As a long-time manager of the New York Yankees, Joe Torre had a front-row seat to many of Mariano Rivera's finest moments. Now, with Rivera sidelined by a freak torn ACL suffered while shagging fly balls in the outfield, Torre took some time with ESPN radio in New York to reflect on Rivera's career.
Rivera, 42, vows to return after recovering from surgery. But even if he doesn't, Torre considers the closer the most important player to New York's several title runs, and one of the finest pitchers ever.
"During the course of the season your players that play every day are probably more valuable but when you get into the postseason, that last inning is so valuable, those last three outs. I laugh because I have been listening to the radio today -- and I've laughed at some people when it's suggested that he may be not only one of the best relievers but maybe one of the best pitchers, and they say ‘well you only pitch one inning so how can you be that?' Those last three outs unless you sit in the dugout or you've watched it for years, Michael, those last three outs are like gold. I don't think there's any question of how valuable he was and in the postseason I don't think there was anyone more important."