Last year when I predicted Mariano would come back for his nationwide "Farewell tour", it gave us all great comfort knowing that when Rafael Soriano would jump ship for a bigger payday, the New York Yankees would have someone in the bullpen who was familiar and reliable for 2013. Now that Mo has confirmed my hypothesis, the only question remaining is who will take the reigns in 2014. You know... step out onto that limb....
DRob is not cut out for the job, my opinion of course. While I think the guy is just awesome, the pressure seems to be a little much. I also think he is suffering from burnout. I'm not kidding. We all know Joe Girardi changes pitchers like I change my underwear, so it comes as no surprise that some people can’t handle the irregular workload. Girardi usually finds a "flavor of the month" and overworks one guy for a stretch then moves on to the next one. It's my opinion that this has hurt Robertson for the long haul. He is great in the 7th & 8th, and usually as a set up guy, you get a more regular routine than compared to closers who are only used in those certain situations. So, if not Robertson, then who?
Well, a while back Mariano told Suzyn Waldman that he wouldn’t hang up the spikes until there was a suitable replacement. Last Saturday, she brought this up to him again and Mo ducked and dodged better than Sugar Ray Leonard ever did. The answer however might be right in front of him.
The New York Daily News reported that when Ivan Nova imploded last year, many of the Yankees veterans took notice. It seems that Nova is now under the tutelage of Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera. Clearly
the kid has what it takes to be lights out. He also has a little bit of swagger about him. His critics say his cockiness will be his downfall. I say that his ability combined with his attitude might just make him Closer material. Didn't think you read that right? No? Then then me write it again. I think Ivan Nova can be Closer material. Remember Mo used to be a starter too. If Pettitte and Rivera can get Nova’s head right, we might have found the heir apparent. Call me silly, call me nuts... but you have to admit, you may even want to call me brilliant.
Now, I go back to that great philosopher, Forrest Gump; "I may not be smart, but I love my New York Yankees. And I just might be on to something..."
--Lem Allen, BYB Contributor
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