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Rivera's 500th save: What they're saying

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Congratulations to Mariano Rivera for becoming only the 2nd pitcher in major league history to record 500 saves. Trevor Hoffman backers will disagree, but to me there is no argument Rivera is the best closer of his generation -- and probably all time.

Thought I would just take a look around this morning at what is being said about Rivera.

Derek Jeter said there was "no question" Rivera is the best player he has ever played with.

"You can add up all the players that have ever played the game," Jeter said. "Mo's been as consistent as anyone. He's done it in the regular season, he's done it in the postseason, he's done it in Spring Training, he's done it in the Minor Leagues -- he's pretty much been successful everywhere he's been."

Reggie Jackson.

"He may be the most dominant player in the history of baseball," Jackson said. "He probably is the most dominant pitcher in history."

Jorge Posada.

"He's the best ever," Posada said. "The best I've seen. Nobody can even compare."

Newsday columnist Ken Davidoff.

Rivera's career, at a job in which the shelf life of most pitchers is a few years, has been remarkable. The milestone reminds us. Rivera's overall performance makes us look silly for questioning whether he was done.

Diminished? A little, at age 39. Done? Not even close.

Peter Abraham.

If you’ll permit me a personal aside, I’ve been doing this job since I was 17 and Mariano is the best athlete I have covered. He is the model of professionalism in how he approaches every aspect of his job, how he treats his teammates and how he treats those around the team, including reporters.

A few years ago, he blew a save and was not around after the game to talk to the writers. It turned out he had left the clubhouse quickly because one of the his children was sick. The next day, he apologized and said he would be willing to answer any questions about the blown save. It’s easy to be gracious in victory but the true measure of a man is how he handles defeat and Mo always is there, win or lose.

If at some point, God willing, I’m an old man telling stories on a porch somewhere, the first thing I’ll say was that I got to cover the great Rivera. It has been a tremendously fun part of this job.

As we watch Rivera's career wind toward its conclusion, I'm not sure we fully understand it's greatness. There will never be another one like him.