New York Yankees legend Mariano Rivera watched as the Boston Red Sox dropped his former team in the ALDS, and he has some thoughts on how the "Baby Bombers" should move forward.
After watching his former team fall to long-time rival Boston Red Sox in the ALDS in fairly unimpressive fashion this week, New York Yankees legend Mariano Rivera dispensed some advice to those currently donning pinstripes about how to achieve postseason success.
"You have to shake it off," Rivera said. "Shake it off and get ready for next year. I hope you have the bitter taste that you have now for the next few weeks, and then get ready because spring training is right around the corner and that's when the season begins. When you get there be prepared so that when this time comes next year, you're ready for it."
"Sandman" made a career out of throwing flames, but he's spending his retirement stomping them out. Rivera recently spoke with Business Insider about the current state of the Yankees franchise and his postseason success while teaching young fans about the essentials of fire safety at FDNY Engine 59/Ladder 30 in Harlem.
For Rivera, becoming a partner and ambassador for The Hartford Junior Fire Marshal program was a natural extension of his previous work.
"This is where I used to work a lot," Rivera said. "I did a similar thing to what [firefighters] do. They save lives, and I used to save games."
Rivera is almost universally considered the greatest closer in the history of the sport. While he was dominant during the regular season, he became virtually impossible to stop in postseason play. "Sandman" boasted an unfathomable 0.70 ERA through the entirety of his playoff career, allowing just 11 earned runs through 96 postseason appearances to win five World Series championships and the 1999 World Series MVP honors.
Rivera attributed that success to his competitiveness and selflessness up and down the roster.
"You do whatever it takes to win," Rivera said. "Those [current pitchers] are way better than me. Those guys are different. The only thing that I have that I don't know whether they have or not is the determination to win... It wasn't about myself or any individual — it was about 25 players who wanted to pull for one goal. We would do whatever it took to get that done."
The 2019 Hall of Fame ballot newcomer told Business Insider that he had high hopes for the 100-win Yankees entering the postseason, and like other New York fans, he was disappointed with their early exit.
"As a player and as a Yankees family member, it's hard," Rivera said. "I believe that we have the team to go all the way and to win it, but you're always disappointed when you don't win. There's no one to point fingers at; it's just the game."
Mo and the other members of the "Core Four" — Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, and Andy Pettite — won four World Series championships in a five-year span during the late 1990s, and Rivera thinks Aaron Judge and the rest of the "Baby Bombers" have the talent to go on a similarly spectacular run.
"There's no doubt about it," Rivera said. "These players are such high-level players. They have all the quality, all the abilities, everything they need to win. They just have to execute."
In terms of improvements for next season, Mo was quick to highlight issues with the Yankees' starting pitchers.
"We need a little help on the pitching staff in the starting rotation," Rivera said. "We need guys that can go out there and just shut down teams. You can never go wrong with pitching, but that's something that I'm sure the Yankees office will try to work with. The name of the game is pitching."