Contemplating Life Without Mo

mariano rivera.jpg

I love this man. He is my favorite Yankee. If he asked me to, I would shine his shoes, do his laundry, wash the dishes at his steakhouse in Westchester and then mop the floors until every last morsel of tenderloin, hash browns and creamed spinach was gone. I can’t stand Metallica, but when they play “Enter Sandman” at the Stadium, I break out into this insane chanting/clapping/laughing thing that makes me look like a total freak. I’m that worshipful.
But I’m not delusional. I realize that this season is Mariano Rivera’s 15th in pinstripes. He is 39, getting balder by the second and coming off shoulder surgery. And he’s only signed through 2010.
I shouldn’t have been surprised when the subject of his retirement was raised at spring training and yet it threw me – positively knocked me down.
“The end is coming, sooner or later,” he said, according to Peter Abraham. “Only God knows when it comes.”
The end is coming?

I took a breath after reading Mo’s statement and tried to envision what my Yankee fan life would be without him – and I couldn’t. No matter when he calls it quits, it’ll be end-of-days time. Nothing will be the same.
For instance…

I will completely lose my appetite.
I will not be able to sleep.
I will not dance to the song “What Is Love” by Haddaway or bop my head back and forth.
The sun will never shine. Not even once.
Electrical power outages will occur throughout the land.
Cars will inadvertently crash into each other and burst into flames.
Homes and businesses will close forever.
Children will cry, and nothing and no one will be able to stop them.
Even members of the animal kingdom will be overcome with sadness.
Mo’s last day as a Yankee wouldn’t be about losing one of the greatest closers in the history of the game. Well, O.K. It sort of would be. (Do we go out and get a Joe Nathan or do we stay in-house and groom Joba?) But mostly, it would mean the end of an era, and I’m just not ready to go there. Not for a long, long time.


  1. feenwager

    You forgot “Cats & Dogs living together…mass hysteria”

    Also, Mo should never be photographed without his hat.

    Also also, Metallica is great.

    Also also also, it’ll be Joba.

  2. Jane Heller

    Feenwager, you’re right about Mo not being photographed without his cap; it’s a reminder of time passing. Sigh. Who knows what will happen with Joba. I’ve given up the debate (for now). And Metallica? I guess I’m missing something.

    I hope he goes forever, Julia. Maybe he’ll turn out to be the oldest living pitcher in the majors!

    LOL, Jeff. A perfect caption for that shot. Thanks for the congrats too. Means a lot coming from you.

    I think he will too, Greg. And the fact that he does his thing with one pitch is truly amazing.

  3. Erin Kathleen

    I’ve always liked Mo, even though he destroys my Twins. He is the greatest closer in baseball right now, but unlike Papelbon and K-Rod he is quietly awesome. He prefers to let his stuff, and not his mouth, do the talking and I respect that. Plus you never really hear much about him outside of baseball: I don’t remember ever reading about him getting arrested for drunk driving or carousing with strippers or anything. Or testing positive for a banned substance for that matter. I find that very refreshing.

    As for his replacement, what do you think about Phil Coke? He’s put up very good numbers in all levels in the minors, and was impressive in his few appearances with the Yanks last season. Or do you think he’s more of a set-up man?

  4. raysrenegade

    I have always loved the fact that he has never flaunted how good he is come playoff time. He is just one of those guys who goes out there and gets the job done, then showers and heads to dinner somewhere within the confines of the city.

    No attitude, no press clips on opponents bulletin boards, no controversy. Just plain All-American work ethic to give his all and leave it all on the field. If there was a play on the New York Yankees right now not named Jeter who could be a first ballot Hall of Famer, right now he is the man.

    Seriously now, The Rays might have had some great hits and wins off the guy over the years, but in the long run he is way ahead of the curve against us. He is human, and that is the best thing about him. Nothing super human about his cutter, but the man is a surgeon with it most nights. New York might have to find another hero to fill his shoes, but will there be thoughts of WWMD ? ( What Would Mo Do) in the minds of the Yankees faithful.

    Rays Renegade

  5. Jane Heller

    That’s one of the things I love about him, Erin. He just quietly goes about his business, mentors the young pitchers, is always there if someone needs a helping hand. The only off-the-field news about him was the tragedy involving his family members back in Panama; two of them were cleaning his pool and were electrocuted and died. It was so awful. He was gone for awhile, but then he came back and just went back to work. No hysteria. As for Coke, I like what I’ve seen of him, and being a lefty never hurts. I think they’re planning to try him as a starter but, if not, then use him in the pen in some capacity. Is he the heir apparent to Mo? Too early to say.

  6. Jane Heller

    I agree on the HOF for Mo, Renegade. And he’s such a trooper. He played with a painful bone spur most of last season and his numbers were as good as ever. He’s so consistent that on those occasions when he does blow a save, Yankee fans go into a panic. But he’s human. We tend to forget that!

  7. Jane Heller

    I wonder why my responses are appearing after the comments? Sorry about that. My email must be slow today. Anyhow, I’ll cry too, Jenn. That’s a given. And knowing the way Mo has conducted himself so far, I think he’ll leave the stage when the time is right.

  8. flairforthedramatic

    “mop the floors until every last morsel of tenderloin, hash browns and creamed spinach was gone”… would you do all that for your husband? lolz..
    I don’t even want to imagine the Yanks without Mo right now… and hopefully for another couple years. It’d surely be a gray world once he retires. *Tearing up*
    p.s. that taylor swift performance of ‘should’ve said no’ was awesome. nice use of the pic.
    p.p.s that last pic is just creepy lol..
    – V [ ]

  9. Jane Heller

    You raise an interesting question, V. But yes, I would do that for my husband! LOL. It would be a gray world without Mo, that’s for sure. By the end of that post, I was so depressed…..

  10. denyankfan

    The end of Mo’s days in pinstripes will truly be the end of an era. His post season ERA says all you need to know about the man. I don’t hold 2001 and 2004 against him. Mo was the man as the Yankees won in 1998-2000. Mo will truly be missed as when he comes into a ball game in the late innings it is almost a guaranteed victory. Lets all enjoy watching his final seasons in pin stripes and truly appreciate that we are watching the best closer of all time.

  11. scofid

    Growing up, I used to go to the old Busch Stadium in St. Louis and witnessed the wild antics of the Mad Hungarian, Al Hrabosky. Then, as a Yankees fan, I witnessed Sparky Lyle, followed by Goose Gossage. A great closer has always been very important to me, and I’ve never been a ‘bullpen by committee’ kind of guy. In the 90’s, there wasn’t anything more unstoppable than the duo of Mariano Rivera and John Wetteland. I was a little unsure when they let Wettleland leave and made Mo the closer. But of course, the rest is history. He will go down in history as the greatest Yankee closer ever. With such a storied franchise, and so many great players over the years, it has been tremendous to watch one of the best ever. It will be a sad day when Mo walks away. But he’ll do it with his head high, and no regrets, and he’ll forever be remembered in our hearts.


  12. Jane Heller

    Well said, denyankfan. I will do just that: appreciate him in pinstripes for as long as we have him. Nobody does it better or with more elegance.

    He does let his arm do the talking, Sue. And he’s so incredibly humble. He never takes himself too seriously.

    Let’s see, metsmainman. What song would I choose if I were a closer? Probably something hideously old school, like Eric Clapton’s “Forever Man.”

    No Metallica in Cooperstown, Neal? LOL. I think you’re right.

    Ah, the Mad Hungarian, Scott. I remember him well! I agree on the Rivera-Wetteland duo. They made beautiful music together. I’d feel better if we had an 8th inning set-up guy for Mo (I know, Joba’s a starter!!). I’m not much for bullpen by committee.

    I thought of you when I wrote that post, Kaybee. I’m sure I’ll feel the same way about Mo retiring as you did about Trevor leaving except that you’re right: I don’t have to watch him in another uniform. Thank goodness.

  13. Orangebird

    O’s fans would be sad. U know why, because I’m prettu sure that since Rivera came into the league it seemed as though he always blew saves at the yard. When Rivera came in to clsoe an O’s game I was kinda happy. I would miss Rivera because the Orioles would have to find a new closer to get a lot of walkoffs against.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s