MARIANO RIVERA: A TRUE LEGEND

A true legend never quits. A true legend never gives up. A true legend always looks for improvement. A true legend always give one hundred and ten percent no matter how big the challenge or how small. Most importantly, a true legend makes everyone around him better and is vital to his team!

Is there any other player in the game that fulfills all this criteria like Mariano Rivera? With Mariano on the team the Yankees have won not one, not two, not three, and not even four, but FIVE championships! His ERA in the postseason is under one! He is already the career leader in saves and is on his way to setting a mark that will never be touched! So, what is the point in returning when you have accomplished almost as much as humanly possible? Is it to get a sixth championship? Is it to set a save record that will never be touched? A true legend knows what he means to his team. Mariano will return to secure victories for his favorite team. Mariano WILL return because his love for the game is so much more than most people can imagine.

Without Mariano, Joe Girardi has to put together a puzzle. Who will finish out the game? Will it be David Robertson? The man that is known for his Houdini escapes? Possibly it will be Rafael Soriano? The man that saved so many vital games for the Rays? The fact of the matter is that neither of those puzzle pieces will fill the void left where Mariano fit perfectly. He has been saving games for the Yankees since before I was born. I watch games now and I am nervous that we wonít be able to shut the door. I used to be able to turn off the T.V. before the 9th inning knowing that Mariano would Save the game ninety nine times out of one hundred.

How many pitchers in the game can you say are truly dominate? Justin Verlander, Felix hernandez? They have multiple nasty pitches to fool you with. Mariano has one pitch. Hitters know whats coming. They know that Marianoís infamous slider is going to eat them up before they even enter the batters box. What other pitcher in the game has ever been as dominate as Mariano while using only one pitch? Many people will say that a curveball is the hardest pitch to hit, many will say itís the slider. If those are the hardest pitch to hit then why canít anyone hit Marianoís cutter? Itís because Mariano has truly mastered his pitch over years of experience. Mariano is getting better with age, so what could possibly make you believe he is done?

We look at it as Mariano is too old and having all this time off will really throw him off. How can you say that a couple extra months of practice wonít let Mariano recover from this injury? Mariano is one of the hardest workers in the game of baseball and will work hard to be better than ever before next year.

Now, lets talk about the Yankees around the legendary closer. You have question marks behind the plate. With Pineda on the DL I am starting to think we really could use Montero both in the lineup and in the field. At first base we have Mark Teixeira, no question marks there. The man should be named scoops, he is truly the best fielding first baseman in the game! Second base, the all star Robinson Cano, every year this guy puts up MVP type numbers. Third base is A-Rod, he may be getting old but is still putting up decent numbers. And at shortstop, number 2, Derek Jeter. Obviously Captain Clutch found the fountain of youth and is playing like he is 21 again. He is running faster and is hitting the ball hard almost every swing of the bat. Gardnerís out for now but he will be back. Once we get back Gardner the outfield is one of the best in the game. You got Gardner the gazelle, Granderson the Grandiman, and Swisher the kid out there in the outfield. Obviously, the Yankees need pitching. We all know that CC, Kuroda, Nova, and Pettitte can deliver. But thatís only four guys! Garcia has been playing awful and Hughes hasnít done much better. Possibly picking up one good pitcher will really help the Yankees while they are in the playoff chase.

After saying all of this could this year be 28? Could the Yankees really win their 28th championship this year? Well, they just had a ten game win streak and their lineup is always solid. Their bullpen has really picked up the slack after Mariano went down. Can they make a run... YES!!!!!!