Ten years ago, when the Yankees put together that dream season, I constantly reminded myself to stay in the moment, to appreciate what was happening because it wasn’t likely to happen again. I tried my best to appreciate what was happening during the entire ’96-01 run. Today, I love watching Jeter, Rodriguez and Posada, I loved Bernie and miss him, and I loved Joe Torre too, though I haven’t missed him at all this year. With Bernie and Torre, it was time. But Mariano is extra-special, isn’t he? Things really won’t be the same when he’s gone. Close games will be a different, more mortal experience.
Rivera isn’t perfect. But he’s still doing it and doing it and doing it well. The fact that his cutter is still nasty after all these seasons is incredible. And aesthetically, Rivera’s motion is as fluid and smooth and beautiful as any pitcher that comes to mind. Last night, it took him 17 pitches to get five outs. He did it with that expressionless calm that we’ve come to rely on. I’m sure he’ll get roughed up this year, even get hurt, but watching him yesterday just reminded me to stop and soak in the moment, to be thankful for his continued brilliance. It won’t last forever. But the memories he’s provided us certainly will.