Goodnight, Sweet Prince

Yesterday Mariano Rivera played his last game at Yankee Stadium, making his last appearance in front of his hometown fans before heading off to retirement after the season. The nightmare of opposing batters and fans during the late innings of close games over the last 18 years and unquestionably the greatest closer in baseball history. Rivera was a 13-time All-Star, holds the record for career saves (both in the regular season and postseason) by a staggering margin, and was superhumanly consistent – pitching in 61 games with a 2.09 ERA a 26 year-old in 43, and 64 games with a 2.11 ERA as a 43 year-old in 2013 with remarkably similar lines all the way through in between. The fact that he has a lifetime ERA- of 49 throwing the same fucking pitch for 18 years smack dab in the middle of the greatest offensive era in baseball history is mind-boggling.

He also destroyed many of my beloved Blue Jays teams throughout the years on his way to winning five World Series championships, seven AL pennants, and 11 AL East divisions with the New York Yankees, many of those with the three other homegrown Yankees stars: Jorge Posaga, Andy Pettitte, and Derek Jeter, who all debuted together back in 1995. Last night, summoned in the 8th in a losing cause so that he could be removed with two outs in the 9th inning, Pettitte and Jeter were sent to ceremoniously walk him off the Yankee Stadium mound for the last time.

I watched the video this morning and almost immediately had to choke back tears as I watched the most stoic, unstoppable baseball killer over the last two decades reduced to a weeping mess in his friend’s arms.

Love or hate the Yankees, it’s hard to deny the greatness, longevity, and humility of the baseball playing robot that is Mariano Rivera. As a Blue Jays fan I’m glad that he won’t be abusing my team a dozen times a year, but as a baseball fan it will be sad and to see him gone next season as yet another sports legend rides off into the sunset. Though it will be hard to see anyone do it with more class and dignity than Mo.

I know this, he’s going to be one tough act to follow.



Destined to fight the world's evil, The WAMBAG endures massive battles involving impossible stunts, races on horse-pulled carriages, and the desecration of enchanting medieval castles (all done with dizzying computer graphics). Not only does the eye candy keep on coming, the tongue-in-cheek writing and deep Transylvanian accents perfect the film with a dose of dark humor.



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