The New York Times reports that Mariano Rivera made his first spring-training appearance. Twelve pitches. Nine strikes. Three out. Next!
Rivera has been doing this for sixteen seasons. I cannot remember any player, at any position, so dominating the baseball world so consistently.
I attended the second game of the 1995 first-round playoffs between the New York Yankees and the Seattle Mariners. The game was getting out of hand. Yankees’s manager Buck Showalter summoned the arm-plagued rookie starter, Rivera, from the bullpen. Showalter was hoping to catch lightning in a bottle. Did he ever! It was a thrillah as they say. And as they also say, the rest is history.
As Ralph Kramden closes most of the filmed “Classic 39” episodes of The Honeymooners, I’ll spout it here again: Baby, you’re the greatest!