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Mariano Rivera: center fielder

Sep 15, 2011, 9:40 AM EDT

Mariano Rivera

I want to say I heard someone talking about this once before, but in the New York Times today there’s a story about how Mariano Rivera thinks he’d be a pretty nifty center fielder.  And about how he’d love a chance to get in at least one game in center before he’s done.

Joe Girardi actually entertains the idea from time to time, but the reality is that there is unlikely to be any truly meaningless game for the Yankees before Rivera retitres. Indeed, it’s exceedingly likely that Rivera’s last career game will be a playoff game of some type.

Personally, I’m trying to remember ever seeing Rivera run.  I guess he covers first base on a grounder to the right side once in a while.  But I bet Peter Bourjos runs more in one game than Rivera has in his whole career.  Not that I think it wouldn’t be fun to see him try.

  1. cur68 - Sep 15, 2011 at 9:47 AM

    And what’s his walk out song when he comes to bat? More Metallica? “One” perhaps?

    • Bryz - Sep 15, 2011 at 12:10 PM

      Considering the last line of “One” is “Left me with life in hell,” I think that’s a bad choice of a song for his final game.

      • cur68 - Sep 15, 2011 at 2:47 PM

        Ok. Noted. And your suggestion is????

      • Bryz - Sep 15, 2011 at 5:18 PM

        Something that Mo chooses on his own.

  2. trotnixonisbestnixon - Sep 15, 2011 at 9:52 AM

    Heck, why not? We’ve already had Roy Oswalt and Joe Mauer in the outfield, throw Mo out there and you’ve got yourself the most battery powered outfield in the league.

    • thefalcon123 - Sep 15, 2011 at 3:10 PM

      Hell, Adam Dunn did it for years. He can’t possibly be any worse out there than he was.

  3. phillydano - Sep 15, 2011 at 9:55 AM

    do you think he would throw a cutter to gun a runner out at the plate?

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Sep 15, 2011 at 11:40 AM

      He’s have to throw it at 3B and let it bore in on the plate!

  4. Jonny 5 - Sep 15, 2011 at 10:02 AM

    “Mo knows” ?????

  5. presidentmiraflores - Sep 15, 2011 at 10:02 AM

    They say he does a great job fielding in center during practice. Let ‘im play, Joe!

    • presidentmiraflores - Sep 15, 2011 at 10:03 AM

      Also, what a relief to the opposing team if Mo came jogging out in the 9th…as a defensive replacement.

  6. ThisIsBaseball - Sep 15, 2011 at 10:17 AM

    I’ve seen him catch fly balls during BP and he’s actually pretty good out there. I have to be honest though, even though it’s BP I cringe watching him shag fly balls. If anything happened to him…

    But hell. Let him do it at least once before he retires. He’s earned it.

    • trevorb06 - Sep 15, 2011 at 10:26 AM

      I think he’s even earned the right to potentially take an in game nap in the clubhouse and not be called out for it by teamates. :-)

  7. ptho16 - Sep 15, 2011 at 10:17 AM

    This reminds me of high school on senior day when our coach finally let our left handed center fielder play 2nd base.

  8. iranuke - Sep 15, 2011 at 10:41 AM

    Isn’t this soort of thing what spring training is for?

    • sneschalmers - Sep 15, 2011 at 10:56 AM

      Not worth the risk of injuring your future HOF closer. Maybe when Rivera is in the twilight of his career and the Yankees have another closer groomed to take over.

      • purnellmeagrejr - Sep 16, 2011 at 7:46 AM

        sneschalmers – I hate to break this to you but Mariano – though still one of the top closers in the game – IS in the “twilight of his career.”

  9. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Sep 15, 2011 at 11:41 AM

    Maybe if the Yankees are up by 11 runs with a 3-0 lead in the WS you can throw him out there (but I still don’t see it happening).

  10. Bryz - Sep 15, 2011 at 12:11 PM

    If this was ever to happen, I’d think it would make more sense to do it in spring training or early in the season. At least if he does get hurt and it’s just a minor injury, it doesn’t hurt the Yankees for the playoffs.

  11. purnellmeagrejr - Sep 15, 2011 at 1:22 PM

    Good article – reminded me of how much fun it is to catch fly balls – back to the plate – at top speed. Who wouldn’t want to play Center Field?

  12. gammagammahey - Sep 15, 2011 at 2:59 PM

    He only has a .250 career OPS. That doesn’t play well in CF. His 1 RBI in 4 PAs projects well over a full season though.

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