At 39, the great Rivera fighting mortality

Down one moment and up the next, Yankees' closer continues to relish the battle

Originally Published: June 12, 2009
By Howard Bryant | ESPN.com

To the glee of some and the annoyance of others, the superpowers still move baseball's most important needles. Still, the Red Sox and Yankees swallow up airwaves and the bandwidth like oxygen-choking mega-factories, much to the disappointment of baseball fans intrigued by interesting but less influential clubs -- the Detroit Tigers or the curious Toronto Blue Jays, for example.

Both remain the yardstick for all challengers, even though Tampa Bay won the division and the pennant last year. ...

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