"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

The Look of Love

It’s still cold here in New York City but the position of the sun changes each day, letting us know that the spring is near. The air is starting to smell different too. I haven’t had baseball or the Yankees on my mind too tough this winter; I’ve actively tried to keep my distance, if you can do such a thing updating a blog four, five times a day (even if a majority of those posts are not related to baseball).

I’m suffering from a case of information overload–from tweets and blogs and newspaper columns and hot stove shows on TV–and I’ve taken a step back so that I don’t become completely numb. I want to keep my senses sharp, which isn’t always easy after seven-and-a-half years of blogging about living in New York and rooting for the Yankees.

But this morning, I got excited for the season. What got me is a photograph of Mariano Rivera in a New York Times article by Ben Shpigel. It is the classic Rivera pose, his upper body perfectly aligned as he threw a pitch, his teeth showing.

We’ve talked about the need to appreciate Rivera’s greatness a lot over the years because we know isn’t going to last forever. We’re in bonus time with Rivera now–every performance is gravy. Looking at this picture reminded me how fortunate we are to root for him and the Yankees.

Oh, yeah. I’m ready.

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1 ms october   ~  Mar 2, 2010 9:10 am

nice post alex. the sun is definitely letting us know he is doing his part to usher spring in.
i have pared down my hot stove information too. maybe just wanted to savor the world series or just avoid the endless stories about topic a that are going no where.

i do like this quote from andy: "because he is mo, that's why."

2 mrm1970   ~  Mar 2, 2010 9:29 am

What a delight it has been to have this man on the ballclub these past 15 years.

3 rbj   ~  Mar 2, 2010 9:36 am

[1] Yup. “Because he’s Mo, that’s why,” I predict this and "Eiland said. “This is Mariano Rivera.”" will become staple quotes around these parts.

4 RagingTartabull   ~  Mar 2, 2010 9:52 am

the days are getting longer around here...

5 The Mick536   ~  Mar 2, 2010 9:59 am

Compare the images of Mo and ARod. Editor selected an image of one to show his nobility and the other to show his fragility. ARod's head down, looking away from fans as he heads off the field. Biased view by the AP stringer, a subject I have commented on before. Why not show him at work, too. I would also like to hear about his work ethic in the same detail as they delivered on Mo's.

Don't ya think it is kinda funny to have to be told who gator is and who goose is?

6 Diane Firstman   ~  Mar 2, 2010 10:46 am

The best part of rooting for Mo? He's an even better PERSON than player. Has ANYONE ever had ANYTHING negative to say about him? Has anyone found any dirt on him? Has he ever been part of any scandal? ... Nope.

He just goes about his job, and gives back to his community, and is as humble as can be.

Gosh I love this guy.

7 a.O   ~  Mar 2, 2010 11:14 am

Is it too soon to start asking whether Mo will keep a role with the organization after his retirement? And if so, what?

8 Alex Belth   ~  Mar 2, 2010 11:23 am

6) I've actually heard some dirt on the guy but it's the usual stuff...Romeo, etc.

9 YankeeAbby   ~  Mar 2, 2010 1:58 pm

What i love about that picture of Mo is that you KNOW that while his mouth looks grinded and grimaced and that he appears to be putting so much pressure into his pitches, we knwo that those pitches coming out of his hand are so fluid...like there's absolutely no effort involved at all

:::sigh::: he's just awesome!

10 Sliced Bread   ~  Mar 2, 2010 2:25 pm

[8] Bronx Blasphemy?!
Say it ain't so, Saint Mo The Divine!
Let he who is without sin cast the first cutter! -- and all that.

Pssh. Such whispers and rumors are as part of the game as cowhide and hardwood. I'm not saying the Romeo rep isn't legit (I have no clue) but I don't recall anything scandalous sticking to Mo and snowballing -- which is a remarkable feat given all his years here in Tabloidtown.

11 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Mar 2, 2010 3:44 pm

[1] "Because he is Mo, that's why."

What more is there to say, really?

So I'll just say, "amen."

Ok, I'll also say that that photograph sends chills up my spine, as does pretty much anything relating to Mariano Rivera in any way, shape, or form. It's amazing the awe he commands from me (and anyone else with eyes to see).

I don't know what to do with all that awe sometimes, especially when I can't even expect to see him at work anytime soon.


12 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Mar 2, 2010 3:46 pm

"...cast the first cutter."

Heh heh.
Very nice, sliced, very nice. :)

13 The Hawk   ~  Mar 2, 2010 8:41 pm

I gotta say, if there's one guy who I don't think is under-appreciated, it's Mo.

As far as being a better person than a ballplayer, I wouldn't personally buy into that idea unless I knew him.

14 Shaun P.   ~  Mar 2, 2010 9:19 pm

I'm on vacation but I had to chime in on this - God Bless Mo.

I've been reading Bill Simmons' basketball book, and he tells a story about Larry Bird missing a shot by a fingernail at the end of the '87 Finals, how all the Celtics fans were stunned, because it was Bird and as far as they were concerned, the shot was supposed to go in - and the whole time I'm thinking to myself, this is the (rough) equivalent of Mo in Game Seven in 2001 for me.

And then to add to Diane's point in [6], I remembered how Mo later said he was happy that he blew the save and the Yanks lost, because if they had won, Enrique Wilson would have been on the plane that crashed in Queens and he would have died.

Of all things in the world, how could such a statement make me feel better and eventually accept that Serious loss?

Because he’s Mo, that’s why.

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver