Archive for the ‘Mariano Rivera’ tag

Baseball’s Back!

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This winter has been straight up Game of Thrones. It’s been dark, cold and full of snowy terrors. Thankfully spring has officially arrived and although it’s still pretty frosty out there, the sights and sounds of major league athletes preparing for the 2014 season is enough to make me feel all warm and fuzzy.

Seriously, it’s called “spring training.” Even if you aren’t a fan of baseball (or training for that matter), you’re still pretty stoked about the spring part.

With only a few days remaining before Opening Week, there are already headlines aplenty. Can the Yankees bounce back? Will the Red Sox repeat? Can the Nationals live up to expectations? Will Miguel Cabrera win ANOTHER MVP!?

Many of these questions will be answered in the coming months as spring gives way to the dog days of summer, and summer to the excitement of October. This is a fresh start, a clean slate…a blank page, as they say. Yet as we know, time tends to fly when you’re having fun and moments are fleeting, especially when it comes to baseball.

Last year we closed the book on a legendary career as Mariano Rivera took his final bow. The outpouring of appreciation for the best closer in baseball history was apparent as night after night fans took to their feet and applauded the man they call “Mo.” This year, a similar farewell tour will commence in ballparks across America as the grand old game will offer its final sendoff to its most respected and adored superstar. You know who I’m talking about:

Derek Jeter.

That’s right, “The Captain” will play his final season in 2014 and trust me, you won’t want to miss a single swing of the bat.

Well, now that I’ve set the stage and we’re all properly excited, there’s really only one thing left to say:


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173704703Photo Credit: Elsa/Getty Images

Late on October 26th, 1996, second grade me cried himself to sleep.  The Braves had just put on a clinic in sports-induced agony, blowing a 2-0 World Series lead to the hated Yankees.  The man responsible for slamming the door in the 9th inning in games 3-6 was John Wetteland, and I distinctly remember hating him and wishing he would just go away.

And he would.  The clouds of the Evil Empire were only just gathering, and they would go on to win 3 of the next 4 titles with a new face shortening games: Mariano Rivera.  The man affectionately known as Mo would spend the next 16 years collecting hardware, shattering bats and making the best dramatic entrance in baseball this side of Ricky Vaughn.  He has played his entire career in a brutal market (see: Johnson, Randy) and not only achieved outrageous success but earned a brand of universal respect not often found in sports today.  He is inextricably tied to Jackie Robinson as the last active player permitted to wear the legendary #42 and is one of the 2-3 players from his generation every fan will tell their grandchildren about.

He’ll be honored this Sunday at Yankee Stadium because 2013 will be it for Mo.  The end of a graceful career will be celebrated with a fittingly low-key ceremony, then the Yanks will get back to the business of climbing back into the Wild Card race.  If Baseball Gods exist (they do) expect to see the Bombers string a few wins together, make it interesting down the stretch and hopefully schedule some October games.  Every ballplayer and fan should see one more signature Postseason outing from Mo; even the 8-year-old Braves fan inside me, still sobbing, is pulling for that one.

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Written by John Seiler
John Seiler

September 20th, 2013 at 11:10 am