The traditional definition of a closer is
“A relief pitcher called upon to protect a lead late in a game.”
However dictionaries around the world should revise their respective definition to the most exact wording of all. “Mariano Rivera”. Plain and simple, no other explanation or definition required.
As a loyal supporter of the Toronto Blue Jays, I have witnessed the domination first hand for the last 19 years as Rivera has slammed the door on many a Yankee victory over my beloved Jays. I was always aware Rivera would be a first ballot Hall of Famer and is a quintessential professional. However, self-admittedly, I had never really analysed his career statistics being a hated Yankee and all but after perusing his stat line, I am absolutely blown away.
Rivera broke into the league in 1995 with the New York Yankees where he posted his career worst earned run average with an inflated 5.51 in 19 games which included 10 starts. Rivera would go 5-3 in his rookie campaign but interesti...