Friday, May 4, 2012

Something It's OK To Hate

Image credit: Keith Allison/Wikimedia

As a baseball fan who doesn't live in New York City, I've always hated the New York Yankees. At least, I hated them in the sense that I always rooted against them, no matter who they were playing against. For that reason, I used to hate seeing Mariano Rivera show up on the mound, as I wrote here:

This was another good game, with excellent pitching by Phillies starter Pedro Martinez and Yankees starter A.J. Burnett, and by Yankees reliever Mariano Rivera. Rivera pitched the last two innings to preserve the win.

F*ck The F*cking Yankees, Pt. 1
Still, it was just because when Rivera came on that any chances of the team the Yankees were playing would take the lead largely vanished. That's why I really hated to read this today:

For years, he'd run around the outfield shagging fly balls during batting practice. It was part of his conditioning routine and part of what he seemed to love about his job. To see him out there trotting around the outfield, laughing with teammates, was to see a man who seemed to be having the time of his life.

When Rivera crumpled to the warning track holding his right knee Thursday in Kansas City, time seemed to stand still for an entire sport. He suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament, which will sideline him for the remainder of this season and perhaps forever if he was serious about retiring.

It's hard to imagine life without Mo

It was once said of Joe Dimaggio, the great Yankees center fielder of the war years, that he retired because he couldn't be Joe Dimaggio anymore. I suspect that is true of Mariano Rivera, too. He's been one of the best for nearly two decades now. If he thinks he can't come back and still be Mariano Rivera, that will probably be it.

I hope that day isn't here yet. Still, like most baseball fans, I wish him luck recovering, and hope that he can come back and still be Mariano Rivera for a while longer.

Just maybe for another team...

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