What is there to say about Mariano Rivera? I often refer to him as God because of his dominance off the field and the way he lives his life and helps others off the field. And because at the age of 41, he is still as good an as consistent as ever. In the future it’ll be the other way around though – people will refer to God as Mo.
EXPECTATIONS: He turned 41 at the very beginning of the offseason last year, but the Yankees never thought twice about giving him a two-year deal worth a whopping $30 million. Rivera had a 1.99 ERA since turning 36 so there was never a reason to doubt he would fulfill the deal.
SAME AS EVER: From 2003 to 2010 Mo’s ERA was 1.86. His ERA in 2011 was 1.91. Since PitchFx began gathering data in 2007, Rivera had averaged 91.5 mph velocity on his fastball. In 2011 he average 91.5 mph on his fastball. The only way to tell he’s aging is to look at his hairline.
602: Not a big fan of the save statistic, but it is amazing to see Rivera set the all-time saves record as it is a real mark of his consistency. To compare him to other relievers that he pitched alongside with is just going to make those pitchers look bad. He finished the year with 603 saves and will probably add at least 40 more next year.
TALK OF RETIREMENT: Despite the fact that he just doesn’t slow down, Rivera is now 42-years-old. He has mentioned retirement in the past, but when he brought it up this offseason it seems a little more realistic. He had surgery on his throat to remove polyps. Maybe he will see that as a sign to retire. Hopefully not.
NOT MUCH ELSE TO SAY: I mean really? It’s all been said before. He’s a clear first ballot Hall of Famer who has managed to stretch his prime past the point where most other ball players his age have already long retired. He is perhaps the most respected man in the game, or any major sport for that matter. He is supposedly going to become a minister after he retires, but I think it will be Yankees fans who erect churches in his honor.