So I was listening to the New York Yankees game on the radio last night when Yankees’
broadcasters Susan Waldman and John Sterling began discussing the possibility of Mariano Rivera starting the 2013 all-star game for the American League.
Waldman said that Rivera considers himself as a reliever and most likely would not accept the proposal if it was offered. She pointed out that Rivera likes to close games, not open them. Sterling added that the organizers of the game would be best served if fans needed to wait for the final inning to get their last view of Rivera in an all-star game.
Well, here is my take on the situation. Is it far-fetched? Perhaps. Is it impossible? No, it is not.
In my view, the greatest relief pitcher in the history of Major League Baseball should receive an exceptional honor. He should have the opportunity to perform something that no other pitcher has ever done in an all-star game. Yankees’ fans might not embrace the idea with enthusiasm, but remember, the idea is to honor Rivera.
I say let him pitch both halves of the ninth- inning. Let him represent both the Americans and the Nationals. This would give both leagues and their fans an opportunity to honor him. Forget about the score and the necessity to play the bottom of the ninth. That is irrelevant. Play it either way. Let Rivera stand apart from every relief pitcher in the history of the game. Because, as we know, he does. Let number 42 stand for unity. I believe this would have made Jackie Robinson proud.
Imagine the thrill for the National League All-Stars who may never have had the opportunity to play with him. Imagine their pride at lining up behind him in the field.
After the final out, hold a ceremony for Rivera on the pitcher’s mound. Instead of network executives or MLB officials presenting a special award, let his Yankees teammates who are playing in the game present it to him. Imagine Robinson Cano, Travis Hafner and others congratulating him. Allow Andy Pettitte, Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada to participate.
Is that too much for one man? I don’t think so. Not when we are talking about Mariano Rivera.