SportsNation Blog ArchivesSN Blog Archives Trevor Hoffman

By the time Semisonic's "Closing Time" came out in 1998, Mariano Rivera already had a full season as a dominant closer under his belt. More than a decade later, he's still on top of the game. Semisonic, not so much.

As much fun as it is to poke Yankees fans with memories of Dave Roberts and Luis Gonzalez, any fan who ever felt the crushing blow to the solar plexus that came out of nowhere any time Heathcliff Slocumb or Curt Leskanic trotted in for a save opportunity can appreciate Rivera as a ninth-inning institution.

A week ago, SportsNation ranked Joe Torre as its top all-time manager, and it's probably safe to assume he'd stick with Rivera regardless. But who would you hand the ball to in the ninth inning if you had a full Baseball Encyclopedia's worth of options?

RIPredskins21

Congrats Mo on 500 saves. No doubt Hoffman, Eck, Goose, and a few others are in the elite closer group, but Mo's post season numbers (34 saves 0.75 ERA in 110+ post season games) are so off the chart he has to be considered the greatest closer of all time.

-- RIPredskins21
berberage

If you didn't take a little pleasure in watching Mo bat against K-Rod, you're not a baseball fan. I was laughing so hard I almost wet myself when he took that big cut. All kidding aside, it was a pretty good at-bat - and a classic moment from two of the best relievers I've ever seen.

-- berberage

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