Friday, May 4, 2012

A quick word on Mariano

One last quick post and then I'm done for the weekend (seriously, I'm done... four posts in one day is out of control for me, and somehow I still haven't worked down my backlog of old material at all).

I just wanted to say a brief word about Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, who might well have ended his career last night when he tore his ACL shagging flies during pre-game batting practice. Despite my obvious Red Sox bias, I've never had anything but the utmost respect for Rivera, something I've made clear here on two previous occasions. As I wrote in one of those posts,
Despite his playing for the Yankees, I respect and admire Mariano. Like many other Dominican [uh, sic] ballplayers, he came from almost literally nothing and therefore has a terrific attitude about the game. His utter lack of a sense of entitlement is refreshing, and it comes across in every interview that he conducts (like this one, which is a personal favorite). He truly seems to appreciate how lucky he is to get paid his huge salary to do what he does, and I wish there were more athletes like him.
I of course realize that I'm a complete idiot, because Rivera is from Panama, not the Dominican Republic (which I knew all along, but somehow screwed up in that post because I was thinking of Pedro Martinez... stupid Red Sox bias). But my points still stand--I can't think of many other Yankees that would be as gracious in defeat as Mariano was in 2004/2005. Rivera is humble, laid-back, friendly, and--to hear my father tell it--incredibly good at dealing with the media. Guys like Mariano are the reason we watch sports, regardless of our affiliations as fans.

At any rate, the brutal irony of Mariano's injury is that it was a well-articulated dream of his to play center field for the Yankees at least once before he retired. Now, he may never get his chance, all because of an injury that was sustained while "playing" center field. For a guy with as accomplished a career as his, it's a shame if this is how it all ends.

To honor Mariano, I'll now post the Clip of the Week that never was, a clip of the man showing us all how to make a baseball glove out of a cardboard box. This is useful info, people... take notes.


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