The image was horrific. It was inconceivable. It couldn't be him? Not Mo.
Seeing Mariano Rivera crumpled beneath the outfield wall, crying out in pain was in a word, heartbreaking. The immortal had become vulnerable.
Rivera is the greatest closer of all time. He has 608 career saves. Most ever. His career 2.21 ERA is disgustingly good. He's also a 12-time All Star and has recorded 40 or more saves eight times throughout his career; including last year at the age of 41.
Mo's playoff numbers are even more unbelievable. In 141 IP, which is about two full closer seasons (the Yankees make the playoffs a lot), Rivera has a .70 ERA, 42 saves, two home runs allowed, 21 walks allowed, 110 SO and an amazing .759 WHIP. And oh yeah, five World Series rings.
All these dominant numbers and statistics are coupled with the fact that Mariano has always been a class act. He has an incredible work ethic, is always prepared and leads with a quiet, unassuming confidence. By the way, I'm saying all this as a die-hard Mets fan and hereditary Yankee hater.
So here's to Mo and a speedy recovery. Let's hope we hear "Enter Sandman" a few more times next year. There's been nothing more assuring or consistent in baseball over the past 20 years. If anybody deserves to go out on top, Mariano Rivera definitely does.