A few weeks ago, while we were saying nice things about Mariano Rivera to justify calling him the most important member of the Yankees, we wrote that “he has no peer.” Apparently, though, that’s not the case. Based on some things we’ve read over the past couple of weeks, he’s got plenty of peers. They just play different sports.
When James came off the bench in the fourth, teammate J.J. Hickson touched his fingers to his forearm the same way a baseball manager would to summon a closer from the bullpen.
In came basketball’s version of Mariano Rivera.
Not to be outdone, hockey has a Mariano Rivera, too. We know this because ESPN New York recently broke down all the similarities between Rivera and Martin Brodeur, from the fact that they both rebounded from a potentially crushing defeat early in their careers to the fact that they both succeeded in playing their sport’s “ultimate pressure position.”
And that piece, published last Tuesday, wasn’t even the first comparison of Rivera and Brodeur that we’d read that day. In the Yankees’ opening-day program — it’s not online, so you’ll have to take our word for it — there’s a feature on Rivera and Brodeur entitled “Save Masters,” about how they both might be the best ever at their respective positions. And also on how they, you know, save things.