Most valuable pitcher of the 2000s

Throwing his signature cut fastball, Mariano Rivera dominated like no other pitcher

Originally Published: December 16, 2009
By Jerry Crasnick | ESPN.com

It's only fitting, as we honor the Most Valuable Pitcher of the Decade, that the last man standing is the guy who is so adept at recording the final out.

Enter Mariano Rivera. The Sandman.

Right off the top, we'll acknowledge the sizable faction that believes saves are overrated and any pitcher who performs in 20-pitch bursts does not belong atop this list. Rivera ranked 155th in the majors for the decade with 713 1/3 innings pitched -- fewer than Steve Sparks, Tanyon Sturtze, Claudio ...

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