Mariano Rivera’s 602nd Save is simply a confirmation of what we already knew
I am a life long Yankee fan – literally. My father is a Yankee fan, my mother is a Yankee fan, my grandparents were Yankee fans, we’re all Yankee fans. And so, while I certainly suffer from seeing the baseball world through Yankee colored glasses (though less so than many), I feel confident in saying that there is no denying that Mariano Rivera is the greatest closer who has ever played the game.
Say what you want about the importance of the save as a stat, or even about the importance of the closer’s role in general; but there is no doubt that Mariano Rivera is the most important Yankee of the last 50 years. In fact, he’s probably the most valuable player for any team over that span. Without him, there is no way that the Yankees would have won their 5 World Series since 1996.
I’m not going to pile on stats here, because they don’t really matter all that much. What matters is that I’ve been watching him pitch for 17 years, and the greatest compliment I can pay him is that in all that time I’ve never felt as nervous at the end of any game as fans of other teams have. From my little corner of the internet, congratulations, Mo. Here’s to 100 more.