Originally written on Bronx Pinstripes  |  Last updated 11/19/14
World_series_gm7_0028
When I saw Mariano Rivera warm up in the seventh inning of last night’s All-Star Game, I couldn’t believe it. I kept thinking: “how could Jim Leyland put a man with 638 saves in his Hall of Fame career in for the eighth? Why with a three-run lead would you play it so safe? I know he wanted to make sure Rivera pitched, but the man deserved the ninth!” I was almost upset that this would become one of those wacky trivia questions in 20 years. “Who recorded a save in Mo’s final All-Star Game?” But then I thought about it. And it all made sense. Being 24-years-old and a spoiled Yankee fan (having seen five World Championships in my life) I realized that I was seeing Rivera at age 43 in 2013 the same way I saw him when he was 26 in 1996 – as a setup man. The more I thought about this, the more I kind of liked it. It was as a setup man that Rivera really established himself, and it was how he introduced all of us to himself and his greatness. As the “Core Four” dwindled down to two, and then eventually back up to three thanks to Andy’s comeback, you start to realize that this can’t last forever. These guys get old and can’t do it anymore. For fans around my age, all we know is Mariano Rivera closing games, Derek Jeter at shortstop, Andy staring on the mound and Jorge Posada behind the plate. When each of these guys retire, a part of our childhood gets further and further in the rear-view mirror. Anyone who lived through those 90′s teams knows they were the glory days – especially compared to what we have now. Mo in 1996. Credit: Al Bello/Allsport Seeing Rivera in the eighth setting it up for someone else to save brought back some of my first memories of baseball. Rivera to Wetteland for the win. In 1996, Rivera 8-3 with a 2.09 ERA and struck out 130 in 107.2 innings. In 1995, he was relatively unknown – starting 10 games and going 5-3 with a 5.51 ERA. Then manager Buck Showalter would say years later that if he knew what Rivera was, he would have used him instead of Jack McDowell in that fateful Game Five against Seattle in the Division Series. I know the fairy tale would have been complete if Mo were to stand on that mound in ninth and shut the door on the National League. But it was kind of cool seeing him say goodbye to a national audience the same way he said hello. For me, it was a way to flashback to my childhood and remember the first time I really remember Mo pitching. In the eighth inning, classy, perfect – with a smile and without a complaint.        
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Pats employee taking footballs into bathroom on video

Greg Anthony caught offering $80 to undercover officer for sex

Robert Kraft wants apology from NFL if nothing found

NFL may be very close to returning to Los Angeles

Report: Kobe definitely returning next season

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Yankees don't want to pay A-Rod home run bonuses

Browner wants Patriots to injure Sherman, Thomas

Report: Rams, other teams interested in Nick Foles

Tom Brady: 'My feelings got hurt' in Deflategate controversy

Odell Beckham Jr. says he played with two hamstring tears

Pete Carroll empathizes with Belichick, Pats in Deflategate

Six best Super Bowl coaches of all-time

Five key matchups for Super Bowl XLIX

Early B1G predictions for 2015

Remembering Ernie Banks

Allenby rang up $3,400 strip club bill on night of 'kidnapping'

Brady's dad: QB's relationship with Pats 'will end badly'

WATCH: Skittles Super Bowl commercial looks ridiculous

The five best Super Bowl defenses of all time

Mark Brunell explains why he got emotional over Deflategate

NFL was profiting off Marshawn Lynch's crotch grab

NFL finally getting its own YouTube channel

20 most amazing stats in Super Bowl history

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

Six best Super Bowl coaches of all-time

Five key matchups for Super Bowl XLIX

Early Big Ten predictions for 2015

Remembering Ernie Banks

Pats employee took footballs into restroom?

Report: Kobe not retiring

More questions about Allenby's story

Yanks don't want to pay A-Rod bonuses

Looking back at Super Bowls 1-48

Super Bowl MVPs through the years

The five best Super Bowl defenses

Burnell explains why he got emotional

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.