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July 16, 2006

Gotta Go to Mo
by SG

The Yankees got the second half of the season off to a rousing start by sweeping the World Series champion White Sox over the weekend, taking the finale 6-4. The Yankees had not swept a series since beating Texas May 5-7.

Derek Jeter homered for the first time in months, and Alex Rodriguez also chipped in with a two run homer and some sparkling first inning defense that saved Jaret Wright's start from becoming ugly in a hurry.

The story of this game though, and really the story of the Yankees for the last ten years, was the continued excellence of Mariano Rivera. To his credit, Joe Torre threw caution to the wind and went to his best for six outs when the game became too close to risk any other option. When you have a two run lead and the tying run is on base with six outs to go, that is when you should use your best reliever. Rivera made it a little exciting in the ninth, but nailed down the save, his 21st of the season and 400th of his career.

There's no need to talk about stats when it comes to Mo. We all know them, and they're all eye-popping. When I watch the other team's broadcasts, the reverance and the respect every single opposing team's announcers have for the man says it all. So does the respect Ozzie Guillen paid him in the All Star Game, and so did the respect Joe Mauer showed when he told him it was an honor to catch him.

All I know is it's been a pleasure to watch his career from the start. Thanks for everything Sandman.