At the suggestion of Josh Berwitz, the husband of my wife’s cousin (and a helluva good guy), I was going to write this Friday’s column on Mariano Rivera, and how he deserves to be this year’s American League Cy Young Award winner. Then, however, I bent down to pick up this week’s SI from my mail pile and saw this …


Bravo to Sports Illustrated for finally giving due to, without much debate, the most underrated baseball player of his generation. Mariano Rivera isn’t merely the best closer of the modern era, or even the best closer of all time. No, he now needs to be regarded as one of the, oh, 10 elite pitchers to ever play the game, right up there with Cy Young and Sandy Koufax and Nolan Ryan and Bruce Berenyi. For nearly 1 1/2 decades, Rivera has used one pitchbruce_berenyi_autograph—his ungodly cut fastball—to frustrated, befuddle and dazzle. Though he still trails Milwaukee’s Trevor Hoffman in the all-time saves chase, he is to to the former Padre what Per Se is to Kennedy Fried Chicken. There is no comparison.

So, dear baseball fan, pay attention. Really pay attention. Mariano Rivera is 40-years old, and probably won’t last that much longer. So watch. Gaze. Pay close attention. Because while much of the pinstriped attention goes to Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez and C.C. Sabathia, they are mere mortals compared to a true baseball deity

10 thoughts on “Mo”

  1. Rivera is a great, great closer and a no-doubt hall of famer. But your assertion that he should win the Cy Yong over Greinke is ridiculous. Seriously, look through any of the numbers out there and tell me how Greinke doesn’t deserve to win.

  2. Greinke deserves to win this year, but Mo is definitely one of the ten best pitchers of all time. With the whole steroids thing, there probably aren’t going to be a lot of players I’ll tell my grandkids about, but they’ll be sick to death of hearing about Mo.

  3. You’re on drugs if you think Rivera should get the Cy Young over Greinke this year. And a closer isn’t a Top 10 pitcher of all time, no matter how dominant he is. Rivera is a great, great, pitcher. A Hall of Famer. But let’s all take a step back and realize what he is. A guy who will give you 70 or so innings a year.

  4. “If he was such a great pitcher, he would’ve been a starter, not a closer. That’s how he can get by on only a cutter.”

    This is absolutely absurd–and I’m a Red Sox fan. Rivera is probably the most dominant reliever ever. Yankees don’t win four World Series without him.

    Do you watch baseball at all?

    I don’t normally say things like this either, but he seems like a good guy too. I was at Fenway Park when the Sox raised their WS flag against the Yanks and the crowd gave Mo a tongue-in-cheek standing ovation for the previous playoffs. He stepped forward, smiled and tipped his hat.

    The next round of applause was bigger and sincere.

    There have been a lot of years when Rivera should have won the Cy Young, but not this year. Grienke has been insanely dominant.

  5. im just glad they put a yankee on the cover of SI… and here i was, a met fan, worried that the yanks might actually do something in the playoffs this year.

    thanks SI!

  6. jweb is correct. I like reading your stuff, but you’re a complete moron to seriously suggest Nolan Ryan is top ten all-time. He’s easily tops the top 10 most overrated pitchers list.
    Dude, really. Thought you were better than that.

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