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Posted by: Patrick
From the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle:

Sutter made it to the Hall of Fame essentially on the basis of one pitch an unhittable splitter. So, it's really no surprise he would enjoy current Yankees closer Mariano Rivera.

"I like watching him because he does it without showing his emotions and he does it with one pitch (the cutter)," Sutter said. ...

"He's a first-ballot guy," Sutter said.

Posted by: David
Mariano Rivera pitched a scoreless ninth on Sunday afternoon to earn his 26th save of the season. He entered in the ninth with the Yankees ahead 4-2. Johnny Gomes led off and popped up to Cairo at second for the first out. Russell Branyan then struck out swinging for the second out. Tomas Perez blooped a fly ball single to right and Damon Hollins pinch hit for catcher Josh Paul. With Perez running, Hollins hit a grounder to short which Jeter handled and threw to first to end the game.

The save for Rivera is the 405th of his career. His season ERA now stand at 1.92.
Posted by: Patrick
SportingNews.com has a feature on Mo and their editors have selected Mo as the greatest closer of all time.

The view from shortstop is interesting when Rivera is working. "I see frustration (on hitters' faces) probably more than anything," says teammate Derek Jeter. "It's not like everyone is wondering, 'What's he going to throw this pitch?' Everyone knows it's coming. I don't even know why (catcher) Jorge (Posada) puts the sign down."

Says Posada: "But it's not only that he's got one pitch; it's the effect. When you throw in the mid-90s with movement, you're going to have success. He was able to develop a sinker about four or five years ago, so it's two different pitches on one pitch. Plus, he spots the ball wherever he wants."
Posted by: David
Mariano Rivera did it again. He entered the bottom of the ninth with a one run lead and was able to retire the potent Texas Rangers to preserve a win for the Yankees.

He faced Rod Barajas to start the inning and got him to pop up to second for the first out. Gary Matthews, Jr. worked the count even at 1-1 and looked like he was very conscious of the cutter inside. Mo picked up on it and painted the outside corner twice to catch Matthews looking for the second out. Ian Kinsler singled up the middle and Mo had to face tough hitting Michael Young. Kinsler ran on the pitch but Young grounded to Jeter at short to end the game. The save for Rivera is his 25th of the season. His ERA now stands at 1.95.

The Yankees were behind 4-2 until the eighth when then erupted for four runs off of Francisco Cordero. A-Rod led off with a home run to cut the deficit to one run at 4-3. Bernie walked and that was followed by a single from Andy Phillips. With runners on first and second and no outs, Cabrera was up next to advance the runners with a bunt. He bunted foul twice and then doubled deep to left center to score both runners. Newly acquired Sal Fasano sacrificed Cabrera to third and he scored on a wild pitch to put the Yanks up 6-4.

In the bottom of the eight Farnsworth was suppose to pitch but his back tightened up and he couldn't go. T.J. Beam entered as was ineffective. He walked Matthews and then Kinsler doubled to put the tying runs on with no outs. Proctor relieved and was greeted with a single from Michael Young to tie the score. Teixeira followed with a bloop single and Young took third on the play. Hank Blalock then bounced a ball over the head of Phillips at first and Texas had the lead at 7-6. Kevin Mench singled to load the bases and Chacon then relieved Proctor. Chacon struck out Mark DeRosa for the first out and got Brad Wilkerson to line back to the mound and he was able to catch the ball and double up the runner off of first to end the inning.

In the ninth Jeter led with a single and Giambi homered to put the Yankees up 8-7. With the win and losses from Boston and Chicago, the Yankees now have a 1/2 lead over Chicago and Minnesota in the Wild Card race. They are 1 and 1/2 games behind Boston for the AL East lead.
Posted by: David
Mariano Rivera earned his 24th save of the season on Tuesday night as the Yankees took their second straight game from Texas. They have a chance to sweep the series tomorrow night.

Rivera entered in the bottom of the ninth with the Yankees leading 7-4. Brad Wilkerson led off with a single up the middle as Mo didn't get the cutter far enough inside. Rod Barajas got jammed and hit a fly ball to left which Cabrera made the catch on for the first out. Gary Matthews, Jr. was up next and lined the ball back up the middle which Mo stopped with his glove. He quickly recovered and got the force at second. If he could have gloved it cleanly it would have been an easy double play. Matthews then took second on defensive indifference. Ian Kinsler was the last hope for the Rangers and Mo struck him out swinging to end the game.

The save for Rivera was the 403rd of his career. His season ERA now stands at 1.99.

The Yankees win coupled with a White Sox loss to the Twins has moved the Yankees to within 1/2 game of the Wild Card lead. The Twins are breathing down both the Yankees and White Sox necks being only one game behind.
Posted by: David
Mariano Rivera entered in the ninth inning with the Yankees ahead by four runs, 6-2, but the result was business as usual. Rivera retired the Rangers 1-2-3 to preserve a win for Randy Johnson and the Yankees.

Gary Matthews, Jr. led off and grounded to second for the first out. Ian Kinsler then struck out looking for Michael Young grounded to short to end the game.

Rivera is 4-5 on the season with 23 saves. His ERA now stands at 2.03.
Posted by: David
Mariano Rivera redeemed himself on early Saturday evening after giving up the walkoff home run on Thursday night to Vernon Wells. Rivera pitched a perfect ninth inning to earn his 23rd save of the season and the 402nd of his career. The Yankees bullpen was simply awesome with Proctor striking out the side in the seventh with only giving up a double to Catalanotto. Kyle Farnsworth worked the eighth and also struck out the side.

He faced Aaron Hill to lead off the inning and got him to ground to Jeter at short for the first out. John McDonald also grounded out to Jeter and Reed Johnson was the last hope for Toronto. Mo fell behind 2-0 but came back and made Johnson to pop up to A-Rod at third to end the game.

Rivera is now 4-5 on the season with 23 saves in 25 opportunities. His season ERA now stands at 2.06.
Posted by: Patrick
Last night: a rarity. After pitching a 1-2-3 10th (Aaron Hill, John McDonald and Reed Johnson), Frank Catalanotto singled to start the bottom of the 11th. However, he was caught stealing, which brought up Vernon Wells. And it was then that Mariano allowed his first home run (including the play-offs) since August 16 of last year. This gave the Blue Jays a 5-4 victory.

Mariano's record falls to 4-5 with his ERA coming up to 2.10.
Posted by: Patrick
From the North County Times:

"I think he's the best, too," Hoffman said Tuesday. "It's not a discredit to myself, either. It's hard to match what he's done, especially when you factor in the postseason. And pitching in New York is a lot different than pitching anywhere else." ...

"I don't think it's much of an argument," Hoffman said.
Posted by: David
Mariano Rivera was not the usual automatic but he got the tough outs when he needed them most. Mo enetered in the ninth with the Yankees leading 4-2.

Kenji Johjima led off with a double up the gap in left center as Rivera left the pitch out over the plate. Yuniesky Betancourt then singled to left on a pitch that was intended to be further inside but Mo left it out over the plate. Rivera's nemesis from last season Eduardo Perez was next up to bat. Perez has gone from Tampa Bay last year to Cleveland this year and was just picked up by Seattle recently. Perez touched Mo last year for a home run that resulted in a blown save. Mo got ahead 0-2 and Perez had two good swings with one swing and a miss and the other fouled back. Rivera went inside on the 0-2 pitch and it looked off the plate but Mo got the call for the first out. The dangerous Ichiro was next and Mo jammed him with a cutter to induce a pop up to Jeter for the second out. Willie Bloomquist was the last hope and he worked the count to 3-2 but the next pitch was a high fast ball at 96 mph which Bloomquist swung and missed to end the game.

It was the 22nd save of the season for Mariano Rivera and his ERA now stands at 1.98.
Posted by: Patrick
From the New York Daily News:

The ninth, Tadahito Iguchi led off with a fly ball off the right field wall that was inches away from home run country. He was on second when Thome walked. Rivera, who isn't known to throw double-play balls, got a second double play from Paul Konerko. And struck out Jermaine Dye. Cooperstown will probably want that ball but Mo is saving it for Mo.

"I want it," he said. "I would give them something else. Not the ball."
Posted by: David
Mariano Rivera really had to earn his 400th career save on Sunday afternoon at the stadium. Kyle Farnsworth pitched effectively in the seventh inning but then surrendered a homer to A.J. Pierzynski and also let the next two runners reach without getting an out in the inning. Enter Sandman!

Rivera entered with the Yankees leading 6-4 with the tying runs on base. Mo got Uribe to pop up for the first out and then jammed Scott Podsednik and induced the speedster to ground into an inning ending double play.

In the ninth Tadahito Uguchi just missed a home run as his drive to right hit off the top of the wall for a leadoff double. Mo then fell behind Thome and eventually walked him on a 3-1 pitch although it looked like a strike. Paul Konerko was up with the tying runs on and Mo placed a cutter on the outside corner which Konerko tried to pull and ended up hitting into a double play with Uguchi taking third on the play. Jermaine Dye was the last hope and Mo struck him out swinging to end the game.

For Rivera, its his 21st save of the season in 23 save opportunities and he lowered his ERA to 2.02.
Posted by: Patrick
The Yankees handed the ball to Mo in the ninth with a 3 run lead over the White Sox, but that's not how it ended. The first three batters reached, thanks to three singles off the bats of Jim Thome, Paul Konerko and Jermaine Dye. That loaded the bases with 0 outs.

Scott Podsednik grounded out to first, making the first out but also bringing around Thome to score. 6-4 Yankees. 2nd and 3rd, 1 out. Juan Uribe followed with a sacrifice fly to score Konerko and push Dye to third. With a runner on 3rd and 2 outs, A.J. Pierzynski pinch hit for Chris Widger. Mo got him to fly out to right to end it, netting him his 20 save of the year in 22 chances. His ERA was pushed up to 2.11 and he is just one save away from 400 career saves!
Posted by: Patrick
Another article on the restaurant:

Fosina said Rivera added a few touches to the interior design and that he wanted it named "Mo's" rather than his full name.

Another business partner is Brandon Steiner, the CEO of Steiner Sports. Steiner's first touch was T-shirts, hats and steak knives that sit in a display case in the entryway, but he sees more marketing opportunities in the future. The next step is a steak sauce, "with a Panamanian kick."

07/14: More on Mo's

Posted by: Patrick
Vic Ziegel reports on the opening:

The talk became serious last August when the younger Fosina showed Rivera the empty restaurant next door to the podiatrist's office. Mo took a look and walked a few blocks to Brandon Steiner's office. Steiner, whose specialty is sports memorabilia, sports marketing, sports anything, is the man who sells Rivera to the rest of the world.

When Rivera first came to the Yankees, and for the next five years, he lived in the same one-bedroom apartment in New Rochelle. The first time Steiner visited him, to sign a crate of baseballs, he asked the pitcher, "Mo, where's the rest of the apartment?" ...

Now he looks down the road and sees past the podiatrist's office. He sees a Mo Steak Sauce, a Mo autographed plate. But when Mo first mentioned the restaurant deal, Steiner thought the road was a dead end. "I told him, 'Give me 15 minutes to talk you out of it.' After the 15 minutes, I moved to begging."

07/13: Eat at Mo's!

Posted by: Patrick
Peter Abraham reports that Mo's New York Grill is opening today in New Rochelle.

Rivera is branching out from baseball and becoming a partner in a new restaurant in New Rochelle. "Mo's New York Grill" will officially open this afternoon with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. ...

"This isn't a sports bar. It's a nice place to get a good meal with your family. We wanted it to be classy. I'm real happy with how it turned out. Real happy."

They have a website.
Posted by: Patrick
Cool article about Mo at NorthJersey.com:

Cutters themselves aren't that unusual. Rivera, however, has a long-armed, full extension that prompted David Cone to dub him Inspector Gadget. ...

"I'm sure you can learn it, but it won't cut like his," Yankee starter Mike Mussina said. Mets closer Billy Wagner said he's watched Rivera's impossibly late-breaking ball so many times and so enviously, he's finally decided, "It's a gift from God." ...

Rivera credits former pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre with helping him control it and Torre said that's what makes knowing what's coming irrelevant. Recalling a conversation he had with Sandy Koufax about Randy Johnson this year, he said Koufax reminded him, "It's not what you throw, it's where you throw it."

"Mo," Torre said, "is a perfect example of that." ...

"Being a closer is not a cool job. No pitcher wants to be a reliever," he said. Fumbling for an explanation, he settled on, "It's a lot of responsibility," even as the words sounded funny from a player so branded by his cool unflappability. ...

Rivera's not necessarily the cerebral craftsman Mussina is, but Guidry stiffened at Kaat's lumping him along with his relieving brethren under the title "throwers."

"Mo pitches," Guidry said sharply. "He's got a great sense of what's around him and what he needs to do."
Posted by: Patrick
Stars say Mo must go on:

[Rivera] said he appreciates what Papelbon ... has done in Boston. Longevity is the hardest part, Rivera said, adding that, "I've been doing this for years." ...

But Rivera's abilities are only part of the reason he is revered. Rangers shortstop Michael Young remembers last year's All-Star Game in Detroit, when he was sitting in the dugout with Rivera next to him. A moment later, Gary Sheffield came up to Young.

"Sheff goes, 'That's a legend right there sitting next to you,'" Young said, "and Gary Sheffield is a potential Hall of Famer (yet) he's the one who singles out Mo. Those are the kinds of things that stick out in your mind. ... (Rivera) might be the most respected player in the league." ...

Alex Rodriguez shrugged when asked about Guillen tapping Rivera ahead of the other closers to handle the ninth inning tonight, as if it was obvious.

"If my life depended on it - if my daughter's life depended on it - I'd want Mariano Rivera closing," A-Rod said. "Wouldn't you?"

LOL. That's great.

Rivera adds another notch to belt:

... When Michael Young's two-run triple gave the AL a one-run lead in the top of the ninth, it was time for Rivera to reward Guillen for his decision.

"I was honored by that," Rivera said. "We have a lot of young guys here, but he used me -- the old man." ...

"I said, 'Wow, it would be nice if we're up by one in the ninth, we can call Mariano'" Guillen said. "I know how Mr. Joe Torre feels when he's on the mound. He's done that in tough situations for so many years; we know we have confidence when Mariano was on the mound."

"He's pretty much automatic," Jeter said. "When he comes in the game, the feeling is that it's over with."

Via Alex.
Posted by: David
It didn't look like Mo would get the chance to save the game with the American League behind 2-1 with two outs and nobody on in the ninth inning, but alas three hits later the AL had the lead 3-2. Paul Konerko was the last hope for the junior circuit. Miguel Cabrera was guarding the line at third and Konerko was able to ground a ball pass him into left field. Troy Glaus was he next batter and he lined a double to left which bounced into the stands for a ground rule double which put runners at second and third. Michael Young was up next and got behind 0-2 but then lined a triple up the gap in right center to score two runners and put the American League up 3-2.

As AL Manager Ozzie Guillen promised, Rivera would be his closer. Sanchez of the hometown Pirates led off and grounded a ball to third for the first out. Carlos Beltran also grounded a ball to third but this time Jose Lopez bobbled the ball and Beltran beat it out. The home run derby champ Ryan Howard was next and he grounded weakly to second for the second out with Beltran moving to second on the play. The last hope was Carlos Lee. Mo managed to jam him and he popped out to the second basemen for the final out. Rivera tied Dennis Eckersley with three saves for his career in the all-star game.

With the win the American League won home field advantage for the World Series.
Posted by: Patrick
From seattlepi.com:

New York Yankees Joe Torre went to Italy last December and participated in the torch relay before the Turin Olympics. He predicted Italy will be living "la dolce vita" on Sunday night at Berlin's Olympiastadion.

"The way the Italians have been playing, that looks like a tough team to beat," he said.

Yankees closer Mariano Rivera has Italy in the team's World Cup pool.

"Mariano," Torre said. "That's Italian."

Heh.
Posted by: David
Mariano Rivera pitched a perfect ninth inning to preserve a 1-0 win for Jaret Wright and the Yankees. Carl Crawford led off the inning and Mo struck him out swinging on a high cutter inside. Rocco Baldelli was next and Mo caught him looking for the second out. Aubrey Huff was he last hope and Rivera jammed him and the result was a grounder to Andy Phillips at first to end the game.

For Rivera it was his 19th save of the season and the 398th of his career. His season ERA is now at 1.76.

The Yankees pitching was great all night. Jaret Wright pitched six strong scoreless innings and escaped a second and third with no outs in the first inning. Scott Proctor pitched the seventh and Kyle Farnsworth pitched a perfect eighth before giving way to Rivera to close.
Posted by: Patrick
Ozzie Guillen has set his closer for the all-star game:

Mariano Rivera worked the ninth inning last night, and White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen announced earlier that he plans to use Rivera as his closer in the All-Star Game ahead of his own closer, Bobby Jenks.

"Mariano Rivera is a Hall of Famer and this is maybe his last All-Star Game," Guillen told reporters in Chicago. "What this guy has done in baseball ... he should be my closer."

Not a huge Guillen fan, but I definitely appreciate the sentiment here.
Posted by: Patrick
Mariano pitched a scoreless ninth to hand Moose his 10th win of the season.

He first faced Travis Hafner, who popped out. Victor Martinez followed with a single. But, then Mo got Ben Broussard to ground to second to start a 4-6-3 double play to end the game.

It was no a save situation, but Mo's ERA is now down to 1.80.
Posted by: Patrick
From the New York Post:

What has been truly amazing is that Rivera has recorded 397 saves in 91/2 seasons. Lee Smith, the all-time saves leader with 478, needed 13 seasons to reach 400. Trevor Hoffman, second at 456, posted his 400th save in his 12th year. John Franco, who has 424, took 16 years to get to 400.

"I remember my first year; April was awful," recalled Rivera, who flushed his first Yankee Stadium save situation in 1997 when Mark McGwire, then with the A's, homered to center field. "I went to Joe [Torre] to talk to him and he said, 'You are my closer no matter what.' That's what I needed."
Posted by: Patrick
Mo was named to the 2006 AL All-Star team. Congratulations to him on the year he has put together so far.
Posted by: Patrick
The new MarianoRivera.com has launched!

Although there are small things here and there that have changed, the two primary improvements are:

New Design: The entire site has been re-designed.

MarianoRivera.com Blog: The MarianoRivera.com Blog has been launched. Previously known as the MarianoRivera.com News section, we will now be posting more regularly and have opened a comments section on all entries so that you can post your thoughts.

I hope that everyone likes the new setup.

Thank you for visiting MarianoRivera.com.