One Pitch Wonder: The Journey of Mariano Rivera

Mariano Rivera's 634 saves are the most in MLB history. He will retire at the end of the 2013 season.

Mariano Rivera’s 634 saves are the most in MLB history. He will retire at the end of the 2013 season.

His statistics for this year are astonishing, having a 1.55 ERA and 26 saves in 32 games. His WHIP is 1.24 and he has 27 strikeouts. But the most incredible statistic of it all? Yankees closer Mariano Rivera is doing all of this at the age of 43. He has  done this over his 18 year career with his lethal cut fastball and his farewell season is almost halfway done.

Now with this being Rivera’s last season in the Major Leagues with the Yankees, there are some people calling for Mariano to start the MLB All-Star Game in July at New York’s Citi Field. As fans call for this as a show of respect, Rivera would love to just stay in his closer role in the bullpen, and I agree with Rivera.

Naming Rivera the American League starter would put the greatest closer in history out of his comfort zone. Who takes a career 2.20 ERA, 634 saves and a WHIP of 1.00 out of that role! I am from the school of thought that if it is not broken there is no reason to fix it. Rivera stormed into the spotlight beginning as a setup man; he took over the closer role the following year.  Also, starting Rivera in the All-Star Game would not be the right way to honor “The Sandman.” His All-Star stats show that his 0.00 ERA in 8 games and 8 innings is where he should stay. He is clearly the best closer to ever play the game so why would you take him from his position?

Not to mention his Hall of Fame post-season statistics. The numbers are incredible that despite the 2004 season if you heard Metallica’s Enter Sandman over the PA system the game was all but over. He has a 0.70 ERA over 141 innings in the playoffs.  Rivera has had an incredible body of work and he still has the final half of his season to go.

So when Enter Sandman comes over the PA system, bringing the fans at the All-Star Game to their feet, it should be in the 9th inning not the first. Honor the man the way we will honor him in Cooperstown; as the best closer to ever play the game of baseball.  So I give the tip of my cap to Mariano Rivera and hope he is honored as the closer of the All-Star Game and can go out on his terms running from the bullpen to get the save for the American League.


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