Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Lone Wolf
2006-03-04 08:23
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

Sam Borden delivers the annual Mariano Rivera piece for the News today. Standard stuff, fine enough, but here's what I liked:

"If I have nothing left, I won't be here," he says flatly. "I'll go home. I won't (hang on). If I can't get anybody out, it's time to go home. And I will do that."

..."He's going to go out on his own terms," [Jorge Posada] said. "He's just going to say it one day. You're going to be surprised. He's just going to be walking out the door and we'll say, 'What?' and that will be how it ends."

That's perfect. I can totally see Mariano just dropping the bomb on us one day and that's that, he's out. Another spring with Mariano is certainly something to be thankful for as a Yankee fan. And that's word to Big Bird.

2006-03-04 10:10:20
1.   Rob Gee
You know that's the pisser about that walk-off from Mo. With how much we'd have to accept it, it would be a big suck if he did it before it was his time.

Got to appreciate him each and every year - cause it could be his last. I still can't believe folks booed him last year. The man is the Godfather.

2006-03-04 10:33:42
2.   brockdc
My lasting memory or Mo will be in the 04 ALCS, of him collapsing on the mound in triumph.

Most underappreciated Yankee (though just slightly more so than Posada). About a year ago, I actually purchased one of those McFarlane baseball figurines of Mariano, to put on my desk - to remind me not to take him for granted.

I've never condoned booing of players on your favorite team (except in extreme cases of hotdogginness), but, then again, Reggie said, "They don't boo nobodies."

And I don't think anything's missing from Rivera's legacy. If he doesn't get another ring, so what? Is four not enough?

2006-03-04 10:35:59
3.   Jen
Don't mean to nitpick brock, but that was the 03 ALCS. The team did a different kind of collapsing in 04.
2006-03-04 11:38:40
4.   rilkefan
"word to BB"

Maybe in a few years the hep Big Apple lingo will make it to the West Coast and along with enjoying Cliff and Alex's excellent writing I'll feel like demotic English is my first language.

2006-03-04 11:42:45
5.   Knuckles
Nats tix went on sale today, so I figured as long as I'm displaced in the DC area, I'm going to all 3 Yankee games in June.

Thru some kind of glitch in the system, the $12 tix I bought for Friday night were listed (and hit my debit card) at $1.20 per seat. I thouhgt about buying about 50 more, but figured 4 seats is enough to maybe slip under the radar, but more might put me on the hook.

2006-03-04 12:35:28
6.   rbj
Last year, at the Tigers - Yankees game I got to in Detroit, A-Rod got the biggest boos, then Jeter. The only other Yankee to get booed was Mo.
I really appreciate Mariano. It'll be a nice day to see him enshrined in Monument Park.
2006-03-04 13:00:24
7.   Mike A
Given the significance of Jackie Robinson and the league-wide retirement of the number 42, it's fitting that the last player in MLB history to wear 42 is a member of the sports greatest franchise, as well as a HOFer.

When Mo calls it quits, it'll be one of those "you don't appreciate what you have until it's gone" situations, regardless of you takes over as closer.

2006-03-04 16:44:04
8.   brockdc
Jen -

What 2004 collapse? I can't seem to rec - OH MY GOD!! It wasn't just a bad dream!?

I stand corrected, though perhaps you can forgive me for filing the real 2004 ALCS under "d" for denial.

2006-03-04 16:52:04
9.   brockdc
I attempted to make my annual purchase of Yanks@Angels tickets online this morning, to no avail. Both Yanks-Angels series are completely sold out. Period.

Interesting. Lots of transplanted New Yorkers out here in Cali. But also...lots of, ya know, rabid Yankee haters, too.

So much complaining about the Yankees by non-Yankee fans, you'd think I'd be able to grab an upper-deck ticket to one of their road games.

2006-03-04 22:24:33
10.   Jen
You are forgiven brock. I prefer to look at the 04 ALCS as a "Remember the Maine" type of incident.

I was able to snag Nationals tickets as well. Saturday and Sunday. But I screwed up and at first hit the wrong Sunday and didn't notice until it was too late. Now I also have 4 tickets to the Phillies/Nationals in June. So if anyone is interested...

Got some tickets for Seattle in August too. The Yanks happen to be in town the week of my cousins wedding.

2006-03-05 06:17:42
11.   Patrick
lol brockdc.

It'll be a sad day when Mo leaves.

2006-03-05 10:25:45
12.   Zack
Its spring, which means that in Beantown hope springs eternal and this is obviously the greatest team to date. I see articles about how Papelbon already looks like Clemans, Flasherty says that the Sox staff already is in top form, Crisp, judging by his first game, won't have any problems, and Schilling is already predicting a great year for who else, himself.

Is it just me, or is the Boston press too willing to hype their hometown team to the nth degree, while it seems that many of the NY writers want to find things to pick apart on the Yanks, pitching, A-Rod etc. Granted, they are there, and maybe its because I don't read the Boston papers nearly as much, but damned if i ever see a Lupica-style article up there, save for Danny-boy, but he doesn't count...

2006-03-05 10:26:24
13.   Zack
And when I say that about the Boston press, I mean early on, because we know that come the first meltdown all hell breaks loose...
2006-03-05 10:33:55
14.   wsporter
Zack, That's exactly why all hell breaks loose. They spend a great majority of the spring creating an overly optimistic straw man then spend the summer tearing it apart. In this way they assure themselves of having something to talk about. They had 86 years to practice and perfect the art. You can't expect them to abandon it now, can you?
2006-03-05 11:21:24
15.   joejoejoe
OT: Bernie Williams was the leadoff batter (and DH) for Team Puerto Rico in their first exhibition game today vs. the Mets.

I think it was a nice honor.

2006-03-05 11:27:42
16.   Zack
I see Hughes is pitching right now, anybody watching this, if it is on? Its not on, but I would love to see him pitch, his style, manner, etc. If anybody has it, please give me the lowdown!

What I love about getting to see these games, especially where we are now, is exactly this, seeing someone like Hughes and getting to know him, getting excited by one of our own, just like I did about Wang last year!

2006-03-05 17:14:54
17.   mikeplugh
I've been on a WBC kick lately. Spring Training is slow and the prospect that there will be games that matter (to some degree) has caught me. The level of competition among WBC participants is crap for the most part, but the later rounds will be interesting.

As I see it, there are three different levels of play in the tournament.

1. USA, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Cuba

2. Japan, Korea, Mexico, Australia, Canada, Panama

3. China, Taipei, Netherlands, South Africa, Italy

The 1st level represents teams with significant Major League talent. Star quality pitching and hitting. Cuba gets this ranking because they have proved over the years that they can compete.

The 2nd level represents what I call AAAA level play. Each team has some Major League talent, but not enough to fill out a complete roster.

The 3rd level is minor league level. It actually can be split again into two sub-groups. A/AA and AAA. Most of the players can't sniff the majors, but there may be a difference maker or two on each roster.

The Asia Round featured a clash between Level 2 teams and Level 3 teams and the final between Korea and Japan was actually exciting. Great baseball. Exciting plays. Decent pitching. Timely hitting. Dramatic finish. Major League players had an impact on the outcome of the game.

I blogged about it at Canyon of Heroes, and I'll probably continue as the matchups become more even and interesting. Who knows? This thing may actually be worth talking about in 2010 when it rolls around again.....

2006-03-05 19:30:11
18.   rilkefan
Mike's authoritative wrap-up:
2006-03-05 20:21:05
19.   Schteeve
Every time I watch Mo, I think to myself, "I am watching a baseball legend." And it makes me smile. He's in a class by himself.
2006-03-07 10:26:08
20.   susan mullen
I disagree that Mo's legacy is fine as is---he
is under appreciated. He should've won at least
1 Cy Young by now, but the voting members have
1 over riding agenda--to keep Mariano Rivera from getting the credit he deserves. I've documented this if anyone is interested. Recent
evidence on HOF stationery actually misrepresented facts about him, left off years
of stats that would've weakened the writer's pitiful case. People don't speak up about this travesty
because they'll be shouted down as being a pig Yankee fan. This is different--this is
about 1 man. I hope others will join in getting the right information out about
Rivera--starting with the fact that "career
stats" are always listed EXCLUDING his
post season numbers. That's not career stats--if that's the way it is, then it must
be changed. Any help would be appreciated. This is a full time job.

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