck out 77 and only gave up 11 earned runs all season.  Oddly enough, 2008 was the only year in his entire career that Rivera did not make the playoffs.  The reason? Quick trivia: the Yankees 5-man rotation that year -- Pettitte, Mike Mussina, Darrel Rasner, Chien-Ming Wang and Sidney Ponson. Not exactly the glory days of the Core Four.

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