Thursday, April 06, 2006

Mariano: Give #42 Back!

My take on Mariano Rivera: the guy's an excellent pitcher, one of the best relievers of all time, but he clearly has no reverence for baseball history.

After all, who does he think he is to go co-opting Jackie Robinson's #42? Did Rivera ever have to face the tremendous task of breaking baseball's color line? I don't think so. Did he ever deal with racist taunts from opposing players? Not quite.

Is Rivera trying to fancy himself as some sort of revolutionary here? Trying to put himself on the same level as Jackie Robinson? Does he think that he's revolutionized the game in the same manner? What a conceited ass.

Maybe the Yankees are just trying to be like the Brooklyn Dodgers here. The Dodgers have been gone for almost 50 years, but they're still a huge part of the city's nostalgia. There are plently of exhibits and displays of Dem Bums, Duke Snider, Pee Wee Reese, Gil Hodges, and all the rest. Perhaps the Yanks are just trying to steal the Dodgers' thunder. And what better way than to have their player wear #42, the only number retired by all of baseball, the number that is immediately associated with Jackie Robinson.

And don't tell me "Oh, Rivera had it first." I don't care. After April 15, 1997, when #42 and Jackie Robinson became forever intertwined in baseball history, Rivera should've stood up and said, "#42 is now Jackie's number. I can't wear it anymore." But no! I guess the Yankee mystique won out.

-- And that is all I have to say about the Billy Wagner "Enter Sandman" controversy.


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Michael Leggett said...

The yankees just like to spoil everything, because they're the yankees.