Here’s what kind of guy Mariano Rivera is.
When the Yankees arrived today, they each had a ball in a glass and cherry wood display case waiting for them in their lockers. It was a game-used ball from the June 28 game against the Mets when Mo picked up his 500th save.
Each ball was signed and under Mo’s meticulous signature it said “500th save, 6/28/08.”
Not only did Mariano give a ball to every player, all of the coaches, trainers, security people and other staff members received one as well.
Meanwhile, will Phil Hughes be Mariano’s successor one day? Hughes has taken to the bullpen like he was born to do it and he certainly has the demeanor you want in a closer.
His stats are ridiculous in relief: 17 games, 24.1 innings, 11 hits, 2 earned runs, 5 walks, 28 strikeouts.
I’ll stick with what I believe: Hughes should be a starter in 2010. He’s too good not to be. But for now, he’s filling a need and doing it just about perfectly. But retiring six hitters on a crappy team after midnight with a three-run lead is nothing to get too excited about. Any good starter would have done the same. There is no magic in a save in that situation.
When asked tonight if getting his first career save was a big deal, Phil literally shrugged. “No difference, same thing,” he said. “It was just one more inning.”
Meanwhile you might wonder how CC Sabathia killed time during the 2:43 rain delay. “I played Nintendo the whole time,” he said. “Nobody has beaten me in weeks.”