JUPITER, Fla. -- Yankees manager Joe Girardi got to see Mariano Rivera’s artistry from behind the plate. It was a weapon at the end of games, twisting Doubleday’s rules, turning a nine-inning game into a seven or sometimes a six-inning affair. His cutter belonged in another league, making the best feel helpless.
“I won’t say his name, but I can really remember one guy, who had incredible stats, a left-handed hitter, came up, who said, ‘I don’t know why they send me up here,’” Girardi recalled. “'The only place I can hit the ball hard is over our dugout,’ and their team was in the first base dugout. I was like, ‘Wow.’ At times, it seemed like it wasn’t fair. That’s how good Mo was. He was so dominant.”
Girardi said that not only was Rivera the greatest closer of all time, he was one of the greatest anythings of all time.
“I think he is one of the greatest pitchers of all time, not just a closer,” Girardi said. “He is one of the greatest teammates of all time and he is a lot of fun to catch."