Mood Music - Angel in Black by Primal Fear
With New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera chasing the all time saves record, Danny Knobler speculates about the importance of the moment. Rivera nailed down number six hundred in last night's 3-2 win over the Mariners, and I think that this is an interesting take on it:
We don't know what to make of 600 saves. We don't know what to make of the saves record.
What to make of a record obscure enough that Jeff Reardon once held it? What to make of a record that Lee Smith held while he was on the Hall of Fame ballot, but wasn't enough to get him even 50 percent of the votes?
It's not like with three more saves, Rivera is going to replace Hoffman as the greatest closer ever. With all respect to Hoffman, who had an outstanding career, Rivera has long been seen as the greatest closer ever.
Even with the saves record not being as flashy as other milestones, it should provide a great platform to celebrate a remarkable career. The role of the relief pitcher has really changed over the years, leading to some goofiness and inequities when you try to compare the present to the past, but that is no slight on Rivera. There has never been anyone better at getting the last three outs of the game.
Also, CC Sabathia has been nominated for the Roberto Clemente Award, Alex Rodriguez has been doing some light reading, and some of the war chest went out to disaster relief.