The past few months have been bizarre for Yankee fans. CC stinks, Kuroda is having a Cy Young-worthy season but can’t rack up wins because the Yankees have no offense, and the only real constant – the A-Rod Circus – keeps throwing up fresh fodder for the back-pages and radio talk-shows with none of it having anything to do with what is actually happening on the field.
And then there is Mariano Rivera, turning in another stellar year to close out a career full of them. The guy’s performance is simply unbelievable, which is a very over-used word but is appropriate in his case. If he is perfect over his next three innings, then his career WHIP will dip below 1.000, putting him in the company of just two other pitchers in baseball history, both of whom have been dead since long before anyone reading this was born.
I have been sparse around these parts of late for many reasons, with the diminished state of the Yankees actually being pretty far down the list. And for those same reasons I have been unable to get to a single Yankee game for the first time in years and won’t be able to do so before re-locating my family overseas next week.
But by the grace of the same God that Joe DiMaggio thanked for making him a Yankee, work will bring me back to NY for a few days that happen to coincide with the Yankees’ last home-series of the season, and so yesterday I splurged on tickets to the September 26 game against the Rays for me and my brother. The game will almost certainly mean nothing for the Yankees’ post-season prospects, as they will probably have long-since been mathematically eliminated from October ball. But I am praying that Mariano will still be healthy and that Girardi will bring him in for that last home game regardless of the score so Yankee fans can watch him trot in from the bullpen just once more and give him the goodbye he deserves.
As tough as this season has been to watch, that memory alone will make the 2013 season a very rich one in my life as a Yankee fan.