Don't feel sorry for the New York Yankees, now that Mariano Rivera, the team's superstar relief pitcher, has torn his ACL in a dreadful knee injury. The team prints money, contends for the championship year in and out and remains the most popular sports team in the highly competitive New York market.
But feel sorry for me, please.
With Mariano — as with all of the greats, one name will suffice — the Yankees were always going to contend for a championship and make the dog days of summers in NYC, filled with unbearable heat and humidity and surly subway riders (surlier than usual).
The Yankees made the notion of following sports in town more enjoyable and interesting. It was a blast to be a Yankee fan.
Whenever Rivera came into a thrilling game in the ninth inning, to the accompaniment of the song "Enter Sandman" over the public-address system at Yankee Stadium, a fan just knew that everything would be OK. He was, after all, the all-time "saves" leader in baseball, right?
Rivera has been the best "closer," meaning the pitcher assigned to getting the last out in a game, in the entire history of Major League Baseball. That is a remarkable achievement.
And now he is facing knee surgery and will be out for the rest of the year. The Yankees' prospects now seem dim — not helped by the hot streak of the powerful rival Tampa Rays, a team which also plays in the Yankees' division.
As Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez said after the game, in a mournful tone, "Nobody will feel sorry for us."
So true. When a powerful, seemingly haughty team is down, the opposition will rush in to keep it that way. They'll do the task with big, satisfied smiles on their faces, too.
Don't feel sorry for the Yankees. But feel sorry for me, please. Rivera said he'll be returning in 2013, so I feel slightly better. Slightly.
Jon Friedman writes the Media Web column for MarketWatch.com. Click here to read his latest column. (Friedman is also the author of "Forget About Today: Bob Dylan's Genius for (Re)invention, Shunning the Naysayers and Creating a Personal Revolution," which Penguin will publish in August.) Read more reports from Jon Friedman — Click Here Now.
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