NOTE: My vacation journal is taking longer to complete than I expected so I'll have that out early next week for those of you who care.
It is truly against my nature to heap praise on the New York Yankees. While I love the history of the game's greatest franchise, George Steinbrenner turned them into a monstrosity and it will be many years before they are able to recover from that in my eyes. But if there's one good thing about the Yankees, it's Mariano Rivera. The greatest closer in the history of the game, Rivera is also one of the classiest guys around and a man who has done great things with his celebrity. He's a dominating force on the mound the likes of which has been unparalleled in my lifetime (and he'll also be the last player to ever wear number 42, Jackie Robinson's number, which was retired in 1997). After 19 seasons in the Big Leagues, this is Rivera's final season and with the Yankees stinking it up this year, there will be no playoffs in New York.
As such, last night was his final appearance in Yankee stadium. Down 4-0, manager Joe Girardi brought Rivera into the game in the top of the 9th (for the uninitiated, Rivera would normally only pitch in a win-able game) and after he recorded the first two outs, Girardi took him out in order to give the Yankee fans an opportunity to cheer Rivera one last time. But instead of going to get him himself (as is customary), Girardi sent Andy Pettitte and Derek Jeter (two long-time Yankee teammates who came up with Rivera and have been alongside him for much of his career) to take him off the field for the last time in Yankee Stadium. If you can sit through this without choking up, you may need therapy.