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Though Mariano Rivera is going back to the Yankees for what was originally offered to Derek Jeter, it seems he turned down more money and years from Yankees’ arch-rivals Boston Red Sox. Can you imagine what could have happened with Rivera wearing Red?
In 2010, Rivera recorded 33 saves in 38 attempts, a 1.80 ERA and .833 WHIP in 61 games, and gave up just two home runs. In fact, 2002 was Mo’s only closer year with less than 30 saves (28). And he did start 10 games in 1995. Had the Sox been able to land Rivera, they would have had the game’s best closer in tow, and allowed them not to offer Papelbon his best contract after his worst year. Maybe Papelbon would’ve been signed by the Yankees in that wake…
Boston would have had 18 chances in 2011 to punish Papelbon’s 2010 season, which was nausea-inducing by AL East standards. Saving more opportunities would instantly have allowed the Red Sox to win the AL East behind Tampa’s undoubtedly leaving free agents and New York’s shakiness behind their new “closer” and the tension between them and Derek Jeter.
We all kept thinking about Crawford, Werth, Lee, and others, but ripping the cold, black heart out of the Steinbrenner machine? That would have been the best think Boston could have done to derail New York and let them be the perennial Wild Card for a change. But fortunately for New York, Mariano is willing to take the deal, unlike greedy, greedy Jeter.