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Posted by: Patrick
Prior to today's final regular season game, the Astros honored Mariano RIvera with a 17 minute presentation that featured Joe Torre and Roger Clemens. The organization gave him a painting by Houston artist Opie Otterstad. MLB.com's Alyson Footer and CSN's Richard Dean.
Posted by: Patrick
The Yankees played their last game of the season today and, despite speculation, he did not get any time in center field. The Yankees won, thanks to 14th inning heroics, 5-1.
Posted by: Patrick
Mariano Rivera will not pitch in Houston during the Yankees' final regular season series. According to MLB.com's Bryan Hoch, he has been experiencing "tremendous soreness in his arm.
Posted by: Patrick
The Post is reporting that the Yankees may play an exhibition game in Panama in honor of Mariano Rivera. According to a source, it's not finalized, but "everyone wants it to happen."

Via Mike Axisa.
Posted by: Patrick
Following tonight's emotional final home game for Mariano Rivera, the man of the hour reflected, as did a very emotional Joe Girardi and Andy Pettitte.

Mariano Rivera:

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Posted by: Patrick
Mariano Rivera's final game in Yankee Stadium was tonight's contest against the Rays. The Yankees were unable to muster a single run, but Joe Giardi made sure Mo got into the game. The call was made with runners on first and second and one out in the eighth inning, down 4-0. Watch him enter one last time:



Rivera would retire all 4 batters he faced: Delmon Young and Sam Fuld to get out of the jam and José Lobatón and Yunel Escobar for the first two outs in the ninth. Girardi opted to remove him with 2 outs in order to let him walk off to an ovation one last time. But instead of Giardi coming out to get him, the manager sent out Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera for an emotional moment. Watch it here:



Via Mike Axisa.
Posted by: Patrick
Now that the Yankees are eliminated and Mariano Rivera's career has an official end date, Peter Botte and Anthony McCarron of the Daily News discuss the possibility of Mariano Rivera playing center field during the Yankees final series in Houston against the Astros. Rivera has always shagged fly balls and the idea of him playing center has always been teased, but now that the team has nothing to lose and no worry of injuring him for next year, he may just get a shot.

Joe Giardi indicated that the team has a "responsibility to baseball" for the Rays series, because it impacts the postseason. But the final series in Houston has no impact because both teams are eliminated. When Rivera was asked about the idea, he laughed and said, "We'll see." Stay tuned. This might be the only good thing to come out of us missing the playoffs.

Thanks nycjobs for the tip, via Nathan Aderhold.
Posted by: Patrick
Mariano Rivera has kicked off his final regular season game at Yankee Stadium. Following today's ceremony, Joe Girardi made sure that Rivera saw action in Sunday's game.

River entered in the 8th inning with a runner on second and one out. He struck out Ehire Adrianza and elicited a fly out from Ángel Pagán to end the inning, keeping the Yankees in the game, trailing at 2-1. The team threatened in the bottom of the 8th but runners were thrown out at the plate not once, but twice.

In the top of the 9th, Juan Pérez singled and Brandon Belt reached on a throwing error by Robinson Cano, to put runners on first and second with no outs. Rivera broke Buster Posey's bat for a soft liner which Cano caught for the first out. Hunter Pence grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.

The Yankees went out weakly to end the game. Rivera now has a 2.15 ERA for the season.

Check out some video below of Rivera entering the game and reflecting afterwards.

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Posted by: Patrick
The Yankees have released video from today's ceremony honoring Mariano Rivera. Check it out below.

Opening of Ceremony and Jackie Robinson's #42 Retired by Yankees



Rivera's #42 Retired by Yankees

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Posted by: Patrick
Today's game against the Giants is the beginning of Mariano Rivera's final regular season home stand as a ballplayer. The Yankees held a 50 minute long ceremony to honor the retiring closer, featuring gifts, former teammates of Rivera and a performance by rock band Metallica.

The ceremony began with Rivera at the newly unveiled "42" in Monument Park, in honor of his number being retired by the Yankees. Introduced onto the field were a selection of guests from Rivera's present and past. This included Gene Michael, Jeff Nelson, David Cone, John Wetteland, Paul O'Neil, Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada, Hideki Matsui, Gene Monahan and Joe Torre. Rivera's wife, Clara, and sons, Mariano, Jafet and Jaziel were escorted out by Derek Jeter. Jackie Robinson's wife, Rachel, and daughter, Sharon, were similarly escorted onto the field by Robinson Cano.

Once everyone was on the field, the Yankees played a video tribute to Rivera, featuring the man himself alongside teammates, coaches and his manager, Joe Girardi.

To introduce Rivera to the field, Metallica played "Enter Sandman" live. Their hit song has long been the introduction music for Rivera and this was no different. Decked out in Yankee jerseys with "Metallica" on the front in script, they dedicated the song to the closer. Instead of his usual jog, he walked the entire length of the field to the front of the infield where the presentation was taking place.

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Posted by: David
A-Rod finally got a big hit. He was 1 for 25 coming into the AB. Bruce Bochy changed pitchers as he thought that Tim Lincecum was spent. George Kontos (a former Yankee) came in and A-Rod took him deep to right for a grand slam. It was his 24th career grand slam surpassing Lou Gehrig for the all time career record.

Prior to that both starting pitchers were on their game. CC Sabathia was great through seven innings and only surrendered one run. He was helped by some huge double plays to get him out of potential danger. Tim Linceum matched him until the eighth. Pablo Sandoval committed a huge error on a potential double play ball and Linceum got wild loading the bases. It all combined to set up A-Rod for the dramatic home run and give the Yankees a 5-1 lead.

David Robertson would get through the eighth and Mo was summoned to close the door.

It was not a save situation but Mo handled it with ease. He struck out Hunter Pence looking for the first out. He then threw a nasty cutter to Pablo Sandoval which jammed him and he hit a weak pop up to Cano for the second out. Hector Sanchez then grounded to first and Mo covered for the out to end the game.

Rivera lowered his 2013 season ERA to 2.21.

The Yankees still have a faint pulse in the Wild Care race as they moved to within 3 games.
Posted by: Patrick
The New York Daily News explains how Metallica's "Enter Sandman" became the entrance music for Mariano Rivera. In 1999, the scoreboard staff began to experiment with different songs, in search of a signature song for the closer. Yankee Stadium employee Mike Luzzi played "Enter Sandman" one day and it stuck.
Posted by: Patrick
Matt Snyder of CBS' Eye on Baseball reports that Yankee players will wear a special Mariano Rivera patch on their hats on Sunday against the Giants. According to Snyder, this makes them the first team to honor an active player on their cap. Take a look at the patch below.

Mariano Rivera Hat Patch
Posted by: Patrick
Before tonight's game in Toronto, the Blue Jays honored Mariano Rivera with a sculpture and charitable donation.

According to Chris Toman of MLB.com, the sculpture was created by one of Canada's top contemporary sculptors. It's called Kiviuq's Journey, named after the legendary hero of the Inuit. They also presented him with a $10,000 check for his foundation.
Posted by: David
The Yankees were held scoreless for 16 innings and it looked like they would be shutout for the second night in a row. However, they erupted in the 8th inning for four runs. The rally was started by newcomer Brendan Ryan who doubled down the left field line to start the inning. Curtis Granderson followed with a single to left moving Ryan to third. A-Rod struck out for the first out. After that, Cano singled for the first run, Soriano doubled to score another and Vernon Wells doubled to score two and give the Yankees the lead at 4-3.

David Robertson came in for the eighth and got two outs but then let a man get on first. The Yankees pitched out, but the throw was weak and the Blue Jays had the potential tying run at second. Girardi pulled Robertson with a 1-0 count and called on Rivera.

Rivera was able to retire Brett Lawrie on a weak grounder to second to end the 8th inning.

The Yankees were not able to add any insurance and Mo had to get three more outs to preserve the Yankee win.

Adam Lind singled up the middle and Colby Rasmus followed with a hard single to right and Toronto was set up with 2 runners on and none out. Kawasaki pinch hit and tried to move the runners up with a bunt. He did bunt but Overbay fielded the ball quickly and forced Lind at third for the first out. Goins grounded out to second with the runners moving up and Mo needed one more out. J.P. Arencibia pinch hit and Mo struck him out on three pitches to end the game.

The save for Rivera was his 44th in 51 save opportunities on the season. He now has 652 career saves. His 2013 season ERA now stands at 2.25.
Posted by: Patrick
The September 23 issue of Sports Illustrated will pay tribute to Mariano Rivera, with a cover story written by Tom Verducci. Check it out on UPI.com.

Thank you to nycjobs for the tip.
Posted by: Patrick
ESPN New York's Ian O'Connor shares some of the more personally touching stories from Mariano Rivera's season-long farewell tour, which is now nearing its end. Get the tissues ready.
Posted by: Patrick
In the visitors bullpen at Fenway Park, Mariano Rivera wrote a message. Buster Olney has a photo.

The top line is his signature, the second line reads "Last to wear #42" and the third line reads "thank you for everything." Here is video of him signing the wall:

Posted by: Patrick
Bryan Hoch of MLB.com reports on the pre-game festivities in Boston to honor Mariano Rivera, prior to his final regular season game at Fenway Park.

The Boston Cello Quartet performed Metallica's "Enter Sandman" and he was presented with a few gifts. They played a video montage of Rivera's appearance in game 4 of the 2004 American League Championship Series, which led to a blown save and, eventually, the first Red Sox World Series title since 1918. The video also included his appearance at the Red Sox's 2005 Opening Day celebration, where Rivera acknowledged the home crowd, who had applauded him for blowing said save. David Ortiz presented him with a painting depicting that moment.

The team also presented him with the green "42" placard used on the Red Sox scoreboard to represent the player wearing that jersey. Rivera will be the last one to wear it, so they won't be using it anymore. It was signed by the team. Other gifts included a blue 1934 Fenway Park seat with the number 42 on it and the visiting bullpen's pitching rubber.

If he does not pitch tonight, Rivera will end his career with 55 games pitched in Fenway Park, 50 of which he finished. His record is 2-4 with 36 saves and a 2.54 ERA in 60.3 innings.
Posted by: Patrick
Update: The Sports Illustrated article linked in this post has been updated with research from ESPN New York. Ryan Feldman of ESPN's Stats & Info found that it there have been three situations in the past 25 seasons that led this type of outcome.

If you watched last night's game, you saw the Yankees take a lead, blow it spectacularly and take it back once again in the top of the 9th. A familiar situation followed: Mariano Rivera entered in the bottom of the 9th and finished the game, collecting his 44th save, to take the American League saves lead.

Or, at least, that's what they said on MLB Network (the channel I was watching) after the game concluded. Later, I received emails from Don S. and nycjobs commenting on the fact that Rivera was not awarded a save, but instead a win. The official scorer in Baltimore involved Rule 10.17(c), which reads:

The official scorer shall not credit as the winning pitcher a relief pitcher who is ineffective in a brief appearance, when at least one succeeding relief pitcher pitches effectively in helping his team maintain its lead. In such a case, the official scorer shall credit as the winning pitcher the succeeding relief pitcher who was most effective, in the judgment of the official scorer.

Rule 10.17(c) Comment: The official scorer generally should, but is not required to, consider the appearance of a relief pitcher to be ineffective and brief if such relief pitcher pitches less than one inning and allows two or more earned runs to score (even if such runs are charged to a previous pitcher). Rule 10.17(b) Comment provides guidance on choosing the winning pitcher from among several succeeding relief pitchers.

I've never heard of this happening. I wondered: how rare is it?

Jay Jaffe of Sports Illustrated did the research and he found that it hasn't been used in this way in the past two decades. That's amazing.

Given that Rivera happens to share the A.L. saves lead with Baltimore's closer and the game occurred in Baltimore, the rarity of the ruling will no doubt lend itself to the (conspiracy?) theory that the scorer did it to help the Orioles closer. I have a hard time going that far, but it is an awkward call, that's for sure. The scorer certainly has the right to invoke the rule, though, and so it stands.
Posted by: Patrick
Prior to Thursday's game in Baltimore, the Orioles honored Mariano Rivera with a bronze sculpture of a broken bat. Watch video on MLB.com.
Posted by: Patrick
MLB.com's Bryan Hoch reports that the Red Sox will honor Mariano Rivera prior to his final regular season game at Feneway Park this Sunday.
Posted by: David
The Yankees fell behind early 3-1 but used the long ball to get back into the game. Curtis Granderson hit a bomb out to Eutaw Street to pull the Yankees to within a run at 3-2. The next inning A-Rod hit a home run to right field to tie the score.

Pettitte was tough for 6 and 1/3 innings and was relieved by Shawn Kelley to finish the 7th inning.

David Robertson came back after a few days off and pitched a scoreless eighth inning.

In the ninth Robinson Cano led off with a home run on a high changeup from Tommy Hunter and the Yankees had the lead at 4-3. Curtis Granderson got a triple to left center and then Lyle Overbay got a two out infield single to give the Yankees an insurance run which they would end up needing.

Rivera entered with a two run lead at 5-3. He got the first two batters on four pitches. Both Hardy and Markakis grounded to first with Mo covering for the out. Nate McLouth hit a long double over the head of Brett Gardner and then Brian Roberts battled and got a single to right to pull the O's to within a run at 5-4. Then the stage was set as the oldest player in MLB faced one of the youngest in the name of Manny Machado. It only took three pitches and the game was over. Rivera got two quick strikes and then went up the ladder and Machado swung under the pitch and the game was over.

The save for Rivera was his 43rd of the season in 50 save opportunities and the 651st of his career. His 2013 season ERA now stands at 2.34.
Posted by: David
It sure looked like a loss when Chris Davis hit a two run home run off of Ivan Nova to give the Orioles a 4-1 lead. However, the Yankees stormed back. Alfonso Soriano and Mark Reynolds hit home runs to bring the Yankees to within a run at 4-3.

In the eighth inning the Yankees really erupted. A-Rod led off with a double and scored to tie the game on a single up the middle from Robinson Cano. Soriano would quickly follow with his second home run of the game and the Yankees were in the lead at 6-4. The Yankees would another run with the aid of Granderson and Reynolds.

Shawn Kelley relieved Nova and only gave up one run as the Orioles would pull to within two at 7-5. Girardi called for Mo to get the last four outs.

Rivera got the last out of the eighth when Nate McLouth fouled out to the catcher to end the inning.

In the ninth he got three ground ball outs. J.J. Hardy grounded to short, Brian Roberts would ground to second and Henry Urrutia would bounce back to the box to end the game.

The save for Rivera was his 42nd in 49 save opportunities and the 650th of his career.
Posted by: David
The Yankee bullpen is just spent. Today before the game started Joe Girardi knew he would not have Logan or Robertson. Hiroki Kuroda rebounded with six good innings but left after throwing 117 pitches.

Shawn Kelley came in and pitched a scoreless 7th and Mo was summoned to try to get his first two inning save since July of 2006.

In the eighth he struck out David Ortiz looking for the first out. Mike Carp got a base hit and Quentin Berry was inserted as a pinch runner. Mo almost picked him off and Berry did not even get an attempt. He struck out Saltalamacchia and got Stephen Drew to pop up in foul territory to third to end the inning.

The Yankees could not add any insurance and Mo had to go out for the ninth with only a one run lead at 3-2.

Will Middlebrooks was the first batter and he took Mo deep to right as the pitch was too high and out over the plate. Hence, another blown save, the 7th of the season for Mariano and second of the series. Rivera then rebounded and struck out Mike Napoli, got Daniel Nava on a grounder unassisted to first and Gomes lined out to third to end the inning.

In the ninth Ichiro Suzuki got a one out single to left and was able to steal second. He advanced to third on a fly ball to right from Vernon Wells and Alfonso Soriano had the chance to be a hero again. He did not even get the chance to take a swing as the first pitch was over the head of the catcher and Ichiro scored the winning run.

With the win Rivera is now 5-2 on the season. He has converted 41 of 48 save opportunities for the 2013 season and his ERA now stands at 2.28.
Posted by: David
The game looked like a breeze. Starting the 8th inning the Yankees were cruising with a 6-1 lead and CC Sabathia was pitching well. He got one out but then gave up two hits. Girardi felt that after 111 pitches it was time to call on the bullpen.

David Robertson entered and simply did not have it tonight. He allowed the two inherited runners to score and also gave up two more runs as the White Sox pulled to within a run at 6-5 and still had two runners on base.

Girardi summoned Rivera in the 8th inning and Mo entered to face Alejandro DeAza. He went to a 3-2 count and then caught him looking on a pitch that just graced the outside corner.

The Yankees were retired easily in the ninth and Mo was right back on the mound to face the best hitters in Chicago's lineup.

Gordon Beckham flew out to center for the first out, Alexi Ramirez grounded hard back to the mound, but Rivera was able to stab it and threw to first for the second out. The last hope was Paul Konerko who was 5 for 13 coming into the AB against Mo including a home run. On a 2-1 pitch Konerko lined it hard to third but A-Rod was able to stab it close to the ground to end the game.

For Rivera the save was the 41st of the season in 46 save opportunities and the 649th of his career. His 2013 season ERA now stands at 2.06.

Now with the sweep of the White Sox the Red Sox come to the Bronx for a big four game series starting on Thursday night.
Posted by: Patrick
ESPN.com reports that, after this season, Joe Girardi will talk with Mariano Rivera about the closer's decision to retire and encourage him to take his time before making it final.

"I don't see any reason why he couldn't do it next year, I don't," he told ESPNNewYork.com. "He's made it pretty clear that he doesn't want to [return], but I always say, you know, January rolls around and sometimes you have a different feel about what you want to do."

For his part, Rivera told reporters that he's already made his decision. At this point, after Rivera has accepted all of the various farewells and retirement gifts, it seems like a virtual certainty that he will not return. Rivera just doesn't seem like the type of guy who would go through all of these festivities, only to come right back. But you never know.
Posted by: David
The Yankees could not touch Chris Sale for seven innings. In fact, the only run they scored came on a steal of home from Vernon Wells to tie the score at 1. The White Sox would add three more runs on a two run triple from Alexi Casilla and a home run from De Aza.

Hiroki Kuroda was better but still left some pitches up and got hurt. Boone Logan relieved Kuroda was able to put out the fire.

In the eighth Chris Sale got one out and then Derek Jeter singled and Robinson Cano doubled. Alfonso Soriano got down two strikes but then was able to single up the middle to score 2 runs and bring the Yankees to within a run at 4-3. A-Rod followed with a single to center and Soriano was able to race to third. Curtis Granderson pinch hit and lined a single over the second basemen to tie the score. Mark Reynolds struck out but then Eduardo Nunez lined a double down the third base line to score A-Rod and Granderson to give the Yankees a two run lead at 6-4.

Rivera entered for the ninth and went to 3-2 on Conor Gillaspie but then caught him looking for the first out. Jordan Danks grounded weakly to second as he broke his bat on a cutter. Leury Garcia pinch hit and was also caught looking to end the game.

The save for Rivera was his 40th of the season in 45 save opportunities and the 648th of his career. His 2013 season ERA now stands at 2.12.