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Saturday, July 13, 2013

THE ALL-STAR GAME, MARIANO & WHAT COMES LAST


All-Star week is almost here!  It marks the halfway point of the baseball season. I'm not sure how many feel the same way I do, but I look forward to the Futures Game. Hey, why not? To get a glimpse of the future and seeing these kids play as they maybe the one's who will carry baseball down a new road in a new era. And, yes, I get just as excited about the Home Run Derby as anyone else. It's become quite the spectacle of All-Star weekend year after year. We've seen many great moments take place during the All-Star game.


Remember Cal Ripken in 2001? How about Tony Gwynn's final All-Star game in 1999 when he helped the great Ted Williams throw out the first pitch? If you're a true baseball like myself, those were moments to embrace as two iconic figures were on hand for their final send off.


Folks, we're on hand to see one of our own get a final send off at this year's game. Mariano Rivera will be making his last All-Star appearance at Citi Field. I expect it to be an emotional time for many of us, as well as baseball fans all across the country as we're about to witness THE greatest closer ever go out there and tip his hat to MLB fans. But that question always comes up as to when will we see Mariano?


CBSSports.com had an article about a campaign that was started whether he should start or close at the All-Star game, read that HERE.  BYB's Chad MacDonald had a great piece about the same thing in  KNOW MO CLOSES.  So I ask, should he close it out in the 9th or can we really see him starting the game? I spent most of this week thinking and asked around to friends, and people on Facebook about this. Many felt it would be better to see him close it. Some asked, "Why not have him start? It would be different."  I didn't just reach out to Yankees fans with this either, I asked everyone who knows who Mariano is. OK, while I see it as an honor, I also take something to consideration; The All-Star game is a baseball game itself aside from all the hoopla that takes place around it. Home field at the World Series is at stake to the winner. Maybe to some home field is irrelevant, because just getting to the World Series is really the ultimate goal, but to me, I like when the Fall Classic starts off in an American League park. I want the American League to win. Aside from that, I'm a person who likes things to stay the same, I admit it... Maybe it's the Yankee fan in me, but I have always known Mariano as a closer. There you have it, I said it and I know you feel the same way too. If there is anyone I want to be handed the ball to in a save situation, even in the All-Star game... It's Mo!


I want the same thrill I get leading up to the ninth inning to see Mariano Rivera make his walk to the mound from the Yankees bullpen. I want to hear Metallica blaring throughout the Stadium. It's an incredible feeling to witness this man who is the last to ever wear number 42, take his warm ups and get those final 3 outs. We will never see the likes of this ever again.


Yes, Mariano, you spoiled us. You bring an excitement for the final 3 outs unlike no other. The sound of Enter Sandman is a queue for all to rise to their feet and get ready to see you work your magic with the Cut Fastball. It's how it always has been, and it's how it always should be. I want to remember your time at your last All-Star game with the final pitch, not the first one. We can still witness an emotional close out and emotional farewell, either way. I just think it should be done the traditional way, the way we are all accustomed to, God love ya!




-- Rudy Laurens, BYB Writer
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