I can’t call myself a Yankees fan, I’ve never really claimed a MLB team as my own. As a fan of the game, I respect the history of the 27-time world champions. My admiration for the players that have put on the pinstripes extends far and wide and Mariano Rivera falls into that category. A quiet, humble man, Rivera goes about his work with a surgeon’s precision with the aid of an unforgiving cutter. Seeing Mariano head toward the mound meant a Yankees victory was as certain as death and taxes.
Sadly enough, after tearing his ACL last night in pregame warmups, the future of the game’s greatest closer is a certain uncertainty.
Shagging fly balls in warmups has been Mariano Rivera’s thing during his 18 seasons it was his routine to stay loose but in last night’s session something went terribly wrong.
Rivera was running down a fly ball when his right knee buckled, Rivera immediately went down clutching his knee. The Yankees worst fears were revealed sometime later when Rivera was diagnosed with a torn ACL. This is the third such injury for an athlete and the second involving a New York sports figure. The Chicago Bulls superstar Derek Rose tore his left ACL in Game 1 of the NBA Playoffs last weekend as did the New York Knicks rookie guard Iman Schumpert.
There is hope at the possibility of Rose and Schumpert resuming their careers, however optimism is clouded for Rivera who at age 42 was more than likely in his final season with the Yankees and the chances of him coming back from an injury of this severity may not be worth the risk to some.
Regardless of what he does, Rivera’s place in baseball history is certain - his record 608 saves will stand as one of those untouchable records at a position where one’s fortune can change on one pitch Rivera has been solid with a career ERA of 2.21. In the Yankees three World Series appearances from 1998-2001 Rivera was 18 for 18 in save opportunities with a 0.65 ERA, his lowest save percentage never dipped below 83.
The most poignant of tidbits about Rivera is that he will be the last player to wear the same #42 number that Jackie Robinson wore how befitting is it for a player that is a direct beneficiary of Robinson’s contribution to permanently retire the number. To hang up the number 42 at age 42 sounds poetic - but not this way.
In other news:
Take a look at Claude Johnson’s “Black Fives” website and download his book for free (Black Fives).
Cam Newton launches his foundation for enriching the lives of youth (Cam Newton Foundation).
Damn, How many crablegs and shrimp did they eat??? (Byron Crawford).
No apologies from Rajon Rondo for outburst (Boston Herald).
Washington Nationals rookie Bryce Harper comes up big again in win (Washington Post).
Kentucky Derby Morning Line is here (SB Nation).
In place of Terrell Suggs the Baltimore Ravens may turn to a rookie (Baltimore Sun).
‘The Lizard’ appears in new Spider Man trailer (Hero Complex).
Chris Dufresne recalls the USC career of Junior Seau (LA Times)
Issac Murphy was one of 13 Black riders in the first Kentucky Derby(Black America Web)
Our babies are being born drug dependent (Black America Web)