Sunday, Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera’s careers will both come full circle. Pettitte is scheduled to start on the day the New York Yankees will honor Rivera for his 19-year Hall-of-Fame career. Yesterday, Pettitte announced that he will retire at the end of the season as well. Combined, they have the most win and save combinations between starter and closer in Major League history — 72. Tomorrow can only end with that record being increased.
Not only are the Yankees in the heat of the playoff race, but Pettitte has been pitching as well as anyone in baseball recently. The emotion that the pregame ceremony brings should jumpstart not just the starting pitching, but the Yankees bats, which have been getting off to slow starts as of late. The San Francisco Giants haven’t exactly been mashing the Yankees pitching so far this series, only being able to scrounge together one run in the two games played. In Pettitte’s last five games started, he has a 2.53 ERA; that does not bode well for the light-hitting Giants.
What should be an outstanding ceremony to start off a 1:00 p.m. EST game, there are a lot of rumors going around about what will take place and who will attend. One of the theories is that Metallica will be on the field and play Mo’s theme music, “Enter Sandman,” because they have a gig in New York City tonight. Other rumored guests are Jorge Posada, the catcher who Mariano has the most saves with in his career, his longtime former manager, Joe Torre, his former center fielder, Bernie Williams, who also came up with the “Core Four,” and probably more former teammates.
All in all, it should be an outstanding day, and if there really are baseball gods, then Pettitte should get the W and Mo should get the save. If it’s a blowout, the Yanks would take it, but Rivera would still get the final three outs — losing is simply not an option, but there will be a sense of sadness as tomorrow will signify an end of a Yankee era that personified class, dignity and most of all, winning.