Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Mariano Saves

Now that he's king of the closer hill, you might want to read this excellent piece by SI's Tom Verducci on just how "Mo" Rivera came to acquire his signature pitch, the cut fastball.

GOD TOUCHED MARIANO RIVERA ONE JUNE AFTERNOON IN 1997, AND RIVERA SHRUGGED. 
Just three months into his new role as the closer for a budding Yankees dynasty, Rivera was suddenly unable to throw his signature four-seam fastball straight, not even during his daily toss with pitcher Ramiro Mendoza. Every catch a struggle, Mendoza told Rivera to knock it off, to quit making the ball dip and dart. Rivera assured his friend that he wasn't doing it intentionally. He was gripping the ball the same way he always had, releasing it the same way he always had. The wicked movement just ... happened.

Yes, the rest is long. But well worth it. And I don't even like the Yankees that much, or baseball!

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