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2011 HEADLINE: Mariano Rivera Becomes All-Time Save Leader

2011 HEADLINE: Mariano Rivera Becomes All-Time Save Leader

The familiar opening guitar riff and drum beat from Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” blared, and what has become perhaps the most legendary custom in the Yankees’ rich history commenced.

As the door to the outfield bullpen opened and Mariano Rivera appeared, the Yankee Stadium crowd rose to its feet. It would grow louder still through the scoreless ninth as the ever-dominant reliever converted yet another save. This one, the 602nd of his career, was one for the record books.

In preserving New York’s 6-4 victory against the Twins on Monday afternoon in the Bronx, Rivera eclipsed Trevor Hoffman for the top spot on baseball’s all-time saves list. The win, coupled with a Boston afternoon loss, trims New York’s playoff magic number to four and the club’s magic number to win the American League East to five.

It’s the seventh time in Rivera’s illustrious career that he has recorded at least 43 saves in a season (1997, 1999, 2001, 2004, 2005 and 2009), as he continues to build on yet another 40-save year. Only Hoffman, who has done it nine times, has more than Rivera’s eight 40-save seasons.

It was the right-hander’s 290th save at home and 32nd against the Twins.

2011 HEADLINE: Mariano Rivera Becomes All-Time Save Leader

2011 HEADLINE: Mariano Rivera Becomes All-Time Save Leader

The familiar opening guitar riff and drum beat from Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” blared, and what has become perhaps the most legendary custom in the Yankees’ rich history commenced.

As the door to the outfield bullpen opened and Mariano Rivera appeared, the Yankee Stadium crowd rose to its feet. It would grow louder still through the scoreless ninth as the ever-dominant reliever converted yet another save. This one, the 602nd of his career, was one for the record books.

In preserving New York’s 6-4 victory against the Twins on Monday afternoon in the Bronx, Rivera eclipsed Trevor Hoffman for the top spot on baseball’s all-time saves list. The win, coupled with a Boston afternoon loss, trims New York’s playoff magic number to four and the club’s magic number to win the American League East to five.

It’s the seventh time in Rivera’s illustrious career that he has recorded at least 43 saves in a season (1997, 1999, 2001, 2004, 2005 and 2009), as he continues to build on yet another 40-save year. Only Hoffman, who has done it nine times, has more than Rivera’s eight 40-save seasons.

It was the right-hander’s 290th save at home and 32nd against the Twins.

Mariano Rivera Will B Back For The 2013 Baseball Season!!

Mariano Rivera Will B Back For The 2013 Baseball Season!!

From Yahoo Sports

What seemed like a forgone conclusion in the months following his torn right ACL suffered during a freak accident in Kansas City, became a 50/50 proposition last week when it was reported that Mariano Rivera was considering retirement.

Well, fear not New York Yankees fans (and all reasonable and sensible baseball fans for that matter) the 42 year old closer made his intentions clear to general manager Brian Cashman on Friday, and the New York Post’s George A. King III reports those intentions are to pitch for the Yankees in 2013.

The iconic closer told Yankees general manager Brian Cashman on Friday that he wants to return in 2013. Rivera missed almost the entire 2012 season with a torn ACL and, after initially saying he definitely wanted to come back, he was less sure about it in the last few weeks.

Now all speculation has ended.

“Rivera contacted us and wants to play,” Cashman told The Post.

Rivera, who turns 43 on Nov. 29, will have to work out a new contract with the Yankees to return in 2013. That won’t be an issue — and we hear they need a closer after Rafael Soriano opted out of his contract on Wednesday — but the comeback itself from a major injury and to his pushoff leg won’t be easy.

That’s especially true when you factor in his age, but if there was any one professional athlete that could recover, return, and not miss a single beat, it’s the greatest closer of all-time, future hall of famer, and the athletic freak of nature known as Mariano Rivera.

Since it sounds like he’s 100 percent determined to do just that, there’s reason to doubt it can’t or won’t happen.

Mariano Rivera 2010 Bowman – 1992 Rookie Card Reprint

Mariano Rivera 2010 Bowman – 1992 Rookie Card Reprint

I have been on a little bit of a quest in search of a Mariano Rivera 1992 Bowman rookie baseball card.  It is a card that I would like to add to my collection before Rivera retires.

I just had no clue that they sell for $25.00 or more EVERY time that they are sold on Ebay.  I never thought I would have to pay more than $10.00…

It is time for me to display a tremendous amount of patience as I try to complete this task.

As for now, I will settle for a reprint version of the card.  This one comes courtesy of the 2010 Bowman set.

2011 HEADLINE: Mariano Rivera Becomes All-Time Save Leader

2011 HEADLINE: Mariano Rivera Becomes All-Time Save Leader

The familiar opening guitar riff and drum beat from Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” blared, and what has become perhaps the most legendary custom in the Yankees’ rich history commenced.

As the door to the outfield bullpen opened and Mariano Rivera appeared, the Yankee Stadium crowd rose to its feet. It would grow louder still through the scoreless ninth as the ever-dominant reliever converted yet another save. This one, the 602nd of his career, was one for the record books.

In preserving New York’s 6-4 victory against the Twins on Monday afternoon in the Bronx, Rivera eclipsed Trevor Hoffman for the top spot on baseball’s all-time saves list. The win, coupled with a Boston afternoon loss, trims New York’s playoff magic number to four and the club’s magic number to win the American League East to five.

It’s the seventh time in Rivera’s illustrious career that he has recorded at least 43 saves in a season (1997, 1999, 2001, 2004, 2005 and 2009), as he continues to build on yet another 40-save year. Only Hoffman, who has done it nine times, has more than Rivera’s eight 40-save seasons.

It was the right-hander’s 290th save at home and 32nd against the Twins.

Mariano Rivera’s Career In Jeopardy After Tearing ACL

Mariano Rivera’s Career In Jeopardy After Tearing ACL

By DAVE SKRETTA | The Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP)  Mariano Rivera’s career may have ended Thursday night, not while basking in the glow of adoring fans at Yankee Stadium, but in agonizing pain on the outfield grass before a few thousand fans in Kansas City.

Baseball’s greatest closer tore a ligament in his right knee while shagging balls during batting practice before a game against the Royals, a devastating injury that will likely sideline the Yankees’ 12-time All-Star for the remainder of the season.

”This is bad,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. ”There’s no question about it.”

The 42-year-old right-hander’s leg caught on the field where the grass meets dirt, causing his knee to buckle. He fell into the outfield wall and down to the ground, where Rivera grimaced in pain as teammates and training staff ran out to see him.

Rivera was carted from the field and taken for an MRI exam. Royals physician Dr. Vincent Key diagnosed a torn ACL after examining the scans of the knee.

”I thought it wasn’t that bad, but it’s torn,” Rivera said after the Yankees lost 4-3, pausing several times in the Yankees clubhouse to compose himself. ”Have to fix it.”

Rivera has said that he will decide after the season whether to retire, and while Girardi said he hoped that baseball’s career saves leader with 608 would make a comeback, Rivera was noncommittal.

”At this point, I don’t know,” he said. ”At this point, I don’t know. Going to have to face this first. It all depends on how the rehab is going to happen, and from there, we’ll see.”

The injury cast a pall over the Yankees, who put the tying run on third base in the ninth before Mike Moustakas made a stellar play on a chopper by Alex Rodriguez, throwing him out at first to preserve the Royals’ victory.

Afterward, the only thing on A-Rod’s mind was Rivera.

”I saw it all go down,” said Rodriguez, who uttered ”Oh, my God,” from behind the batting cage when Rivera went down. ”Obviously it’s a huge blow. Mo means so much to this team.

”It’s hard to even talk about it tonight,” Rodriguez said. ”Mo means so much to us on a personal level, and on the field.”

Bullpen coach Mike Harkey was near Rivera when he went down, and was the first to whistle for help. Girardi was watching batting practice near Rodriguez behind home plate and ran down the third base line before cutting across the outfield to get to his closer.

Harkey and Girardi helped carry Rivera to the cart, gently setting him into the back with his knee propped up. The cart rounded the warning track before disappearing up a tunnel.

The initial diagnosis was a twisted knee, but Girardi had a feeling the injury was much worse when he didn’t receive word as the game pressed on.

”My thought was he must have torn the ligament, the way he went down,” Girardi said.

Girardi was quick to defend Rivera’s decision to shag balls in the outfield, pointing out that he may never have become a five-time World Series champion without putting in such work. He called it a fluke injury, not unlike somebody falling off the curb or down the stairs.

”You’ve all seen Mo run around here for what, 40 years?” Girardi said.

Derek Jeter said that Rivera has shagged balls for the ”20-something” years that he’s known him, and never once did the notion that he could be hurt cross his mind.

”It’s bad. There’s no other way to put it,” Jeter said. ”It’s just a freak thing.”

Rookie starter David Phelps (0-1) said he thought for a moment that Rivera was just joking, but once training staff gathered around the closer, he knew something bad had happened.

”There’s nothing I can do but stand there and watch. It’s a miserable feeling to see it,” Phelps said. ”I didn’t think it was that bad. I was just hoping he caught it funny or sprained it or something, and then we came in here after the game and found out the news.”

The outcome of the game was almost secondary for the Yankees, though that was hardly the case for Kansas City, which snapped a 10-game home losing streak.

Danny Duffy (2-2) went six strong innings before turning it over to the bullpen, and three relievers maintained a one-run lead until Jonathan Broxton came on to close the ninth.

He allowed a leadoff single to Jeter, his fourth hit of the night, and then walked Curtis Granderson. Mark Teixeira followed with a liner to second base, but Chris Getz snagged it in the dirt and fired to Alcides Escobar covering second to start a double play.

Jeter advanced to third for Rodriguez, who hit a chopper to Moustakas at third base. He made a barehanded grab and threw out A-Rod by a step to preserve the victory.

”It’s a load off,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. ”We don’t have to talk about not winning games at home anymore. That’s a good thing. Hearing the fans in the ninth inning was like music to my ears because, I haven’t heard that all year long and this was the 11th game.”

Moustakas homered in the second and added a two-run single in the fifth.

”Moose is just on fire with the bat right now, three RBIs, the home run to give us the first lead and the big two-run single there was a big boost for us,” Yost said.

The Royals were the third team in major league history to lose their first 10 home games when they dropped every one during their first homestand. They started to turn things around on a rain-shortened 4-3 road trip, and kept the momentum going against the struggling Yankees.

Even in the Royals’ clubhouse, though, Rivera was on everyone’s mind.

”That’s horrible news,” Broxton said. ”As many saves as he’s been out there and as good an athlete as he is, I just hate for bad news. All I can do is wish him the best.”

Mariano Rivera Hints That 2012 Could Be His Final Big League Season…

Mariano Rivera Hints That 2012 Could Be His Final Big League Season…

From Yahoo Sports!

TAMPA, Fla. (AP)—Mariano Rivera hinted 2012 could be his final year in the major leagues, saying he won’t announce his long-term plans until after the season.

The New York Yankees 42-year-old closer says he has reached a decision about whether he will retire or return in 2013 but said he won’t reveal it until “maybe October.”

“I know,” Rivera said. “I’ll tell you when I’m ready.”

Rivera, the career saves leader with 603, is signed through this season. Following the retirements of Bernie Williams, Andy Pettitte and Jorge Posada, Rivera and 37-year-old Derek Jeter are the only remaining players from the core group that led the Yankees’ resurgence.

Should he retire, Rivera has many interests away from baseball.

“I have my church, my family,” he said. “I’ve been blessed in amazing ways. I’ve have a great career, but at the same time, there’s other things to do.”

Rivera played catch with fellow reliever Rafael Soriano during the Yankees’ first workout of the year. When asked whether he was as excited as he was in his first big league camp almost 20 years ago, Rivera responded: “Believe it.”

“You come here to compete,” Rivera said. “I love to compete. I don’t come here for a free ride. I’m come here to get ready: the playoffs, the World Series, that’s the goal.”

Rivera was 1-2 with 44 saves in 49 chances and a 1.91 ERA. He was selected for his fourth straight All-Star appearances and 12th overall.

Rivera had an eventful offseason, undergoing surgery in December to remove polyps from his vocal chords.

“It did scare me,” Rivera said. “It did change a lot of things. It shows you how quick you can be gone. How important not to overlook anything. It could be cancer. I was relieved when everything came back negative.”

Rivera wasn’t able to talk for a week following the operation,

“Not being able to speak, I was going crazy,” he said, “but at the same time you appreciate that.”

Mariano Rivera Captures Career Save #600

Mariano Rivera Captures Career Save #600

SEATTLE (AP)—The celebration was pure Mariano Rivera.

No big screams or wild gestures. Certainly no spectacle, even if Rivera is widely regarded as the best ever at what he does.

Just warm hugs and appreciative handshakes from Yankees teammates. And even that might have been more than what Rivera wanted following the 600th save of his remarkable career.

“Maybe later on after I retire, but right now I’m not focused on that. I’m not that type of guy. I’m a team player,” Rivera said. “I tell you guys many times and I’ll continue to tell you, it doesn’t depend on myself. It depends on my teammates giving me the opportunity to be able to pitch.”

Rivera moved within one save of Trevor Hoffman’s major league record by closing out New York’s 3-2 win over the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night.

In a season in which teammate Derek Jeter already reached one of baseball’s grandest milestones with his 3,000th hit, Rivera also has added to his Yankees legacy. Next up is No. 601, which could come Wednesday night in the series finale at Seattle.

But even Rivera acknowledged the big one will be No. 602, when he passes Hoffman to become the most prolific closer in major league history. That leaves little time to savor No. 600, or 601. The quick turnaround is just part of the job.

Rivera entered with a one-run lead in the ninth inning and allowed just a one-out single to Ichiro Suzuki. He was retired when catcher Russell Martin caught Suzuki trying to steal second for the final out.

Jeter put the tag on Suzuki and smiled as he brought the souvenir ball to Rivera. One by one, New York players lined up for the muted, respectful celebration.

“We’ve been close for a long time and I know how important it is for him to come in and do his job,” Jeter said. “He takes a lot of pride in it. He’s a prideful guy.”

But just think, Rivera has racked up all those saves—plus 42 more in the postseason—primarily on the strength of one dominant pitch: a sizzling cut fastball. And he’s done it in pressure-packed situations with the Yankees always in contention. Indeed, he’s been the back-end backbone of this team for 15 years.

“Just to think, about every game Mariano has ever pitched has been a meaningful game,” Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez said. “Every one of those saves meant something.”

That biting cutter was there again on Tuesday night as Rivera notched his 41st save of the season in his 46th opportunity.

It was the 1,037th appearance of his career, but it almost didn’t happen. Setup man David Robertson labored through the eighth as Rivera started stretching out, giving up a leadoff single to Dustin Ackley and walking Justin Smoak with one out. Robertson got Miguel Olivo swinging at a 3-2 pitch while the runners advanced. Robertson then fell behind Adam Kennedy 2-0 and issued an intentional walk to load the bases.

Trayvon Robinson came on to pinch-hit for Casper Wells, who had struck out three times already, but couldn’t do any better, striking out on a fastball and leaving the bases loaded.

Rivera then took off his jacket and started throwing moments later. He didn’t have much time to get ready as New York went down quickly in the top of the ninth, but jogged in with most of the Yankees fans in attendance standing and many snapping pictures.

Nearly the entire Yankees dugout stood on the top-step railing.

Pinch-hitter Wily Mo Pena was gone on a foul-tip strike three into Martin’s glove. Suzuki then served a soft single into left field, but Rivera struck out rookie Kyle Seager.

He didn’t even need to finish pitching to Ackley as Suzuki was thrown out by Martin trying to steal. Rivera savored the chance to share the moment with Jeter and another longtime teammate, Jorge Posada.

“They are family away from your family. It was great seeing them all come to the mound,” Rivera said. “Again, I’ve been blessed to have a great bunch of guys who have supported me and given me all the opportunities.”

Robinson Cano provided the Yankees offense with a homer and two RBIs, whileA.J. Burnett (10-11) won for the first time since Aug. 15 thanks to a season-high 11 strikeouts. New York stayed four games in front of second-place Boston in the AL East after the Red Sox thumped Toronto 18-6.

Rivera missed out on a save chance in the series opener when the Yankees battered nemesis Felix Hernandez in a 9-3 victory. But the New York offense was kept in check Tuesday night by Charlie Furbush (3-9), who allowed just three runs and struck out six in 5 1-3 innings.

Nick Swisher’s leadoff double in the sixth eventually led to Cano’s fielder’s choice that scored Swisher with the go-ahead run. Rafael Soriano and Robertson worked the seventh and eighth innings to set the stage for Rivera.

And perhaps to Rivera’s liking, he wasn’t the one recording the final out. It was Martin coming through with a perfect throw to get Suzuki.

“I don’t know if we’ll ever see it again. That’s how much of an accomplishment this is that he and Trevor Hoffman have done. Simply remarkable,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “This is a guy who I believe is the best closer that’s ever been in the game and I’ve had the fortune of catching him, coaching him and managing him and it’s a treat.”

Mariano Rivera Marks 1,000th Game With New York Yankees

Mariano Rivera Marks 1,000th Game With New York Yankees

Mariano Rivera hadn’t pitched in a week, so manager Joe Girardi used him in a non-save situation this afternoon to close out a 7-3 victory over the Blue Jays, and the appearance was the 1,000th of Rivera’s amazing career.

He becomes the 15th pitcher in baseball history with at least 1,000 appearances and, not surprisingly, Rivera’s adjusted ERA+ is the best of the bunch by a huge margin.

Jesse Orosco is the all-time leader with 1,252 appearances and Jose Mesa has the honor of being the worst pitcher to ever appear in 1,000 games, by virtue of his career adjusted ERA+ barely being above the average mark of 100. And just to put Rivera’s dominance in perspective, consider that the difference between his ERA+ (205) and second-ranked Hoyt Wilhelm’s ERA+ (147) is bigger than the difference between Wilhelm (147) and Mesa (101).