First Pitch: The end of an era?

September, 22, 2013
Mariano Rivera and Andy PettitteJohn Munson/The Star-Ledger/USA TODAY SportsMariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte likely have just seven games remaining as Yankees teammates.
NEW YORK -- It feels like the end of an era, probably because it is the end of an era.

Prior to Sunday’s series finale against the San Francisco Giants, two icons from the Yankees’ esteemed "Core Four" -- Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte -- will be honored during a ceremony at Yankee Stadium.

"I’m looking forward to it, definitely," Rivera said.

Rivera and Pettitte, who will both retire at season’s end, gave the Yankees so much during their careers, and they both have five World Series championship rings to show for their efforts. Pettitte will likely make his final start in the Bronx on Sunday.

"Those days come. His day came. So enjoy tomorrow," Rivera said.

Several special guests are expected to attend -- perhaps the likes of Joe Torre, Bernie Williams and Jorge Posada among them. Will Metallica, who is already performing in the city, play "Enter Sandman" live? How awesome would that be?

"I can’t tell you anything about tomorrow," Rivera said.

Next season, Derek Jeter, who had an injury-riddled nightmare of a 2013 campaign, will be the only member of the four left.

Weird, isn’t it?

The Yankees have just four home games remaining, unless they can qualify for the playoffs.

So this is pretty much it. Relish the likes of Rivera and Pettitte while you still can.

UP NOW: Wallace Matthews’ column on Ivan The Great. I blogged about Alfonso Soriano, who is still hot.

ON DECK: Pettitte (10-10, 3.93 ERA) opposes Yusmeiro Petit (4-0, 3.08) on Sunday afternoon. First pitch slated for around 1:05 p.m. Ceremony slated for around 12:30 p.m. The trio of Johnette Howard, Ian Begley and Matt Ehalt will have you covered for team ESPN NY.

Mike Mazzeo

ESPN New York Writer



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