Over lunch today, I happened upon Buster's blog from yesterday, comparing another pitcher to Mo Rivera. What made me say "really?" was this (emphasis mine):
Rivera was a mediocre starting prospect in the mid-'90s for the Yankees, needed major arm surgery, and after he returned, the Yankees were thinking about trading him to the Detroit Tigers -- until, quite suddenly, Rivera's velocity jumped from the high 80s to the mid-90s, quite literally in the span of a couple of weeks, and little more than a year later, Rivera was serving as an imperturbable set-up man for John Wetteland.I can't remember the rumor mill from 15 or so years back and certainly that was mostly pre-Internet days (no MLBtraderumors.com yet), but I found that really wild. Imagine the Yanks without Mo. I can't. Talk about one of the best trades never made, eh?
Also interesting in that one little paragraph is how Rivera's velocity jumped "from the high 80s to the mid-90s" in a few weeks. Just sayin'...how cynical have I become that my first thought was to wonder if anything was taken/given to Mo to give him that boost.
Suffice it to say that Mo is probably the main reason why the Yanks had that incredible mid-/late-90's run (along with Jeter; don't get upset Jeter-philes). Imagine if he wasn't human and hadn't blown the save in '97 to get them to the W.S. and the Game 7 save in 2001....coulda been six straight. Oh well, four in five years was still transcendent!