With the Major League Baseball All-Star Game schedule to be played on Tuesday, July 16 in Flushing, there is a lot of buzz on social media petitioning for the great Mariano Rivera to start the midsummer classic in this, his final MLB season. When asked about this prior to Sunday’s Old Timers Day festivities at Yankee Stadium, Rivera was quoted by ESPNNewYork.com saying:
I’ve been told about it, but I don’t like it. And the reason why I say that is it’s not what I do. What I do is close the games, I don’t start the games. It’s a privilege and honor, but I’m not contemplating it.
I couldn’t agree more with Mariano. Sure, he came into the league as a starter, but it just wouldn’t be the same if he started. His job since 1997 has been closer, and close he will. He is currently tied for the American League lead with Jim Johnson of the Baltimore Orioles with 26 saves; however, if you look at the numbers, Mariano has been hands-down the BEST closer in the American League this season. I am certain most baseball fans agree with me when I say that whether the American League is winning or losing, we want to see Mariano in the 9th inning on July 16th!
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Would love to hear your thoughts on this. What role would you like to see Mariano Rivera play in the All-Star Game, starter or closer, and why? Leave your comments below, or chat with me on Twitter (@brian_capozzi).