Mariano Rivera officially announced over the weekend that this would be his final major league season. The New York Yankees great has 608 career saves in the regular season and an additional 42 in the playoffs. His postseason ERA of 0.70 reflects his unmatched success when it matters most. In baseball circles, he’s universally regarded as the greatest closer of all time. The debate comes when discussing his place among all pitchers.
So on a day when everyone was lining up to put Rivera’s accomplishments in context, teammate Alex Rodriguez paid tribute in the most Alex Rodriguez way possible.
“Mariano Rivera is arguably the greatest closer of all time,” he said. “But beyond that he is a class act and a great human being. It is an honor to be his teammate and his friend.”
You hear that, everyone? A-Rod is not ready to say that his longtime teammate and close personal friend is the best to ever close games. But he’s more than ready to argue that Rivera belongs in that discussion. That’s a bold take.
I’m sure this comment will further endear him to Yankees fans who are pissed at arguably the worst contract in sports.