I was reading a blog post today by Rob Neyer from ESPN about Joba Chamberlain and he mentioned in passing Mariano Rivera. So, as I am wont to do, went and looked at his player card for the year. Another good year from Mo, no surprise. Then I thought to myself, let me look again at his career. I went to his Baseball Reference page.
I must say, it never ceases to amaze me exactly how GOOD Rivera has been during his career. Every single time I look over his career, I stop and just stare at the numbers and my mouth falls open a little bit. This guy is a man among boys, even at the age of 40. It just is unreal. He has logged over 1100 innings in his career with an ERA of 2.21! Think about that. That is like a starter going five good years of 220IP per year with that average ERA. For perspective, Pedro Martinez, during his stretch from 1997 through 2003 (cherry picking a bit, but that was really his peak) averaged a 2.20 ERA. That is often times considered about the best stretch for a starter of all time. Pedro's ERA+ is about a 220 or so, so about 120% better than league average (that is just a quick average in my head fyi from looking at the numbers). Rivera, has a career ERA+ of 205 (105% better than league average). So, I had Pedro's peak part of his career (1408 IP) and Rivera's FULL career (1100+ IP) and they are close, ridiculously close if you really stop and think about it. One guy, from the age of 25 through the age of 40, has had comparable ERA+ for possibly the greatest stretch of a pitcher OF ALL TIME! Stop and think about that for a second. Mo has been incredible. He still is incredible. There is absolutely no sign that he will STOP being incredible. Lot's of cherry picking and stuff here as I said, but really, all you need to do is just go to that link I furnished above and just look at his numbers. Just look. That is all. This guy is ridiculous.
I am suitably impressed. And I don't need to remind you all that I am a Red Sox fan. Eat your heart out Pap, you ain't EVER going to be Mo.