Yes, Mariano Rivera did hear the boo birds as he walked off the mound yesterday in the ninth inning. But as Cliff already noted, TV cameras showed many fans standing and clapping too (and no, they weren't all from Boston).
Mike Lupica covered the scene in the locker room after the game:
Rivera was asked: What did Joe say?
Rivera said, "He told me I was beautiful."
Did he hear the boos?
"I am not deaf."
The ground ball to A-Rod?
"I thought it was over."
Then Rivera, who like Jeter has always been this combination of talent and grace and heart, said this:
"I've been in the World Series, buddy. And lost. That's behind me now."
What we see in two straight games in April doesn't mean the Red Sox will always have Rivera's number. Or that the Yankees can't win everything this season with him as their closer the way they have won three times already with him as their closer. It doesn't mean he is washed up, even though no power relief pitcher in history has gone this long and this hard and with this kind of sustained excellence. Maybe he took the whole winter off for a reason.
"I don't live in the past," he said yesterday.
He does not. You cannot in his line of work. There will never be another closer like this, not here or anywhere else. He was a champion yesterday in front of his locker, even if he was not against the Red Sox. He does not live in the past but that is where his best days are.