Originally written on The Other Paper  |  Last updated 11/14/14

The first time Mariano Rivera changed Joe Torre's life was in 1996 when the then-New York Yankees manager had the instincts to use the gangly 26-year-old as a pitcher in the seventh and eighth innings. In 1997, Rivera changed Torre's career and baseball history — when the manager made him the Yankees closer. Yesterday, Torre heard about the all-time saves leader plans for retirement after the 2013 season and lauded Rivera as the Yankees key to their championship runs — and his own managerial success. "He basically made my career in '96 when we came up with the formula to pitch in the seventh and eighth inning," said Torre from Chase Field where he is coaching the U.S. WBA team. "You become a much better manager when you only have to manage six [innings].  It was remarkable what we had with him and John [Wetteland]. Rivera and Torre share four of Rivera's five World Series rings.  Torre called Rivera the most important piece of that Yankees dynasty. "He is the greatest ever," said Torre. "It certainly isn't a knock at the other guys, but he did it in New York, the biggest fishbowl in the world and in the postseason where everybody gets a chance to scrutinize." The other "guys" who played with Rivera include Yankees like Andy Pettitte, Tino Martinez, Jorge Posada, Bernie Williams, Roger Clemens and Derek Jeter. Torre has no doubt that Rivera's October accomplishments will never be topped by anyone — ever. "I don't think anybody will get an opportunity to do in postseason what he did," said Torre. "It's not that somebody might not be special out there.  But his career is one thing. To look at what he's done in postseason, it's amazing, it really is." Torre praised the 43-year-old Rivera as a man as well. "The way he handled success and the way he handled failure. He knew that it was all part of it," Torre said. "What makes great players is how they handle setbacks. He's always been a class act, a great leader in the clubhouse, a security blanket for our ballclub." The tributes pouring in from all over MLB are a testimony to the pinstriped Hall of Famer's legacy.  Joe Torre was there for a lot of it.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao close to deal for fight

TJ Lang: Suh wanted to fight me after stepping on Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Hernandez jurors allowed to watch Super Bowl

Tiger misses cut: ‘I’m only doing this so I won’t get fined’

Roger Goodell grilled on Deflategate during presser

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Rex Ryan: Seahawks need to ‘take the air out of the football’

J.J. Watt buys cabin in the middle of nowhere to train

Six teams have done background work on Peterson

NBA set to earn $700M through streaming deal in China

Wade Phillips is the best coordinator hire this offseason

Bill Belichick gives understated scouting report of Tom Brady

WATCH: Jimmy Butler throws down half-court alley-oop

President Obama zings Patriots over Deflate-gate

Each major conference's Player Of The Year candidates

Super Bowl XLIX preview and predictions: Patriots-Seahawks

49 Stops to Super Bowl XLIX

Most unexpected MLB free agent signings of past 10 years

Five most villainous Super Bowls of all time

Super Bowl ad focuses on acceptance of gay athletes

Foster says UT boosters paid him $40-50K while in college

Ranking the repeat Super Bowl champions

Eric Decker to Sherman: Time your conception a little better

Could Katy Perry and Russell Wilson be dating?

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Obama zings Pats over Deflate-gate

Each major conference's POY candidates

Super Bowl XLIX preview and predictions: Patriots vs. Seahawks

The 13 things we want to see in Super Bowl XLIX

49 Stops to Super Bowl XLIX

Tiger Woods, misses cut: ‘I’m only doing this so I won’t get fined’

Ranking the repeat SB champions

Roger Goodell grilled on Deflategate

Katy Perry, Russell Wilson dating?

Rex Ryan has advice for Seahawks

Super Bowl: Things you can't control

LeBron and the Cavs are ready to make a run

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.