The Core Four
There are currently three of the four players left who were a part of the mid-90s Yankee Championship teams. Two of them will be calling it a career after this season. Andy Pettitte has been a part of the Yankee organization since 1995. Jorge Posada (retired in 2009), Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter came up from the minors a year later. On Sunday, Pettitte announced that he will retire at season’s end. He made his last start at home against the San Francisco Giants and it sure looked like it was going to be a storybook-like ending to his career as he took a perfect game into the fifth inning. Despite the team losing 2-1, Pettitte sure has the numbers to be in the Hall of Fame conversations. He has a career win-loss record of 255-152 with a 3.87 ERA (earned run average), to go along with 2,415 strikeouts putting him as the all-time leader in Yankee history. He was a 3-time All-Star in 1996, 2001 and 2010. He ranks as the Major League Baseball’s all-time leader in postseason wins with 19. Indeed, Pettitte should be a first-ballot Hall of Famer and the five championships he won during his illustrious career should back that up.
The other player who will also call it a career after the season is Mariano Rivera. On Sunday afternoon, the team honored Rivera with appearances that included Jackie Robinson’s widow, Rachel, and daughter Sharon, along with some of his former teammates such as Jorge Posada, Bernie Williams, David Cone and Joe Torre. The ceremony was then followed up by a thunderous performance by the rock band Metallica. It was the ultimate “enter sandman ” tribute for Rivera. He has jogged into the game from center field to that song since 1999. Rivera’s number 42 was retired in Yankee Stadium’s Monument Park. Rivera has a win-loss record of 82-60. He currently has 652 saves as a closer (all with the Yankees ), which is the most all-time. He was a 13-time All-Star, World Series MVP in 1999, and just like Pettitte he will go down as a 5-time World Series Champion. There will never be another like the great Mariano Rivera.
It would have been like a cherry on top to know that both Pettitte and Rivera will get one more chance to display their talents in October. With the team being 4 games back from the last wild card spot with 4 games to go, it is almost certain the Yankees will miss the playoffs for just the second time in the era of the “Core Four” ( Rivera, Posada, Pettitte, Jeter). Congratulations to both Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera on 2 tremendous careers.
Sports Notes: (Football) Don’t look now, but it is the team in green who has the better winning record so far. Quarterback Geno Smith continues to impress and progress week in and out. After a nail-biting win against the Buffalo Bills, the Jets travel to Tennessee to play Chris Johnson and the Titans. The Giants are wondering what’s going on. They were just manhandled by the Panthers by a score of 38-0 in a game were Eli Manning was sacked 7 times. The Giants have not started a season 0-3 since 1996. Indeed, it is panic time for the New York Giants as they look for their first win of the season at home against the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs.