September 27, 2013

Closing Scene: Hugs and Tears in Rivera’s Last Home Game: It was supposed to be a meaningless game, the first at Yankee Stadium in 20 years, but there was nothing meaningless about it for Mariano Rivera or the announced crowd of 48,675 that came to say goodbye to an icon.

posted by BornIcon to baseball at 08:11 AM - 13 comments

Such a great scene but I couldn't help thinking this.

posted by BornIcon at 08:13 AM on September 27, 2013

I am really glad that the umps okayed two players, one of whom isn't active, to do this. Even as a Red Sox fan, I was choked up by that last night. Great way to go out.

Matt Daley now gets burned into my brain for the inevitable sports trivia question of who replaced Mo during his final appearance at Yankee Stadium.

posted by dfleming at 08:17 AM on September 27, 2013

To hell with Jimmy Dugan, Mariano Rivera can cry whenever he wants.

posted by tommybiden at 10:42 AM on September 27, 2013

From twitter:

Jim Abbott ‏@jabbottum31 What's the big deal? I walked off the mound in tears all the time...

posted by tommybiden at 11:02 AM on September 27, 2013

I loved the look on Rivera's face when he saw who was coming to the mound for him. The briefest of smiles turned into pure tears of emotion and appreciation of the recognition that was his due. He will be missed, not just as a reliever or a ball player, but as a human presence. I hope he will not be a stranger to the game.

on edit: So many retirements of significant players this year. It is nice to see those visiting teams involved in the final game display class and respect for the retirees. Nice work by the Rays with Pettitte and Rivera and Boston with Todd Helton to stand and applaud along with the fans.

posted by Howard_T at 02:48 PM on September 27, 2013

Such a long career, in the Big Apple of all places, and never, ever one single time where Rivera's maturity, humility, professionalism, or positive values could be called into question. Absolutely unbelievable. Jeter doesn't even compare.

It's because of all those qualities I found myself more torn up over that scene last night than in any other sports event I have witnessed. Rivera leaves and several closers who act like douchebags on the mound take his place.

If the word "role model" is tossed around from this point forward when referring to athletes, Mariano Rivera should be the name that follows.

If you haven't already, read the story about him in the current Sports Illustrated. The last part of the story, about the family he spent time getting to know in KC, is awesome.

posted by dyams at 03:55 PM on September 27, 2013

I didn't see a link for a video in the original post, this S.I. article includes a nice 2 minute clip.

posted by tommybiden at 04:24 PM on September 27, 2013

I am really glad that the umps okayed two players, one of whom isn't active, to do this.

Baseball seems to retain a sense of ritual about such things, even if these are personalised rituals that are coined at short notice. (Girardi's sketched-out plan to have him field at center then pitch is another one.)

They're a rare breed, the competitors who are loved by the home fans, feared by the away fans, and admired by both when they take their last bow.

posted by etagloh at 08:41 PM on September 27, 2013

.... if only he could have done it all wearing a different uniform.

(You gotta remember, in my perfect world the Mets win the division/NLCS/WS and the Yankees go Oh-for-the-season)

posted by billinnagoya at 05:28 AM on September 28, 2013

He seems like a genuinely nice guy, and his casual way of closing games was awesome. He even gave Enter Sandman, a god awful song, a reason to exist.

Sounds like he chose the right time to retire. The Yankees are a mess (though things can change quickly), and even though his performance has remained strong, sound like age was still creeping up on him.

Rivera said that age and injury prevented him from even considering pitching again this weekend or playing the outfield. Rivera said his right forearm has hurt him throughout his final run.

"My forearm, even in the eighth inning on Thursday," said Rivera, who finishes 2013 with 44 saves and a 2.11 ERA. "I came in, you guys didn't see me in the dugout, I was trying to put something, hot cream, to loosen up, but you know that's something that I wouldn't talk about. That's something that you have to manage."

On Thursday, Rivera said that the emotion and the pain in his forearm gave him doubts that he would be able to finish off the game.

"I don't know how I got those two guys out in the ninth inning," Rivera said. "Only the mercy of God. But I knew everything was over."

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he would have allowed Rivera to fulfill a career-long goal of playing the outfield, but Rivera said his surgically repaired knee and his age would not allow it.

posted by justgary at 09:46 PM on September 28, 2013

He even gave Enter Sandman, a god awful song, a reason to exist.

The Hokies run out to that song, the entire stands head banging. I was in the middle of it once at an ACC championship game in Jacksonville. It's awesome.

posted by rcade at 11:20 PM on September 28, 2013

It's awesome.

If you're measuring how well a song works as a sports staple, yeah, it works. Kind of my point.

As far as the group, the beginning of the end.

(I should say, as a fan of the metal genre in my youth, it sucked. As a song geared to reach top 40 radio and played at sporting events, it worked, and that's what the group wanted. Everything Metallica is pre black album and post black album, with that song stuck in the middle. I simply much prefer pre metallica. /music filter)

posted by justgary at 12:35 AM on September 29, 2013

I always liked that the band hired Trujillo. Somewhere on YT there's docu footage of his audition and how the whole thing went down, including the brotherly throwing of the money chunk at him.

The group made a cameo in the Bronx a few days ago and played the song live when he came in.

posted by beaverboard at 09:17 AM on September 29, 2013

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