April 7, 2005

Mo Pitches, Mo Problems

Mariano Rivera has blown his last four save chances (all against Boston) and six of his last 11 against Boston. Since the start of the 2001 season, he has blown 11 leads against Boston and 16 against all other teams combined.

Steve Buckley (Herald):
You know how the Red Sox own Fenway Park, NESN and the remnants of that old bowling alley on Brookline Avenue? They also own Mo. He is a wholly owned subsidiary of Red Sox Nation. ...

After Tuesday's game, which the Yanks won on a Derek Jeter homer after Rivera had served up a ninth-inning, game-tying home run to Jason Varitek, Mo had this say about his troubles against the Red Sox: "My God, I don't want to have to live with all that crap. There's no logic to that."

Following yesterday's game, a New York television reporter put it to Rivera that perhaps he has his very own curse - the Red Sox. Rivera turned away from the reporter, saying: "Next question."
Mike Vaccaro of the Post blasted the "leather-lunged brigade of blowhards who ... committed one of the most despicable acts of baseball ingratitude we've seen around here in a long, long time:
You booed Mariano Rivera? You really booed Mariano Rivera? Yeah. Damn right. Shame on you. ...

"There are always about 20,000 Red Sox fans here when we play them," Mariano Rivera said, a half-smile on his face. "Maybe it was only Sox fans who were booing." If they were, then a lot of the people showering Rivera with their unspeakable bile were Sox fans who decided to wear Yankees hats, Yankees jerseys and Yankees jackets to the Stadium yesterday ...
Dom Amore, Hartford Courant: "Hitters seem to be stepping back to avoid being jammed by Rivera's cut fastball. Damon leaned back and fouled off a two-strike cutter before getting a more hittable pitch and driving it through the right side." Mel Stottlemyre says Rivera is rushing his delivery, which is the reason for his loss of command.

Two of the more extreme headlines in Gotham:

Bergen Record: Once-Reliable Rivera Is Now Questionable
Newsday: Closing Door On Great Era Of Rivera

I think you can actually hear Bill Simmons cackling with glee as he types:
Secret Yankee Closer Election Set for April 8
Extensive Security Planned for Friday's Funeral

Major League Baseball on Wednesday set April 8 as the date for the historic start of the conclave to elect a successor to Mariano Rivera ... Candidates include Oakland's Octavio Dotel, Detroit's Ugueth Urbina, current set-up man Flash Gordon, Rick Ankiel and Charlie Sheen. The Yankees will continue to use Rivera from the bullpen, but only in blowouts and games where the lead or deficit is six runs or more. ...

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