Exit Sandman: The goodbye tour begins for Mo
The worst fear for Yankees fans is finally happening: Mariano Rivera is retiring after the 2013 season. He is set to formally announce his retirement on Saturday. Rivera, who is dubbed the “Best Closer in Baseball” will spend one last summer traveling and playing baseball, in hopes of winning his 28th World Series Championship with the Yankees.
Emotions are mixed. Some are fine with letting Mo finally hang up his cleats while some who have only seen Mo pitch in the closer role for their young lives will have trouble letting go. I’ll admit, I am one of those fans who will have trouble letting go of Mo.
When fans visit Yankee Stadium and the team leads and it’s the 9th inning, fans anticipate hearing Metallica’s “Enter Sandman”, knowing a legend will emerge from the bullpen. Once Mo would get on the mound, that would be it. Game over for the other team.
For the past couple of seasons, I’ve joked around saying Mariano Rivera would drink from the fountain of youth, joking that he would never age and that he could pitch as the Yankees closer well into his fifties. But today, Mo proved to us that he is human and that all good things must unfortunately come to an end.
Mariano had been a staple of five World Series Championships: 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2009. He’s known as one-fourth of the “Core Four” sharing that same title with fellow teammates Andy Pettitte, Derek Jeter and recent retiree Jorge Posada. He gives fans hope, he gives the fans consistency and in return he has earned every baseball fan’s respect. Whether they’re a Boston Red Sox fan, a Philadelphia Phillies fan, a New York Mets fan or a San Francisco Giants fan. Mariano has the respect of everyone around him. He’s the lead example of class, he’s adored and he will be terribly missed once he hangs up his cleats for one final time.
I’ve had the joy and the pleasure of watching Mariano Rivera pitch over the years which is why it’s hard for me to cope with the fact that in 8 months it would be time to say goodbye for one final time to the best closer in baseball. But when it’s time to ‘Exit Sandman’, there won’t be a dry eye in the house, and Yankees fans will be grateful of everything he’s done for us. And for as long as we live, we will never ever forget him.