Get through tonight, and there's nothing but baseball until the end of the regular season.
The profiles on Mariano Rivera are starting to show up. NYTimes, NYPost, SBNSeattle, SBN-MLB. (I'm sure there are others, but after four I lost interest in digging through my google alert.)
The Times takes a look at Mo the counselor, putting a little supportive pressure on his teammates when he thinks they need it.
Where do you rank Mo among the all-time Yankees? The NYPost article tries to put him fifth (Ruth, Gehrig, Dimaggio, Jeter, Mo), and that seems to be a disservice to Mantle, Dickey, Berra and Ford.
The SBN Seattle article remembers a near trade of Rivera for Randy Johnson in 1997. I remember the Pettitte Debate of 1998, but this tidbit came as news to me. Would 1997 and the rest of the dynasty years have played out differently with Randy Johnson atop the Yankee rotation, alongside Pettitte and Clemens and Cone, but with some other closer trotting out in the 9th? There's a part of me that thinks the Yankees might have won more (sacrilege!).
SBN-MLB simply looks at Rivera's 1995 numbers, finds a 2011 comparable, and asks if that player could become the most successful reliever in history. Even knowing the answer is probably no, it's impressive to be reminded how far the distance between failed starter in 1995 and future Hall of Famer in 2011 really is.