Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Rivera will pitch in Queens for final time
By Kieran Darcy
Mariano Rivera will throw out a ceremonial first pitch at Citi Field on Tuesday, prior to the Subway Series game between the Yankees and Mets.
Mets COO Jeff Wilpon personally asked Rivera to do so during a pregame presentation honoring Rivera, a couple hours before first pitch.
"Mariano, we've watched you for so many years. It's a great honor to have you be here for the last time," Wilpon said.
"I wish we could see you in the World Series, but I'm not sure it's gonna happen this year," Wilpon added, eliciting some chuckles from the media members assembled in the Citi Field news conference room.
Wilpon called Rivera "baseball's ultimate fireman" and presented him with an authentic hose nozzle from a New York City Fire Department truck.
Fire Department commissioner Salvatore Cassano was also on hand, and gave Rivera a plaque featuring a real FDNY call box.
"Mariano has been a great friend to the FDNY for many, many years," Cassano said. "He's been at many of our widows-and-orphans events. This is just a little token of our appreciation for your last visit at Citi Field."
Rivera has made career 33 appearances against the Mets in the regular season, going 4-3 with a 3.28 ERA and 20 saves. The only team he has a higher career ERA against is the Angels (3.65).
In the 2000 World Series, Rivera appeared in three of the five games against the Mets. He had a 3.00 ERA and a pair of saves, in Games 4 and 5.
In 16 regular-season games at Shea Stadium, Rivera was 2-2 with a 2.50 ERA and 10 saves. In four appearances at Citi Field, he is 0-0 with a 4.50 ERA and two saves.
"I have enjoyed every game that I have played here," Rivera said. "It's been great games. Saved some games, and blown some games. But overall, it has been wonderful."
Wilpon then asked Rivera to throw out the first pitch on Tuesday.
"I know you usually throw the last pitch, but we're asking you to throw the first pitch," Wilpon said.
"I will be honored to do that," Rivera answered. "It would be my pleasure."