Posted by: Patrick
Following tonight's emotional final home game for Mariano Rivera, the man of the hour reflected, as did a very emotional Joe Girardi and Andy Pettitte.

Mariano Rivera:

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Posted by: Patrick
Mariano Rivera's final game in Yankee Stadium was tonight's contest against the Rays. The Yankees were unable to muster a single run, but Joe Giardi made sure Mo got into the game. The call was made with runners on first and second and one out in the eighth inning, down 4-0. Watch him enter one last time:



Rivera would retire all 4 batters he faced: Delmon Young and Sam Fuld to get out of the jam and José Lobatón and Yunel Escobar for the first two outs in the ninth. Girardi opted to remove him with 2 outs in order to let him walk off to an ovation one last time. But instead of Giardi coming out to get him, the manager sent out Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera for an emotional moment. Watch it here:



Via Mike Axisa.
Posted by: Patrick
Now that the Yankees are eliminated and Mariano Rivera's career has an official end date, Peter Botte and Anthony McCarron of the Daily News discuss the possibility of Mariano Rivera playing center field during the Yankees final series in Houston against the Astros. Rivera has always shagged fly balls and the idea of him playing center has always been teased, but now that the team has nothing to lose and no worry of injuring him for next year, he may just get a shot.

Joe Giardi indicated that the team has a "responsibility to baseball" for the Rays series, because it impacts the postseason. But the final series in Houston has no impact because both teams are eliminated. When Rivera was asked about the idea, he laughed and said, "We'll see." Stay tuned. This might be the only good thing to come out of us missing the playoffs.

Thanks nycjobs for the tip, via Nathan Aderhold.
Posted by: Patrick
Mariano Rivera has kicked off his final regular season game at Yankee Stadium. Following today's ceremony, Joe Girardi made sure that Rivera saw action in Sunday's game.

River entered in the 8th inning with a runner on second and one out. He struck out Ehire Adrianza and elicited a fly out from Ángel Pagán to end the inning, keeping the Yankees in the game, trailing at 2-1. The team threatened in the bottom of the 8th but runners were thrown out at the plate not once, but twice.

In the top of the 9th, Juan Pérez singled and Brandon Belt reached on a throwing error by Robinson Cano, to put runners on first and second with no outs. Rivera broke Buster Posey's bat for a soft liner which Cano caught for the first out. Hunter Pence grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.

The Yankees went out weakly to end the game. Rivera now has a 2.15 ERA for the season.

Check out some video below of Rivera entering the game and reflecting afterwards.

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Posted by: Patrick
The Yankees have released video from today's ceremony honoring Mariano Rivera. Check it out below.

Opening of Ceremony and Jackie Robinson's #42 Retired by Yankees



Rivera's #42 Retired by Yankees

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Posted by: Patrick
Today's game against the Giants is the beginning of Mariano Rivera's final regular season home stand as a ballplayer. The Yankees held a 50 minute long ceremony to honor the retiring closer, featuring gifts, former teammates of Rivera and a performance by rock band Metallica.

The ceremony began with Rivera at the newly unveiled "42" in Monument Park, in honor of his number being retired by the Yankees. Introduced onto the field were a selection of guests from Rivera's present and past. This included Gene Michael, Jeff Nelson, David Cone, John Wetteland, Paul O'Neil, Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada, Hideki Matsui, Gene Monahan and Joe Torre. Rivera's wife, Clara, and sons, Mariano, Jafet and Jaziel were escorted out by Derek Jeter. Jackie Robinson's wife, Rachel, and daughter, Sharon, were similarly escorted onto the field by Robinson Cano.

Once everyone was on the field, the Yankees played a video tribute to Rivera, featuring the man himself alongside teammates, coaches and his manager, Joe Girardi.

To introduce Rivera to the field, Metallica played "Enter Sandman" live. Their hit song has long been the introduction music for Rivera and this was no different. Decked out in Yankee jerseys with "Metallica" on the front in script, they dedicated the song to the closer. Instead of his usual jog, he walked the entire length of the field to the front of the infield where the presentation was taking place.

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Posted by: David
A-Rod finally got a big hit. He was 1 for 25 coming into the AB. Bruce Bochy changed pitchers as he thought that Tim Lincecum was spent. George Kontos (a former Yankee) came in and A-Rod took him deep to right for a grand slam. It was his 24th career grand slam surpassing Lou Gehrig for the all time career record.

Prior to that both starting pitchers were on their game. CC Sabathia was great through seven innings and only surrendered one run. He was helped by some huge double plays to get him out of potential danger. Tim Linceum matched him until the eighth. Pablo Sandoval committed a huge error on a potential double play ball and Linceum got wild loading the bases. It all combined to set up A-Rod for the dramatic home run and give the Yankees a 5-1 lead.

David Robertson would get through the eighth and Mo was summoned to close the door.

It was not a save situation but Mo handled it with ease. He struck out Hunter Pence looking for the first out. He then threw a nasty cutter to Pablo Sandoval which jammed him and he hit a weak pop up to Cano for the second out. Hector Sanchez then grounded to first and Mo covered for the out to end the game.

Rivera lowered his 2013 season ERA to 2.21.

The Yankees still have a faint pulse in the Wild Care race as they moved to within 3 games.
Posted by: Patrick
The New York Daily News explains how Metallica's "Enter Sandman" became the entrance music for Mariano Rivera. In 1999, the scoreboard staff began to experiment with different songs, in search of a signature song for the closer. Yankee Stadium employee Mike Luzzi played "Enter Sandman" one day and it stuck.
Posted by: Patrick
Matt Snyder of CBS' Eye on Baseball reports that Yankee players will wear a special Mariano Rivera patch on their hats on Sunday against the Giants. According to Snyder, this makes them the first team to honor an active player on their cap. Take a look at the patch below.

Mariano Rivera Hat Patch
Posted by: Patrick
Before tonight's game in Toronto, the Blue Jays honored Mariano Rivera with a sculpture and charitable donation.

According to Chris Toman of MLB.com, the sculpture was created by one of Canada's top contemporary sculptors. It's called Kiviuq's Journey, named after the legendary hero of the Inuit. They also presented him with a $10,000 check for his foundation.
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