With speculation that the the 42-year-old pitcher planned to retire at the end of the year, it’s quite possible that this is the end of Rivera’s playing career as well.
Rivera is the greatest relief pitcher that I ever saw play the game. (Sorry Dennis Eckersley, but you were only dominant for a few years… Rivera was the best closer in baseball for more than a decade and set post-season marks that will probably never be matched.)
And unlike some other recent Yankees stars, Rivera has always been a class act.
If this is really the end, I’m sorry to see Rivera’s storied career come to a close with a freak injury.
The Mets were off on Monday. They begin a three-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals tonight, their final road games of the 2011 season. These will actually be big games – Atlanta’s wild card lead is down to just 2.5 games over St. Louis, and San Francisco is 3.5 games behind. I’d love to see the Mets knock out the Cardinals so the Giants could swoop in, take the wild card and give me a team to root for in the playoffs instead of another one to root against.
Or how about some baseball card reviews of sets I won’t be buying: Marie from A Cardboard Problemlooks at Topps Chrome, while Sam from the Daily Dimwit shows us some Topps Marquee cards. I know many collectors like the flash of Topps Chrome, but after I bought some Topps Series I cards, less Topps Series II cards, way too many Topps Opening Day cards (because they’re cheap and I’m still working on the mascots insert set) and even a few Pro Debut cards, I’ve had enough of the design. Marquee is just well out of my price comfort zone.
I’d like to give Tim Hudson credit for pitching a good game, but after watching the Mets’ offense look pathetic all week (except for Friday’s 20-hit game) I just don’t know how much he deserves.
R.A. Dickey pitched well again and ended up with a loss – he never seems to get any run support. However, he bears part of the responsibility for the team’s failure to score. Twice yesterday he came up in sacrifice situations; both times (including once with runners on first and second with none out), he failed to get the bunt down. This has become a pattern with the team – one that Terry Collins needs to address.
Prince Fielder blasted a three-run homer off of C.J. Wilson to lead the NL to victory in last night’s All-Star Game, then immediately came out of the game (seemingly so he could be interviewed by a FOX sideline reporter.)
I think it would have been more fun to see if Fielder could have hit another homer the next time he came up, but Bruce Bochy wanted to be sure everybody got to play. There was enough lineup-shuffling that 41 of 42 position players and 19 of 26 pitchers got into the game, if I kept accurate count. I understand the sentiment, but I’d rather see a return to the old days when starters played most of the game.
For all the fuss about players skipping out on the All-Star Game, 79 of the 84 that were selected made the trip to Arizona. Chipper Jones and Alex Rodriguez just had surgery, and CC Sabathia was a last-minute replacement who had to be immediately replaced himself because he started on Sunday. That just leaves Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera. I’m sure both players did benefit from a three-day mental and physical break. I’m sure that the 79 players that went to the All-Star Game would have benefited as well. Jeter and Rivera are often looked up to as examples of what baseball players should be like, but in this instance I’m glad more didn’t follow in their footsteps.
If you haven’t had your fill of All-Star Games, MLB Network will be showing the Triple-A All-Star Game tonight. If you just want to see regular baseball, SNY is showing the Brooklyn Cyclones game.