ESPN- When you’re a 43-year-old baseball player, you’re supposed to be raking your kids’ Little League field. Or working tirelessly to drive those par-5’s in two. Or keeping Curt Schilling and Mark Mulder company on the Baseball Tonight set. Or … you could be Mariano Rivera. And be well on your way to going down in history as the greatest 43-year-old athlete in pretty much any sport. Think about this, ladies and gentlemen. Mariano Rivera is older than Benny Agbayani — and he’s leading the American League in saves. He’s older than Darren Dreifort — and he has a sub-1.00 WHIP (0.92). He’s older than Rich Garces — and he’s ripped off 16 saves in 16 opportunities. He’s older than Carlos Perez — and those poor hitters who face him are batting .118 (2-for-17, with seven strikeouts) when, by some miracle, there’s a runner in scoring position. We could go on. But you get the JPEG. This man is greatness personified. Still. So it’s time to appreciate what we’re watching here, because this isn’t supposed to happen. Not to men who are 43 years old. And especially not to 43-year-olds who are pitching on a reconstructed knee, after missing nearly an entire season. We’ve been through the annals of the four major professional sports. We’ve looked at everyone in modern times who played those sports at this age or older. What we’ve concluded is: This is pretty much impossible. And pretty much unprecedented.
KFC Editor’s note: New Yankees writer. Goes by the name of JJ. I’ve tried every single year to land a new Yankees blogger. Main problem, I think, is that I always picked someone who was a blogger first, Yankees fan second. Guys who wanted to blog comedy stories and viral shit so they wanted to get their foot in the door first and said they’d be the Yankees blogger, but never really cared to just blog about Pinstripes. Not the case with this guy. Dude is here to rep the Yankees in the middle of me babbling on about all my losing teams. Just gonna shoot the shit about the Bombers a few times a week while the Yankees continue to prove everyone wrong. He’ll fit right in.
We’re not talking about the best 43 year old reliever of all time. We’re not talking about the best 43 year old baseball player of all time. We’re talking about the best 43 year old athlete in the history of the four major sports. Nobody in any league has had success on the same level as Mo at this age. What’s even scarier is he isn’t slowing down. At all. Has this guy even thought about aging a fucking day? His stuff looks exactly the same when the Yankees signed him at 23 years ago and stays nasty every fucking year. It has to be a Panamanian thing like how all Asians look 15 until one day they look 70 – his cutter stays amazing until one day he can’t throw at all.
Its not just Mo either. This entire Yankees team is running on Old Man Strength. Everyone counted them out for the 10th year in a row. Beat writers picking last place finishes. Yet here we are – sitting atop the AL East – the old men dishing out pain to the younger, more athletic team. Its just something about putting on a Yankee jersey. Its keeps a 43 year old Mo looking like he’s still 20. It takes broken down old men like Wells and Hafner and turns them into the wily old veteran that can’t miss a bank shot at the school yard. Its that Old Man Dad Strength plus some Yankee Mystique thats gonna carry this team to another AL East crown. At this rate someone should give Wells another $100mil contract.
Just kidding, no one should give Wells anymore money.