When the Yanks capped off their comeback win on Sunday against the Mariners, Mariano Rivera, as he has for so many games since 1997, was on the mound when the last out went up on the scoreboard. That day, Rivera completed his 20th inning of work this season without allowing a walk, and Tyler Kepner noted in a Bats blog post the greatness of Rivera. Mo, you see, gives pitching lessons to the Yanks, and he may very well be responsible for turning Edwar Ramirez into a useful cog in the bullpen. When Mo calls it quits in a few years, I hope the Yanks can convince him to stick around as a pitching coach. He’s got one valuable mind for the game.
In 2007, the Padres and the Red Sox topped their respective leagues in bullpen ERA and batting average against. Thing is, entering the season, neither team had much to boast about in that department. In fact, the Sox pen was in such shambles that Jonathan Papelbon told Tony Francona that he wanted to move back to the closer role (or at least that’s how Boston tells the story). So how did these two teams come out ahead?
Obviously, the first step in building a bullpen is creating a viable endgame. Both Trevor Hoffman and Jonathan Papelbon qualify as such. They keep things relatively stable at the end — Papelbon more than Hoffman, though, as he blew just three saves last year (and we remember a couple of ’em), while Hoffman was the goat in seven games, including the most important one for the Padres.
There’s not much else to say about this. We have it in Mo, who I think we all can agree is better than Hoffman at this stage of his career.
A month later, it’s finally official.
After numerous reports that Rivera was going to sign the three-year, $45-million offer from the Yanks, ESPN is reporting that Mariano has accepted his deal. So that’s all over. Now, if the Yanks can just convince Andy Pettitte to return, they’ll have landed nearly all of the best free agents out there this off-season. Not bad considering where things were just a few weeks ago.
Remember when Mariano Rivera went all Godfather on the Yanks’ bullpen? He called out Brian Bruney, Scott Proctor and Kyle Farnsworth for sucking. A week later, Proctor had been sent to the Dodgers, Bruney to AAA and Farnsworth to the sixth inning of 11-2 games.
Now, reports are emerging that Mariano Rivera, the Yanks’ own Vito Corleone, was at it again. This time, though, his target was A-Rod. Newsday’s Jim Baumbach reports:
Rivera is believed to have been one of A-Rod’s major sounding boards during the craziness of Rodriguez’s past three weeks. Rivera, according to his friend, told Rodriguez as far back as days after A-Rod opted out Oct. 28 that he should approach the Yankees to tell them how he truly felt.
Hey, if Rivera truly did help convince A-Rod to stay in New York, maybe his own $45-million deal should include some negotiating clauses as well.
Pete Caldera of the Bergen Record has spoken to a friend of Mo, and he’s going to accept the Yankees offer. This really doesn’t give us more than we already know, but I suppose hearing it from a friend of Mo makes it more official. Sorta. Maybe.
The friend says that he would have taken two years and an option. Way to rub it in, asshole.
Hat tip to Jason.
Well after all that
bitching and moaning negotiating and stalling, The New York Post is reporting that Mariano Rivera will sign that overly generous three-year, $45 million contract. The 38 year old closer was upset that the Yanks wouldn’t give him a fourth year, and he took offense when Hank Steinbrenner noted that pitchers Rivera’s age aren’t the wisest of investments. With this deal, the Yankees will have re-signed all of their own Type A free agents except for Andy Pettitte. These signings do not count against the Yanks’ limit of three Type A free agents as teams are not penalized for keeping their own players.