Monday, September 30, 2013

Mark Reynolds breaks 1-1 tie in 14th in Houston

9/29/13, Mark Reynolds breaks 1-1 tie in 14th and is cheered, final 5-1 Yankees in 14, ap

9/29/13, On the field after Yankees-Astros game, final 5-1 Yankees in 14, season over, ap

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Sunday, September 29, 2013

'The Green Fields of the Mind,' Bart Giamatti, 'The real activity was done with the radio'

Bart Giamatti, "The Green Fields of the Mind:" "It breaks your heart. It was designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again,
  • and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come,
  • it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone.
  • You count on it, rely on it to buffer the passage of time, to keep the memory of sunshine and high skies alive, and then,
  • just when the days are all twilight, when you need it most, it stops....  
The real activity was done with the radio-not the all-seeing, all-falsifying television-and was the playing of the game in the only place it will last, the enclosed green field of the mind. There, in that warm, bright place, what the old poet called Mutability does not so quickly come....

Of course, there are those who learn after the first few times. They grow out of sports. And there are others who were born with the wisdom to know that nothing lasts. These are the truly tough among us, the ones who can live without illusion. I am not that grown up or up-to-date. I am a simpler creature, tied to more primitive patterns and cycles. I need to think something lasts forever, and it might as well be that state of being that is a game; it might as well be that, in a green field, in the sun." 

From "The Green Fields of the Mind," by A. Bartlett Giamatti

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'Mariano Rivera: A Zen Master With a Mean Cutter," NY Times, Michiko Kakutani

9/28/13, "Mariano Rivera: A Zen Master With a Mean Cutter," NY Times, Michiko Kakutani

"In a game in which perfection is elusive, he was reliably sublime.

In the high-stress vocation of ninth-inning pitching dominated by theatrical personalities, he was the embodiment of Zen calm — a cool Jedi master among the hotheads, and an almost extraplanetary source of composure and grace in the gritty, often chaotic world of Major League Baseball. 

He was the reliever who arrived to the strains of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman,” a closer who dependably delivered closure — turning out the lights on the league’s best hitters, shutting almost every door. He was feared as the Yankees’ silent killer, their one infallible weapon — Mr. Automatic. But he was also the one member of the Evil Empire so respected by enemy fans that he was feted, in this, his final year, in other ballparks across the country, including Fenway Park in Boston, where he was hailed as “a real gentleman, a fierce competitor and a most worthy opponent.” 

Mariano Rivera understood what Steve Jobs, Lao Tzu and Bruce Lee understood: that simplicity is an art and a strength, a source of joy and beauty and power. The greatest closer of all time, who could become the first player to win unanimous election to the Hall of Fame, did it all with basically one pitch: the cut fastball. It moved with such velocity and wizardry that it seemed to defy the laws of physics, breaking hundreds of bats and shattering many more dreams. It was a pitch delivered with easy elegance and brutal economy, a pitch Rivera could tailor with such precision and infinitude of detail that it flummoxed even the most canny and experienced batters. 

It was also a pitch that underscored an almost perfect fusion of character and style. As Yankees Manager Joe Girardi has pointed out, baseball is what the deeply religious Rivera does, it’s not who he is. But who Rivera is — a consummate professional, stoic, focused, dedicated and at peace with himself — has indelibly imprinted the way he has gone about the job: his unparalleled consistency and longevity, his grace under pressure, and his ability to come back from adversity, be it a blown save or his potentially devastating ligament tear in 2012. 

Over the years, the arithmetic of Rivera’s career has been dazzling: 652 regular-season saves, including 44 this season through Friday at age 43. His postseason numbers have been even more stunning: 42 saves, with a mind-boggling 0.70 earned run average in 141 innings. The Yankees would not have won five championships from 1996 to 2009 without him; he got the final outs in the last four of those World Series. 

But math alone cannot communicate Mariano’s achievement, his almost otherworldly control of the ball, or his aura as a great warrior, gentleman and mensch. Colleagues, fans and journalists have struggled to find words to convey his accomplishments, and his heart and soul and will — his steely determination on the mound and his humor and charm off the field. 

ABC’s Robin Roberts observed that it was rarer to score an earned run off Rivera in the postseason than to walk on the moon. The former Mets manager Bobby Valentine once said: “No one else throws a 94-mile-an-hour cutter. It’s like bird watching in a foreign land. You can’t understand it.” Rivera’s teammate David Robertson, who may inherit his job, called him “the most consistent human being to ever play the game of baseball.” 

One baseball analyst attributed Rivera’s success to the “three C’s” — “control, control, control.” 

Another attributed it to the “four C’s” — “confidence, concentration, control and competitiveness.” To which a Yankees fan might add even more alliteration: constancy, calm, class, composure, continuity and complete command of craft. 

People have compared Rivera to Michael Jordan and Wayne Gretzky to convey his soaring talent and just how indispensable he has been to his team. Explaining Rivera’s mystique goads others to reach for analogies outside sports to describe the indescribable, comparing his artistry to that of famous musicians and painters, his tenacity and mental toughness to that of Navy SEALs, his sleight of hand to the legerdemain of a Harry Potter or Houdini. 

Rivera himself was succinct and to the point about his job: “I get the ball, I throw the ball, and then I take a shower.” 

For fans who grew up watching No. 42 or have followed him for the last 19 seasons, he has become the embodiment of the Yankees at their very best: not the big-spending, patched-together All-Star team that chased after the likes of Randy Johnson, Gary Sheffield and Kevin Brown, but the team that Rivera, along with Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada and Bernie Williams, defined. The team always came first for these homegrown Yankees, and they played with brotherly dedication and collective pride. 

Rivera’s retirement is a melancholy moment for the Yankees and their fans. Williams retired in 2006, Posada last played in 2011, and Pettitte was scheduled to pitch his final game Saturday. Jeter will be the only one to return next year — and to a team in need of reimagining and rebuilding, and possibly fated to some long years in the baseball wilderness. 

That the beloved and seemingly ageless Sandman is exiting this year not only means the end of a golden era, but also reminds us of the swift and unrelenting passage of time. The perfect ending everyone yearned for after the Rivera tribute last Sunday at Yankee Stadium was a win for Andy and a save for Mariano, but that was not to be. And yet, the larger narrative of Rivera’s career remains a storybook one. 

The son of a fisherman, he grows up playing baseball on a beach in Panama with a milk carton for a glove, a stick for a bat and whatever was available for a ball; after being signed by a Yankees scout for $3,500, he does his apprenticeship in the minors, joins the Yankees and struggles at first, and then suddenly hits his stride. He wins a championship in 1996 as the setup man for John Wetteland and, soon, leaps into hyperspace as the closer, becoming such a feared adversary that opponents will talk about needing to win games against the Yankees in seven or eight innings before he takes the mound. 

In the last month or so, the pace of Rivera tributes has accelerated, within baseball and the news media, and also among fans on Twitter and Facebook, on radio call-in shows, and even in an AT&T-sponsored “Thanks for the Mo-Ments” promotion. They recite Rivera’s luminous stats, cite songs (like Nat King Cole’s “Unforgettable” or Jeff Buckley’s “Last Goodbye”) they would dedicate to him, and trade memories of his clutch performances: those emotional World Series wins; Game 7 of the 2003 American League Championship Series against the Red Sox (won in 11 innings by Aaron Boone’s home run); his record- setting 602nd save with a perfect ninth inning against the Minnesota Twins in September 2011. 

Such outpourings of love are a testament to the intimate and deeply felt karmic relationship that has developed over two decades between Rivera and Yankee fans, and New York City — a relationship that has been heightened, perhaps, by his job as the closer. No one has been more of a team player than the humble and loyal Rivera, and yet his was a strangely solitary job: taking the field not alongside his teammates but alone, at the end, with the heavy responsibility of saving the game for them all. 

The photographs and videos of Rivera running toward the mound from the bullpen — shot from behind, No. 42 starkly outlined on his impeccably crisp pinstripes — have given way to similar images (in newspapers, and on T-shirts and souvenir pins) showing him striding not into the electric blur of Yankee Stadium but into some less immediately recognizable realm. Jogging into the future and retirement. And through the gates of Cooperstown and into the forever of history."


10/8/13, "Zen Pastor Mariano Rivera and his vague, comforting karma," patheos.com

"The whole point of the article is to try to describe the source of Rivera’s remarkable maturity, his calmness, his class, his wisdom and the grace with which he related to others. Clearly, this has something to do with religion.

The article makes this clear — kind of. In terms of pure sports, the art of of his legendary cut fastball is at the heart of it story. But so is, well, this man’s soul."...


Comment: The author of the 10/8/13 patheos.com piece notices that the 'C' word (Christianity) isn't mentioned in the NY Times article.

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'Mariano Rivera's Saving Grace,' NY Times Editorial Board

9/27/13, "Mariano Rivera's Saving Grace," New York Times Editorial Board

"It might not have been the ending Hollywood would have written — it wasn’t the World Series, and the Yankees lost — but it was powerful anyway. At the stadium on Thursday night, Mariano Rivera, baseball’s greatest relief pitcher, said goodbye.

The Yankees, in their last home game of the year, were trailing the Tampa Bay Rays, 4-0. Rivera, the king of saves, was not going to get one more. But he retired four batters, and with two outs in the ninth, Manager Joe Girardi, in a neat gesture, sent Derek Jeter and Andy Pettitte — two of Rivera’s teammates in some of the Yankees’ best years — to the mound. Rivera handed the ball over and then buried his head in Pettitte’s shoulder. For a long moment they stood still as the crowd cheered and cheered. 

Rivera was clearly overcome, but he, of all people, was not about to lose it. He straightened up, smiled, gave his eyes a quick wipe, took off his cap and saluted the fans. 

Rivera’s triumphs — his unmatched records, his Hall of Fame future — were the obvious reasons for the sellout crowd at an otherwise meaningless late-September game. But the long, warm ovation was for more than just a set of awe-inspiring statistics. Rivera is human and has never been completely invulnerable. What makes him so remarkable is his poise under pressure, his dignity in losing, his ability to put defeat behind him and come back to win, again and again. 

This is what Buster Olney wrote in The Times in 2001, when the Yankees lost the World Series to the Arizona Diamondbacks, in the ninth inning of Game 7, because Rivera had a bad night: 

“Rivera answered questions quietly, politely, without regret; he had broken bats on all three hits he allowed in the bottom of the ninth. ‘I did everything I could,’ he said.” 

Everything he could was, in 19 Yankee seasons, more than enough to earn the fans’ deep and lasting gratitude and admiration."

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Andy Pettitte pitches complete game in Houston and throws his final pitch in baseball

9/28/13, Yankee teammates cheer Pettitte’s complete game 2-1 win in last game of his career, ap

9/28/13, Andy takes the field in the ninth, score 2-1 Yankees. ap


9/28/13, Andy Pettitte’s last pitch, final 2-1 Yankees, ap

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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Rivera signs for fans in Houston

9/28/13, Rivera signs for fans in Houston, final score, ap

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Friday, September 27, 2013

Andy and Astros Jersey in the 5th

9/27/13, Andy in Houston tips cap to crowd, ap

9/27/13, Andy Pettitte waves to the crowd after receiving Astros jersey during the fifth inning," final 3-2 Yankees, getty

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Arod signs for fans in Houston before game

9/27/13, Arod signs for fans in Houston before game, final 3-2 Yankees, getty

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Newsday back page, 'Magic MOment,' after Rivera's last night in Yankee Stadium, NY Daily News front and back

Fri., 9/27/13, Newsday back page, 'Magic MOment,' Mariano Rivera with Andy Pettitte and Derek Jeter on the mound in the 9th inning for Rivera's last night at Yankee Stadium. final 4-0 Rays

Barton Silverman, NY Times

9/26/13, "Closing Scene: Hugs and Tears in Rivera’s Last Home Game," NY Times, David Waldstein

9/27/13, NY Daily News front page, "Exit Sad Man."  Below, NY Daily News back page, 42, Rivera and Pettitte quotes

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'For Rivera to get anybody's attention outside New York now he'd probably have to save 65 games,' Sheldon Ocker, Akron Beacon Journal, 11/9/2005, NY Times

11/9/2005, "BASEBALL; Award Eludes Rivera; Colon Wins the Cy Young," NY Times, Tyler Kepner

"Rivera, who finished third in 1996, 1999 and 2004, was left off six ballots. Sheldon Ocker of The Akron Beacon Journal cast one of those ballots, putting Colon first, Cliff Lee of the Indians second and Mark Buehrle of the White Sox third."...

Sheldon Ocker, Akron Beacon Journal on Rivera: "''For him to get anybody's attention outside of New York now, he'd probably have to save 65 games."" (end of article)

Rivera 2005, Baseball Reference

Rivera has received a lot of praise in 2013 but for many years, he was considered old news. In 2005, Rivera was #1 on the MLB AL Cy Young Predictor, almost 19 points ahead of Colon. Not that this meant he should get the award, but 6 AL Cy Young voters left his name off their ballot:

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Thursday, September 26, 2013

MLB places full page ads in 4 newspapers in honor of Mariano Rivera's last game at Yankee Stadium, 9/26/13

9/25/13, "MLB honors Mariano Rivera with full-page ad in four newspapers," USA Today

"Mariano Rivera will suit up at Yankee Stadium for the final time in his illustrious career Thursday night as the Yankees take on the Tampa Bay Rays. A full-page ad commissioned by Major League Baseball and signed by Bud Selig will appear Thursday in USA TODAY, the New York Daily News, the New York Post, and Metro New York." photo gallery

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Rivera and Jeter join in honoring Andy Pettitte at Yankee Stadium

9/25/13, Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter join in honoring Andy Pettitte on his retirement before game v Tampa Bay Rays, final score 8-3 Tampa Bay, getty

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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Jason Giambi pinch hit, 2 run home run in bottom of 9th, Indians win 5-4

9/24/13, Jason Giambi and teammates watch his 9th inning, pinch hit, 2 run home run win game v White Sox, 5-4, ap

9/24/13, Giambi lifts Mgr. Terry Francona after his game winning 2 run home run, final 5-4 Indians, ap

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Vernon Wells and fans try to catch Matt Joyce home run in the first

9/24/13, Vernon Wells and fans try to get home run by Rays' Matt Joyce in the first, final score, reuters

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Muslims in Midtown Manhattan chant, "We are Muslims, mighty, mighty Muslims," and "Allahu Akbar," at NY City Muslim Day Parade, 9/22/13. Updated: 3 charged in NYC for ties to Somali terror group al-Shabab

9/23/13, "3 charged in NYC with fighting for al-Shabab," AP, Hays

"Three men facing federal terrorism charges in New York City have strong ties to the extremist Islamic group that claimed responsibility for the deadly attack on an upscale Kenyan shopping mall."...

9/22/13, At "Muslim Day Parade" in Midtown Manhattan on Sunday Muslims chanted:

"We are Muslims, Mighty, Mighty Muslims," Urban Infidel video, 1:31. I guess slaughtering children and unarmed adults is pretty 'mighty.'

  ""Mighty" Muslims," video by Urban Infidel

Numerous black flags of jihad at the parade (photo posted below) as well as white flags with the same message. 


Video below, jihad flags go by, then at 2:46 you hear a man shout Allahu Akbar, at 3:34 it's shouted several times. This is on Madison Avenue in Manhattan while carrying jihad flags in a parade:

9/22/13, "Jihad Flags @ Muslim Day Parade NYC 2013," Urban Infidel


Many photos of the day by Urban Infidel


9/23/13, "Flag of Jihad raised on Madison Avenue, NYC during Kenya Jihad Massacre and All Saints Church bombing," Pamela Geller, Atlas Shrugs

Jihad flag on Madison Ave., 9/22/13

"At the same time as devout Muslims were separating Muslim children from non-Muslim children and executing them in cold blood in an upscale mall in Kenya, Muslims marched down Madison Avenue under the flag of jihad (the same flag the Muslims in Kenya were killing under)."...image from Urban Infidel


They do the same thing every year:

12/4/12, "11 Days After Benghazi, Jihad Was Proclaimed on the Streets of New York," fellowshipoftheminds.com
"Hate and Intolerance for America was on parade September 23, 2012, at the NYC Muslim Day Parade."

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Monday, September 23, 2013

Rivera on NY Daily News front and back page day after Yankee Stadium ceremony

9/23/13, NY Daily news front page,
"Closed, End of an era as fans honor Mo"


9/23/13, NY Daily news back page, "Rock a Bye, Yanks give Mo heavy metal sendoff as playoff hopes fade"

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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Rivera and new custom amp from Metallica

9/22/13, Mariano Rivera now has a custom amplifier from Metallica, final 2-1 SF Giants, 1.2IP by Rivera, getty. Bernie Williams and Jorge Posada in background.

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George Steinbrenner and Rivera, 2001 spring training

2001 Yankee spring training, George Steinbrenner and Mariano Rivera, cataffo. 9/19/13, "Mariano Rivera, baseball's greatest closer, leaves a lasting legacy on and off the field," NY Daily News, Christian Red

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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Arod grand slam-Newsday back page

9/21/13, Newsday back page, "Arod passes Gehrig for most career grand slams in Yanks win,"  final 5-1 Yankees

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Friday, September 20, 2013

John Sterling call of Arod grand slam at Yankee Stadium v San Francisco Giants

9/20/13, Alex Rodriguez hit a grand slam v SF Giants in the bottom of the 7th. Here is John Sterling's call:

"Alex Rodriguez at his dramatic best drove one into the right field seats! It's an A-bomb from A-rod! A grand slam! And the Yankees take a 5-1 lead."

Replaying his live call on Yankee radio post game show, Mr. Sterling led into the above call by saying Arod's grand slam tied Lou Gehrig: "It's a grand slam to tie Lou Gehrig." After replaying the entire call, he said he needed to correct himself, that Arod's grand slam had actually broken a tie with Lou Gehrig, and now he has one more. I didn't hear the call live, so I don't know if he corrected himself during the live game. Final, 5-1 Yankees.

9/21/13, Newsday back page, "Arod passes Gehrig for most career grand slams in Yanks win,"  final 5-1 Yankees

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Top ten MLB pitchers in postseason wins, Pettitte #1 with 19

9/20/13, Career postseason wins, AP. Andy Pettitte

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Empire State Building is for sale

9/19/13, "New York family who own the Empire State Building set to sell the iconic landmark," UK Daily Mail, Mia De Graaf

"The Empire State Building is going up for sale. No longer the world's tallest, but still the most iconic, the 102-storey skyscraper has been the subject of gushing poems, films and music since it emerged in 1931. And today, in a move that has sent the market into a frenzy, reports emerged that the Malkin family, owner of the legendary art deco tower, plans to let it go. Starting as early as this week, the multibillionaires will launch a 'roadshow' to pitch the sale to investors around the world. They hope to fetch $1 billion (£620,000,000) for the landmark and 17 other properties in what could be the second biggest public offering of real estate in American history."...getty photo via bbc

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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Yankees desperation shows in comeback win over Blue Jays-Blair

9/18/13, "Blair: Yankees’ desperation shows in comeback win over Jays," Jeff Blair, Toronto Globe and Mail

"Despite the win, the Yankees (80-72) still have a chance of finishing fourth in the American League East for the first time since 1992....

The teams will wrap up their three-game series Thursday, when the Blue Jays will honour all-time saves leader Mariano Rivera, who came into the game Wednesday with two out in the eighth and Rajai Davis on second base after a single and stolen base.

How desperate are the Yankees? It was the fourth time in seven games they asked Rivera to pitch more than an inning. Rivera was greeted with a standing ovation from the Rogers Centre crowd of 24,247 and it took three pitches for Brett Lawrie to ground out to end the inning.

Rivera survived singles by Adam Lind and Rasmus in the ninth for his 652nd career save and his 44th of the season – striking out J.P. Arencibia on three pitches with runners on second and third.
It is the highest total of any reliever in his final season. Rivera had been tied with Robb Nen and Jeff Shaw at 43."...

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Monday, September 16, 2013

Alex Rodriguez talks with Suzyn Waldman about Mariano Rivera on Yankee radio pregame Sept. 15, 2013

Suzyn asked Alex Rodriguez his thoughts about Mariano on Yankee radio pregame, Sunday Sept. 15, 2013. I transcribed the interview:

Suzyn: "Alex Rodriguez, you've played against him, you've played with him, and he's been a really good friend for you. So when you watch this today, what do you think this is like, what do you think of when you look at Mariano after all these years?

Alex: You know, I think of Magic Johnson in Boston Garden or I think about Larry Bird at the old Forum. You know, Mariano's not only one of the greatest pitchers of all time, but he's for me in the top 5 greatest athletes of all time. You think about Wayne Gretzky, and Larry Bird, and Muhammad Ali. You know, Mariano for us, he means so much more than baseball. He's our Roberto Clemente in many ways. And I love him, I love him to pieces. And I'm having such a great time playing the game, and he's a major part of it. Me coming back and having the privilege to put on the pinstripes and share the uniform with Mariano Rivera is a moment I'll never forget.

Suzyn: You know, he's always been a very big supporter of yours, and I know throughout the years, and I don't think a lot of people know this, Mariano Rivera even when you got here was always sitting with you and talking to you about different things. Can you remember the first time you faced him, what that was like for you?

Alex: Yeah, I struck out (laughs).

Suzyn: A lot of people did that too.

Alex: I just remember the incredible talent, but you know Suzyn, you look at Mariano and you compete against him, and we know he's the fiercest of all fiercest competitors and all that. But what makes Mariano Rivera is when you get to meet him, and you know I was with him last night watching the fight, and you know the biggest compliment or the biggest way I can share with all our fans and specially Mariano Rivera fans is that when the moment gets really, really, really tough, and New Yorkers can appreciate this about Mariano, the best Mariano Rivera always stands out. And he's my hero and a role model and a dear friend.

Suzyn: Alex, as always, I thank you very much."


11/15/2005, Rob Dibble and Kevin Kennedy hosts on XM MLB radio (then Channel 175) ask guest Arod who is the most impressive person he's met in the game. Arod answers, Edgar Martinez and Mariano Rivera.


Mariano Rivera pulling in fishing net on boat, date unknown, picture from an SI.com vault

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Rivera says thank-you and good-bye to Fenway Park

9/15/13, "New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera (R) laughs as he is presented with a portrait as a parting gift from Boston Red Sox player David Ortiz before their American League MLB baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. Major League Baseball's all-time saves leader announced that he would retire at the season's end after a 19-year career. Sunday marks his last regular season appearance at Fenway Park," final 9-2 Red Sox, Reuters

9/15/13, David Ortiz and Mo embrace during Rivera's farewell ceremony at Fenway Park, final 9-2 Red Sox, ap

9/15/13, "A young fan holds up a 'Thanks Mariano' sign for Mariano Rivera #42 of the New York Yankees after he was honored prior to the game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. Tonight will be Rivera's final appearance at Fenway Park," final 9-2 Red Sox, getty


9/15/13, "Mariano Rivera inscribes ‘thank-you’ message inside bullpen as final Fenway Park act," Yahoo Sports, David Brown

"Mariano Rivera
Last to wear #42
Thank you for everything"


9/16/13, "The Red Sox Made Mariano Rivera's Ceremony All About The Red Sox," Deadspin, Barry Petchesky


9/15/13, "Red Sox give Mariano Rivera a warm tribute," Newsday, Anthony Rieber

"It may seem at first blush that it would be awkward to honor one of your fiercest competitors. Perhaps that's because it is.

The Red Sox honored Mariano Rivera Sunday night on the occasion of his final regular-season game at Fenway Park.

Along with the usual gifts and tributes for the Yankees' retiring closer was a lengthy video presentation that focused on one of his rare postseason failures: his blown save in Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS with the Yankees on the verge of sweeping the series.

Former Red Sox Kevin Millar, Bill Mueller and Dave Roberts described the details of how Boston scored the tying run in the ninth inning of Game 4. The Sox went on to shock the Yankees by overcoming a three-games-to-zero deficit en route to their first World Series title since 1918.

As the video played and the fans cheered the cherished moments from Game 4, Rivera stood on the top step in the visiting dugout, leaning on the railing with his arms folded. Once Millar's walk, Roberts' steal and Mueller's tying single had been discussed and played, the scoreboard said, "But seriously . . . "

Then the Red Sox players talked about what an honor it was to compete against Rivera and called him the best closer in baseball history.

"Great ceremony. Great. Well done. Humbling to myself. I don't deserve that,'' he said. "But at the same time, definitely appreciate what the Red Sox organization did. I will never forget that."

Did the 2004 thing seem strange? "Not strange, because it was good. They have all the power to do that. They beat us that year. So why not? You have a great time, you have fun. They did, so all the power to them."

Manager Joe Girardi, asked if he thought it was "tasteless" for the Red Sox to feature a Rivera blown save, said only: "They gave him some nice gifts."

"I'm sure Mo could remind them of a few things if he wanted to," Derek Jeter told reporters. "But I thought it was funny."

When Rivera was introduced, he jogged to the mound, where the entire Red Sox team awaited him. He received hugs from David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia and some gifts from the club.

First, the Red Sox presented Rivera a painting of the unscripted and delightful moment in April 2005 when he was greeted with a standing ovation from the fans during pregame introductions on the day the 2004 World Series flag was raised at Fenway.

Rivera, who realized that the fans were thanking him for his two blown saves in the 2004 ALCS -- along with his two blown saves in the Yankees-Red Sox series that opened the '05 season -- broke into a big smile and raised his arms in bemused thanks. It was that moment that was captured in the painting.

The Red Sox also presented Rivera the panel from the manually operated Green Monster scoreboard that had his number "42" on it. It was signed by every current Boston player.

Rivera also received a Fenway Park seat from 1934, a pitching rubber from the visiting bullpen and an undisclosed donation for his charitable foundation from the Red Sox owners.

Rivera then shook hands with the Red Sox players as Metallica's "Enter Sandman" played over the loudspeakers and highlights of Rivera succeeding against the Red Sox came up on the centerfield scoreboard.

Earlier, the Boston Cello Quartet played "Enter Sandman" to open the ceremony after finishing the national anthem. It was a terrific idea, but the song was hard to recognize. One thing that was learned is that "Enter Sandman" was not written for the cello.

Rivera has been honored by every team on his final visit this season. The Yankees are planning the mother of all Rivera tribute days on Sunday at Yankee Stadium before the 1 p.m. game against the San Francisco Giants."

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Friday, September 13, 2013

Brendan Ryan gets first John Sterling home run call

9/13/13, Brendan Ryan hit a solo home run in the top of the third v Red Sox in his second game as a Yankee. John Sterling's tag:

"How do ya like that! That was Ryan's hope! He hit one out and the Yankees now trail 4-1." Final 8-4 Red Sox.

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CJ Nitkowski rattles off cliches like the fast talker from the FedEx commercial

9/13/13, CJ Nitkowski sitting in for Suzyn Waldman sounds like the robotic, fast talking FedEx guy

Nitkowski sounds like he'd be fine as a sports talk show host. Baseball play by play on radio is something entirely different. It's conversation, not speeches. Nitkowski is completely unsuited for it, though you got no hint of that from John Sterling who is always the professional as is his usual partner Suzyn Waldman. Radio was treated as a dumping ground by whomever put Nitkowski on Yankee radio on September 4 then let him come back twice more after that. Last year Jeff Nelson sat in for Suzyn and he was perfect for the job. Final tonight 8-4 Red Sox.

"FedEx commercial with John Moschitta

Uploaded on Sep 2, 2006, "John Moschitta is the fast talking guy most people don't know the name of. This FedEx commercial is what made him famous."


Update, Sat. 9/14/13, Nikowski's third game this month and he's still riffing unintelligible speeches. This means Yankee management is fine with it. Sterling and Waldman are apparently a once in a lifetime fluke, one which many of us hope continues indefinitely. Radio isn't a dumping ground for political patronage. People aren't going to listen to robots. I stopped listening for 3 years when they put Charley Steiner with John Sterling.

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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Arod and Jeter cheer in the 9th

9/11/13, Arod and Jeter cheer Cano's 9th inning home run in Baltimore, final 5-4 Yankees, getty

9/11/13, Adam Jones reaches for Cano 9th inning home run in Baltimore, final 5-4 Yankees, reuters

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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Jumpers, World Trade Center, September 11, 2001

Above, Jumpers, 9/11/01, Reuters photo

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"The Falling Man," 9/11/01, ap photo by Richard Drew, via Esquire
  •  -------------------------------
9/10/11, "The 9/11 victims America wants to forget: The 200 jumpers who flung themselves from the Twin Towers who have been 'airbrushed from history'," UK Daily Mail, Tom Leonard
  • "Almost all of them jumped alone, although eyewitnesses talked of a couple who held hands as they fell."...
9/10/11, "Children of 9/11: Life with a parent missing," Newsday, Carol Polsky
9/9/11, "WaPo's Dionne: 'Time to Leave 9/11 Behind' as 'A Simple Day of Remembrance'," NewsBusters
Above 9/11/01 photos of people at World Trade Center windows knowing they will die horribly in moments. Following narrative by MSW who was there: "Then the crowd let out a collective gasp, I looked to see the first of many people falling through the sky. The television stations and the newspapers downplayed this aspect of a day already filled with enough shock and terror, but I place great importance on it because it immediately human-ised the situation for both myself and those around me. This wasn’t just a burning building; it was suddenly full of people, friends, and family. For me, it is the most haunting memory of the day. When I focussed on what the crowd had noticed, I too let out a cry so involuntary and so primeval that I barely recognised it as my own. It was not a piece of building falling to the ground, but a man, recognisable by his flapping tie and flailing arms and legs as he fell through the air. The situation was surreal no longer; my body shook with shock, my knees buckled and a light-headedness overwhelmed me with such severity that I thought I was either going to throw-up or fall down.
I sat down and looked up only to see more people jumping. I thought for a moment that they might have fallen, but there were too many people, their arms windmilling as they subconsciously tried to fight gravity and avoid the inevitable. Haunted by these visions numerous times since the incident, I have tormented myself by trying to imagine the extreme conditions that those people must have faced that they should choose certain death by leaping from the building over clinging to any hope of rescue. What were they thinking when they jumped; what did they think on the way down?...But my fear is that to forget is to fail the lesson and lose the opportunity. That’s why this raw wound will never completely heal and that things can never go back to ‘normal’. Because even as a simple bystander I have a responsibility to incite change for the rest of my life or I watched all those people die in vain."
  • --------------------------------------------
[Sept11AP3.<span class=

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Saturday, September 07, 2013

Happy Birthday, Suzyn Waldman

John Sterling mentions during the Red Sox-Yankee game that Suzyn is the birthday girl today, September 7.

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Wednesday, September 04, 2013

CJ Nitkowski sitting in for Suzyn Waldman tonight on Yankee radio

Cj Nitkowski just finished the Joe Girardi interview on Yankee radio. John Sterling announced at the opening at 6:30 that Nitkowski would be sitting in for Suzyn Waldman who is celebrating the Jewish holiday tonight. Nitkowski has appeared in several broadcasting venues recently.


9/25/13, "Lessons from Mo: A former Yankees pitcher on what he learned from Rivera," CJ Nitkowski, baseballnation.com

"In August of 2004, I got the call I had been dreaming about since I was seven years old. I was going to be a New York Yankee. And I would share the bullpen with Mariano Rivera, truly one of the greatest teammates of all time."...

Baseball: C.J. Nitkowski's time to head outside the lines - See more at: http://www.northjersey.com/sports/218465181_Baseball__C_J__Nitkowski_s_time_to_head_outside_the_lines_head_outside_the_lines.html?page=all#sthash.LLGT0efS.dpuf
Baseball: C.J. Nitkowski's time to head outside the lines - See more at: http://www.northjersey.com/sports/218465181_Baseball__C_J__Nitkowski_s_time_to_head_outside_the_lines_head_outside_the_lines.html?page=all#sthash.LLGT0efS.dpuf"has appeared in several broadcasting venues recently.

Baseball: C.J. Nitkowski's time to head outside the lines - See more at: http://www.northjersey.com/sports/218465181_Baseball__C_J__Nitkowski_s_time_to_head_outside_the_lines_head_outside_the_lines.html?page=all#sthash.LLGT0efS.dpuf
He’s juggling a role as an analyst for MLB.com’s video on demand, appearances on other MLB Network shows, hosting a national radio show for CBS Sports on Saturdays, and writing for MLB.com after dabbling with a pen for ESPN.com.
Nitkowski also has served as a fill-in host for MLB Radio on Sirius/XM, and served as color analyst on CBS Sports Network’s college baseball coverage. He somehow found himself acting in the movie "42," playing the part of Phillies pitcher Dutch Leonard.
- See more at: http://www.northjersey.com/sports/218465181_Baseball__C_J__Nitkowski_s_time_to_head_outside_the_lines_head_outside_the_lines.html?page=all#sthash.LLGT0efS.dpuf
He’s juggling a role as an analyst for MLB.com’s video on demand, appearances on other MLB Network shows, hosting a national radio show for CBS Sports on Saturdays, and writing for MLB.com after dabbling with a pen for ESPN.com.
Nitkowski also has served as a fill-in host for MLB Radio on Sirius/XM, and served as color analyst on CBS Sports Network’s college baseball coverage. He somehow found himself acting in the movie "42," playing the part of Phillies pitcher Dutch Leonard.
- See more at: http://www.northjersey.com/sports/218465181_Baseball__C_J__Nitkowski_s_time_to_head_outside_the_lines_head_outside_the_lines.html?page=all#sthash.LLGT0efS.dpuf
He’s juggling a role as an analyst for MLB.com’s video on demand, appearances on other MLB Network shows, hosting a national radio show for CBS Sports on Saturdays, and writing for MLB.com after dabbling with a pen for ESPN.com.
Nitkowski also has served as a fill-in host for MLB Radio on Sirius/XM, and served as color analyst on CBS Sports Network’s college baseball coverage. He somehow found himself acting in the movie "42," playing the part of Phillies pitcher Dutch Leonard.
- See more at: http://www.northjersey.com/sports/218465181_Baseball__C_J__Nitkowski_s_time_to_head_outside_the_lines_head_outside_the_lines.html?page=all#sthash.LLGT0efS.dpuf

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Red Sox promotion of RomneyCare in 2007 cited as inspiration for Baltimore Ravens deal to promote ObamaCare-Politico

9/3/13, "Baltimore Ravens to aid Obamacare enrollment effort in Maryland," Politico, Kyle Cheney

"Efforts to solicit help from sports are modeled on a partnership that Massachusetts formed with the Red Sox in 2007, when the state conducted outreach in support of its own health reform law, a precursor to Obamacare. Supporters of such partnerships say teams are often viewed with nonpartisan reverence
and particularly connect with the young, healthy people that the White House is hoping will sign up for coverage."

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Vernon Wells steals home in the 2nd

9/3/13, Vernon Wells steals home in 2nd inning v White Sox, final 6-4 Yankees, Thomas A. Ferrara, Newsday
 9/3/13, Vernon Wells beats the tag, steals home, Reuters

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Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Cincinnati Reds fans close to the action in center field

9/3/13, St. Louis Cardinals Jon Jay catches a fly ball near the center field wall hit by Cincinnati Reds Shin-Soo Choo in the third inning at Great American Ball Park, getty

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Tampa Bay Rays Sam Fuld makes MLB pitching debut v Angels, one batter, one out

9/3/13, Tampa Bay Rays Sam Fuld made his MLB pitching debut, bottom of the 8th, v LA Angels, score 11-2 Angels, a third of an inning, 5 pitches:

"S. Fuld relieved J. Lueke - J.B. Shuck flied out to shallow center"

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