Monday September 19, 2011
Ladies and gentlemen, the debate of who is the greatest closer of all time has been put to rest. New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera made history again by becoming the all time saves leader with 602 saves. He closed in dominating fashion by recording a 1-2-3 inning in the 9th against the Minnesota Twins. Rivera ended the inning by striking out Chris Parmelee looking. The fans roared in unison, and Rivera gave catcher Russell Martin a handshake and a hug. His teammates and coaches congratulated him individually on the field. Rivera then went to retreat to the dugout, but Jorge Posada dragged him back. Rivera saluted the crowd and blew a kiss to them, and the crowd still went wild.
Mariano Rivera is the greatest closer in all of baseball today. This debate should be closed once and for all. It’s not just because of the stats, even though they are impressive. Rivera recorded 602 saves out of 674 attempts. That’s an 89 percent success rate! Rivera’s accomplishments are also another reason for his success. He is a 5-time Al Rolaids Relief Man Award winner. Rivera is also the 1999 World Series MVP, as well as four other rings to his resume. He is also a 12-time AL All-Star, but there is an underlying fact to his dominance.
Rivera is dominating in nearly every which way possible. He is winning with one pitch: the cutter, otherwise known as the cut-fastball. He dominated in an era where hitting was its strongest. Rivera recorded two inning saves as well. He saved games almost like the old closers of the 1970s, such as “Goose” Gossage and Lee Smith. It doesn’t seem to matter to Rivera how he gets a save. As long as he gets it, he’s happy.
The biggest factor to Rivera’s success is the same demeanor that his teammate Derek Jeter has. He’s not flashy and does not boast about his accomplishments. He understands it’s a huge achievement in his career, but his first goal remains. Mariano Rivera wants to be a champion again. That goal is what drives him to be successful nearly every time he takes the mound. If Rivera keeps up his dominance, then his goal will be reached.
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