A Conservative, Controversial, Gutsy, And Correct Decision By Jimmy Leyland- Bruce Jacobs Thought Of The Day
I love a great debate. Just relish it. Jimmy Leyland's controversial decision to pitch Mariano Rivera aka The Hammer Of God is a great debate in my opinion. I 100% agree with Leyland's choice for many reasons.
Tops on the list is Rivera HAS TO PITCH. No matter when,inning, score, situation, hitters faced, he HAS TO PITCH. I don't think I need to expand on that. Was the 8th inning the optimum choice-No. But it was the only decision Leyland could make. You can say that Mariano is Mr. 9th inning and you will get no argument from me. But my friends if there is no 9th inning then Jimmy Leyland is toast in New York for sure and much of baseball and it's millions of fans would destroy him till the end of time.
The Hammer Of God got an amazing reception from the fans and the players on both teams. It was respect of the highest order. It was an incredible baseball moment that will go down in the annals of time. I am very proud of Met fans for giving Rivera, the definition of greatness, grace, class, dominance , and humility the all star welcome and frankly sendoff he so deserved. Good job Met and baseball fans.
The players stepping aside and giving the stage to Mo was perfect. There is no better respect gotten then that given by your peers. Then for the Hammer to retire the side in order was the cherry on the ball game. The game was rather boring in my view but had several life time memories.
For me seeing Tom Seaver is what it is for Yankee fans to see Rivera or Derek Jeter. If you are a fellow Met fan you get this. The franchise is still a showman despite his age and recent health issues. All that was missing was the renowned knee drag. Age makes concessions of all of us.
Several listeners to my show ( Game on With Bruce Jacobs) and show face book site ( Game on With Bruce Jacobs) have argued that Rivera should have been saved for the 9th but warmed up in the 8th if Joe Nathan of Texas struggled. Too risky. If Nathan wobbles you are asking Rivera to pitch over an inning, and not putting Mo in to start an inning would have been risky! Nathan has struggled in the all star game so the risk/reward factor wasn't in Leyland's favor either.
Rivera got the sendoff that had to happen, the way it happened. To deviate from that would over shadow The Hammer Of God's moment and the way it unfolded in my opinion.
However again I welcome a good debate. I do understand the significance of Rivera pitching the 9th, and in addition to the symbolism that is attached, but the record book as well. It goes without saying that the great Rivera owns most of those record for relief pitchers. Doesn't he own them all? Gosh what a pitcher. What a man! What a night!