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There’s a “Start Mariano Rivera in the All-Star Game” movement afoot

May 15, 2013, 2:30 PM EDT

mariano rivera getty Getty Images

It only takes one person to make a movement these days, so sure, let’s call it a movement. It’s from Bill Chuck at Billy-Ball:

I urge Jim Leyland and the powers that be in Major League Baseball that the starting pitcher in the All-Star Game on July 16 at Citi Field in New York City for the American League should be none other than the greatest closer of all-time, Mariano Rivera.

Why you ask?

Why not, I reply.

And he explains his reasoning. The one argument of nine he makes that I actually kinda like is that it would pit Mariano against the NL’s best as opposed to the 30-35th guys on the roster in a late-inning, possibly non-save situation.

But overall? Blah. Mariano Rivera is a closer. He pitches the ninth inning. Though we may not like modern pitcher usage models, that’s his job. And that’s before acknowledging that giving him the start deprives a worthy starting pitcher of the job. For what? Some spotlight and attention for Rivera? As if he hasn’t received enough accolades already? For cryin’ out loud, people treat him like a near-Jesus figure as it is.

I love Rivera. I agree that the All-Star Game has devolved into a spectacle as it is. But this seems silly and unnecessary to me. Wanna get behind a good cause? Let’s get Vin Scully to broadcast the World Series first.

  1. chill1184 - May 15, 2013 at 2:35 PM

    I would love to hear Scully broadcast the World Series

    • djpostl - May 15, 2013 at 4:52 PM

      I’d listen to Scully describing paint as it drys.

    • scatterbrian - May 15, 2013 at 5:35 PM

      Only if the Dodgers make the World Series…

      • bigdicktater - May 15, 2013 at 6:43 PM

        He’ll never get to do it that way. I’m pretty sure the Giants broadcasters would welcome him into their booth. Wouldn’t that be delicious?

  2. rickdobrydney - May 15, 2013 at 2:43 PM

    All due respect to Mr.Scully, but his delivery has slowed down quite a bit in recent years, and I frankly don’t think he would be up to the task of calling the World Series.

    • cackalackyank - May 15, 2013 at 3:39 PM

      I’m sure he could do an inning or two, but yeah not a whole game most likely.

    • tuberippin - May 16, 2013 at 4:01 AM

      Because the guys on FOX are better? Please.

  3. mybrunoblog - May 15, 2013 at 2:46 PM

    Utterly ridiculous. Mo is a closer. Best one of all time. I don’t care if the AL is down by 10 runs, he pitches the final inning of the game. End of story.

  4. scatterbrian - May 15, 2013 at 2:47 PM

    Well that one argument of nine assumes that the fans vote in the best 8 players to start the game.

  5. basedrum777 - May 15, 2013 at 2:49 PM

    Why not let Scully broadcast the WS AND let Mo start the ASG? No harm in either to be honest. Or conversely Bud can guarantee the AL wins the ASG so Mo can get the save.

    • sabatimus - May 15, 2013 at 3:00 PM

      No way. That’s something only Brendan Shanahan or David Stern would be capable of.

      • badintent - May 16, 2013 at 3:24 AM

        You’re right about Herr Stern =Dictator.
        don’t take my word, ask the Hoop fans in Seattle, Vancouver, etc

  6. cackalackyank - May 15, 2013 at 3:03 PM

    I think this idea is a non starter. HAH you see what I did there? But seriously, Mo was a starter once upon a time…not a particularly good one. Why have him leave his last ASG impression in a role he did nothing of note in?

  7. schuch10 - May 15, 2013 at 3:03 PM

    Of course! MO is a closer and should only pitch the 9th in the All-Star game! I mean starters don’t come in as relief and closers only pitch in save situations, usually always the 9th! And the All-Star game is a normal baseball game, a kick-off to the playoffs! I am sure that is how it worked last year and the years before.

    Let’s start with the NL. Gio, Stras, Dickey, Kershaw, Hamels and Miley all came in for relief?! What?! They are starters, not relievers. But no closers were pitching before the 9th, correct? Well… Kimbrel and Chapman closed the 8th, the two NL closers who were in Cy Young consideration. But at least Hanrahan and Papelbon closed the 9th. Wait, that was with the help of a starter, Wade Miley.

    I am sure the AL did it the right way though. Starters start and closers pitch the 9th. But, Joe Nathan pitched the second and Jim Johnson pitched the eighth. At least Rodney pitched the entire ninth, like a true closer should.

    Yeah, of course starting MO would be ridiculous, but Joe Nathan pitching the second is reasonable.

  8. gnyj85 - May 15, 2013 at 3:08 PM

    Rivera vs. Harvey

    • thebadguyswon - May 15, 2013 at 4:25 PM

      Harvey vs Darvish

  9. beefytrout - May 15, 2013 at 3:10 PM

    I’d prefer Vin Scully start the ASG and Rivera broadcast it.

    • stlouis1baseball - May 15, 2013 at 3:23 PM

      What Trout said. Plus…I never trust people with two 1st names.

  10. hisgirlgotburrelled - May 15, 2013 at 3:25 PM

    Why not? Because Rivera pitching in a save oppurtunity in the last inning by far tops your first inning shenanigans. Don’t destroy that possibility. That’s just one reason “why not.” I don’t want to list 8 more reasons. I think that’s good enough.

  11. billybawl - May 15, 2013 at 3:36 PM

    If they want to honor him, they should let Rivera play outfield and catch a few fly ba– oh, never mind.

  12. dowhatifeellike - May 15, 2013 at 3:45 PM

    Honor him? Playing in the ASG is an honor. Take that hero-worship somewhere else. Baseball does not owe him anything.

  13. lazlosother - May 15, 2013 at 3:48 PM

    While I don’t read ESPN Insider, Buster Olney seems to have an article there about how Rivera could win the Cy in his final year (you know, over people that will pitch 2-3 times as many innings).

    Here is an opportunity Craig. Point out an obvious absurdity that is motivated by brainless “core four” worship. Bust on the drivel ESPN has become, and troll Yankee fans. You would also be trolling the people who are tired of hearing about NY. I don’t see how you can let this pass.

    • thebadguyswon - May 15, 2013 at 4:27 PM

      Rivera has been a fantastic player and surefire HOFer, but the hero worship is a bit much.

    • djpostl - May 15, 2013 at 5:02 PM

      I don’t see him starting the game as making any sense but in response to the “innings pitched” issue the flipside is Rivera will have a direct hand in twice as many games as any starter around. Cuts both ways.

      • lazlosother - May 15, 2013 at 9:03 PM

        I’m as big a Mariano fan as anyone, but compare the value of a closer to that of a starter. There is no comparison. A starter like Hernandez, CC, Verlander, etc is worth much more than a reliever. Also check the stats for teams who enter the 9th with the lead. Even with a much lesser closer than Rivera the difference is minescule.

        It cuts both ways, but it cuts much deeper the one way.

    • zzalapski - May 16, 2013 at 12:11 AM

      Rivera probably deserved the 2005 AL Cy Young Award over the actual winner (Bartolo Colon)…though not as much as the guy who finished *third* (Johan Santana).

  14. caeser12 - May 15, 2013 at 4:22 PM

    Let’s get Vin Scully to broadcast the World Series first.


    And lets get him on MLB 14 The Show also.

  15. Old Gator - May 15, 2013 at 4:52 PM

    It would be a wonderful gesture. I can’t think of any honor within reason which might be bestowed upon an athlete for his performance on the field of which Mariano Rivera would be underserving. I as feel privileged to have seen him play as my parents and grandparents felt about having seen the likes of Gehrig and DiMaggio and Ted Williams and Stan Musial play. The last day of his career will be a bittersweet day indeed for our national game.

  16. ndnut - May 15, 2013 at 4:55 PM

    ASG starters only pitch 1 or 2 innings, so starting a closer is not that absurd. I wouldn’t mind it, but I don’t completely support it either. I’m indifferent.

  17. moogro - May 15, 2013 at 5:54 PM

    Vin Scully. I want to enjoy watching the World Series this year.

  18. insidefastball - May 15, 2013 at 8:00 PM

    If any reliever deserves this honor it is Mo.

  19. largebill - May 16, 2013 at 12:52 AM

    I’m reading these comments, some rooting of Scully to call this years WS, when all of a sudden I hear Scully’s voice calling a fly ball by LaRoche. MLBNetwork is switching back and forth between games. Pretty cool.

  20. thebuzzonny - May 16, 2013 at 9:15 AM

    I think it would be more fitting to have Mariano Rivera close out a AL win at Citi Field

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