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A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News

Mariano Rivera answers your questions

Posted by: Peter Abraham - Posted in Misc, Podcast on Jul 08, 2007 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post


We asked the great Mariano Rivera if he would take questions from readers of the LoHud Yankees Blog and The Journal News and he agreed. About 225 questions were e-mailed in. It was hard to get to 10, so we picked 14 and Mo was gracious enough to answer them all.

If your question wasn’t selected, please don’t be offended.

Here is the audio of the interview:

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Along with the transcript:

Mike: In your career with the Yankees what has been your most memorable moment?

Mariano Rivera: “96. I thought you knew that one! (Me: “People don’t know, people asked.”) ’96. World Series ’96. Watching Charlie Hayes catch that fly ball. Yes.”


Brendan: How much pride do you take in being the last guy wearing No. 42?

Mariano Rivera: “Oh, it’s important to me. It’s huge, being a minority, as Jackie (was) and being the last one to wear the number. To me it’s respect and honor.”

Follow up: Does it bother you that if you’re number is retired, it would be retired twice with the Yankees?

Mariano Rivera: “No, that doesn’t bother me at all.”


Marcus: When you have new teammates in the bullpen, do you ever try to teach them how to throw your cutter, or do you just let them do what they do?

Mariano Rivera: “I kind of let everybody do what they do. Because I’ve been trying to teach that pitch for years and it’s not the same, it’s not the same.”


Justin: What’s it like when you have the ball and you’re one strike away from finishing off a big game? What are the emotions like?

Mariano Rivera: “Well, you have to hold it there. Emotions, you cannot be caught (up) in the emotions. Because you can lose the game with that emotion. When I get the ball, I don’t let the emotions take over. I celebrate when the game is over.”


Samantha: What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

Mariano Rivera: “Vanilla ice cream.”


David: What do you think its the biggest difference between the teams when you first came up and the team now?

Mariano Rivera: “The team when I came here had a lot of veteran guys, like we have. But a lot of guys that were — how had I phrase this? — they weren’t just players, they lived the game, enjoyed the game. That doesn’t mean these guys don’t do that. It’s just different.”


Seth: There are other closers that are extremely excitable like K-Rod and Papelbon. You’re more calm. What do you think is better?

Mariano Rivera: “Well, i don’t know, everybody has their own thing. I think it works for them … but personally I don’t like it. Personally I don’t like it. Personally, I like to give the respect to every hitter. Because every hitter feels like they’re insulted when they do all that kind of stuff. That’s their business and I do not care. But I prefer to stay the way I am.”


Mike: Do you think in general managers should consider using closers in different times of the game or only in the ninth inning?

Mariano Rivera: “All the innings are important. But you gotta stop the game in the seventh, eighth and ninth. They’re all important but the seventh, eighth and ninth are the innings you have to stop.”


Ben: How do you get over bad outings, especially blown saves?

Mariano Rivera: “Just like that. (he starts talking Spanish to Robbie Cano for a second ) It’s hard, definitely. You just put it the way it is. It happens, a blown save, it happens. You just move on.”


Mike: How do you think your career would have turned out if you had remained a starter?

Mariano Rivera: “I don’t know.”


Allison: What does he have written under the brim of his cap?

Mariano Rivera: “That’s God Bless, that’s it.”


Todd: Because you’re from Panama, did you ever meet Roberto Duran?

Mariano Rivera: “Oh yeah.”

Follow up: Did you ever think about being a boxer?

Mariano Rivera: “(Laughs). No, no.”


Isabel from Montreal: What is your favorite movie of all time?

Mariano Rivera: “Movie? The Rock.”


Rick: Are you a Metallica fan?

Mariano Rivera: “No.”

Follow up: Do you like the song? (Enter Sandman)?

Mariano Rivera: “It’s all right. I didn’t even choose it. I don’t even know the lyrics to the song.”


There you have it. Much like how he pitches, Mo is very direct in his answers. He came up to me the next day and asked how many people had written in questions. He seemed surprised that so many of you had.

“That’s great,” he said. “You tell them I said thank you for supporting me and God Bless.”

Consider it done, Mo.

On a personal note, the reader Q&A sessions with Derek Jeter, Jason Giambi and now Mariano Rivera have been a lot of fun to do. I think it’s great when we can break down the wall between the players and the fans a little.

The plan is to do this at least twice more this season. I’m hoping to line up one player and perhaps Brian Cashman.





43 Responses to “Mariano Rivera answers your questions”

  1. Dr. Acula July 8th, 2007 at 12:27 am

    Vanilla and “The Rock” – uhhhh, what fun!!

    Thankgoodness for ARod and CRod!!

  2. T.J. July 8th, 2007 at 12:31 am

    Great interview Pete. I always loved this guy and the fact he’s a really good man. I had the pleasure of meeting him a couple of years ago through one of my teachers who’s from his home.
    He was so honored to have us talk to him and you could feel how much he appreciates when you are a fan of his. He does so much to help people back where he’s from donates a lot of his time and money. and very much active in his church. He’s a good guy and I’m happy people are still giving him the love and respect he so deserves.

  3. Emobacca July 8th, 2007 at 12:33 am

    Good to see some love for The Rock. I feel its the greatest action movie ever made and it doesn’t get its due respect

    Mo is awesome and classy as always

  4. Dr. Acula July 8th, 2007 at 12:34 am

    Peter, if I remember this correctly, you once asked us which players to interview.

    season is half over, so I’ll put in a request for Rocket (who knows if comes back), and Krazy Karl (I can imagine some entertaining questions and answers – “Karl, which Hansen brother is your favorite? ).

  5. T.J. July 8th, 2007 at 12:36 am

    Dr. Acula you always give a good laugh when it’s needed. LOL. I missed a lot of the game today. Great game. A couple of great pitchers. A veteran and a future HOA and a young guy who is amazing both played in schools in Texas. Too bad we lost but I think both Yankees and Angels were playing hard,

    Worked then friends of mine and I decided to take in The Transformers. Pretty good stuff.

  6. Dr. Acula July 8th, 2007 at 12:38 am


    Don’t despair, I’m sure the Academy will eventually honor the flick w. a special Oscar.

    Actually, for a moment, I thought he meant the former wrestler, “The Rock.”

    It reminds me of great SNL skit from 2000, where Bush is lost and decide who to appoint as secretary of defense, Nolan Ryan or The Rock.

  7. Dr. Acula July 8th, 2007 at 12:42 am

    Thank you, T.J. !!

    By the way, I love your surgery!!

  8. Huuz July 8th, 2007 at 12:49 am

    Cashman would be great! I hope he agrees…!

  9. Joe July 8th, 2007 at 12:49 am

    If you’re taking interview requests or votes for the next one(s), I’d like to see The Rocket, Pettitte, and/or Cano

  10. BigYank1 July 8th, 2007 at 12:50 am


  11. Dr. Acula July 8th, 2007 at 12:50 am


    regarding “The Transformers,” where you able to take your eyes off of “Megan Fox”:


  12. Huuz July 8th, 2007 at 12:53 am


    I’m curious, in terms of percentage, how many BS type questions do you have to filter for these Q&As?

    for instance, for Mo, how many stupid questions do you get, such as:

    “Mo, why don’t you just be happy with the Yanks instead of threatening to sign w/ somebody else after this year…?”


    “Mo, why didn’t you do a better job in game 7 of the 2001 WS…that error sucked…”

    judging by some of the game threads, that % could be pretty high…

  13. marcus July 8th, 2007 at 12:53 am

    Thanks, Pete! And Mo, too!

  14. T.J. July 8th, 2007 at 12:53 am

    Dr. I brought a date with me so I had to keep sneaking a peak when she wasn’t looking. But she’s just as hot as Fox.

  15. Dr. Acula July 8th, 2007 at 1:05 am

    - Peter, no ¿habla español?

    we should have a post-game blogger party in Washington Heights

    thank you for all the hard work, Peter!!

    - T.J., that’s my dawg!!

  16. Peter Abraham July 8th, 2007 at 1:05 am


    No contract questions were sent to me, which surprised me. Most of the questions were actually really good. A lot were the same theme (favorite moment, comparing teams, teaching the cutter, etc.).

    I tried to mix in a few fun ones.

    It’s been excellent how willing the players are to do this. I really can’t thank Derek, Jason and Mo enough.

  17. Mike Brennan July 8th, 2007 at 1:06 am

    Hey Pete,

    It is nice to finish off the night and see that you have this posted. I was vey excited to see that my question was chosen and used as the first one to open up the dialogue. I was suprised to see that he laughed when the question was asked. I thought it would be something like the ’98 series or maybe even getting out a player from the Red Sox over the many times the yanks and sox have played. Thanks again Pete I really appreciate that you chose my question.


  18. Seth July 8th, 2007 at 1:36 am

    Great stuff.

    The Rock is a hell of a movie. The way the guys die in that movie is just horrible. Some bad ways to go.

    Thanks for choosing my question. His answer was exactly what I was hoping he’d say. (Though I figured he would say “I don’t think about what other guys do”). Glad he gave a nice answer to that one.

  19. Dr. Acula July 8th, 2007 at 1:37 am

    Mike B-

    cool name, cool “literature”:

  20. CB July 8th, 2007 at 1:46 am

    Mo is everything you want a ball player to be. What a great yankee. I especially like the comment about emotions and about the cutter. It’s a one of kind pitch because he’s a one of king pitcher. It’s hard to conceive of this organization (never mind the team) without him. I’d guess that’s why Pete didn’t get any contract questions.

    Pete, any chance you could get Wang to do a blog interview? Alternatively, i’d love to hear what Andy would have to say. A different approach would be to get Cano. There seems to be so much negative sentiment about him and his game a blog interview might be very interesting (though maybe contentious).

  21. Samantha July 8th, 2007 at 2:41 am

    well that made my day that mine waas answered after a long long sad day at yankee stadium today. thankyou petee! and thankyou mo!

  22. Samantha July 8th, 2007 at 2:42 am

    oh ya and a HUGE request for andy pettitte.
    but the kyle request is very interesting.

  23. Nimtor July 8th, 2007 at 6:10 am

    Thanks Pete, i love this part of your blog.

  24. Mike S. July 8th, 2007 at 9:18 am

    Mike: Do you think in general managers should consider using closers in different times of the game or only in the ninth inning?

    Mariano Rivera: “All the innings are important. But you gotta stop the game in the seventh, eighth and ninth. They’re all important but the seventh, eighth and ninth are the innings you have to stop.�

    Thanks for THAT answer, Mo.

  25. Kevin July 8th, 2007 at 10:13 am

    I’d be interested in hearing Cashman talk to the fans. I think that’d be cool.

    Though for comedy’s sake, I’d like to see Cynthia Rodriguez answer every question with a “F— you”. But that’s just me.

  26. Yanks Rule July 8th, 2007 at 10:17 am

    Oh, I would have some good questions for Cashman!

  27. Dr. Acula July 8th, 2007 at 10:24 am


    word on ‘da street: Cashman maybe a mole. Just look “here”:

  28. Gustavo Pacheco July 8th, 2007 at 10:27 am

    I think Mo says to Cano “make mine with nothing on it, thank you” Was robbie fixing him a hotdog or something? Anyways, I think doing one of these with Cano or Hughes once he comes back would be perfect. After doing Q&A with established veterans it would be refreshing to do so with younger players.

  29. Craig July 8th, 2007 at 3:40 pm

    This was great to read. Thanks Pete!

    Though I do wish someone had asked why we heard all Spring Training about him working on a changeup, but he hasn’t used it at all this year. The question only occurred to me now.

  30. Khoa July 8th, 2007 at 3:44 pm

    Thanks Pete. My vote is for The Rocket next!

  31. DesignatedBlogger July 8th, 2007 at 5:48 pm

    These Q&A sessions are great! Thanks for doing them, Pete. Of course you still have to snag the big fish—Steinbrenner.

  32. ben from boston July 8th, 2007 at 9:25 pm

    wow i cant believe you asked the mariano rivera my question thats unbelievable. that is great that they do this. it feels like you know the guy it isnt some impersonal tv interview.

  33. mel July 8th, 2007 at 10:39 pm

    A little late to the party, but thanks for the great interview!

    I’d like to see you do a Q&A with Joe Torre (Cashman will likely be around next season). He must’ve seen it all.

    I loved Mo’s answer about some closers showing up players, that’s just so crass.

  34. lauren July 9th, 2007 at 1:51 pm

    Hi Pete, Any chance in getting ARod for the next set?

  35. girl in nc July 10th, 2007 at 9:25 am

    Yay, my question was answered! Thanks Peter and Mariano! Always a good time here on the blog.

  36. Jerry July 10th, 2007 at 3:09 pm

    Want to show your love for the game. Visit, where you’ll find all the latest images of Rivera, A-Rod, and Jeter. Check em out today!

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