Red Sox side with a Yankee, what the heck

Since the announcement that New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera will be walking away from baseball at the end of the 2013 season many (analyst, writers, etc) have been speculating where the long-time closer fits within the greatest players of all-time list. I could debate you all day regarding my opinion on where Rivera fits on that list, but it's evident that some Red Sox players think he's at least the best closer, ever.

Here are some thoughts from Andrew Bailey, Joel Hanrahan and John Farrell regarding Mariano Rivera's place as the all-time greatest closer in MLB history.
“He’s the greatest reliever, if not arguably the best pitcher, ever,” said Andrew Bailey, “Trevor Hoffman or (Dennis) Eckersley were kind of the pioneers for closers, but I think what Mariano did in the postseason is incredible. It would be really hard for anyone to ever match that. I just think with the consistency of appearances for your team, nowadays with contracts and guys jumping all over the place, he’s a legend.”

“I mean Trevor Hoffman is pretty (expletive) good, but in my eyes, Rivera’s the best,” Red Sox closer Joel Hanrahan said. “Like everyone says, he’s got one pitch and he’s nasty with it. People know it’s coming, but you still can’t hit it. That’s impressive.”

“He doesn’t do a whole lot of celebrating. He acts like he’s done it before,” Hanrahan said. “That’s something you respect from the other side.”

“We’re two totally different pitchers. You try and emulate his tempo and his calmness and delivery. Nothing seems to faze him,’’ Bailey said. “Me, personally, I’m an adrenaline guy and love to go 100 miles an hour, but to do what he does day in and day out is pretty amazing."

“He’s probably set the bar in terms of consistency, regardless of what position anyone plays,” Farrell said. “When you consider the performance numbers, the number of years he’s maintained an elite career, it’s been phenomenal. I think more importantly has been the way he represents himself on and off the field. Very respectful guy, very professional in every sense of the word, and he’s a guy that many, many should look up to in this game.”

Again, my opinions are not expressed here but they will be in a later article. At this point let's at least give him some time to enjoy all the accolades he's been receiving since the announcement. As for me, I'll remember Rivera like this from the 2004 ALCS.

Follow Scott Levesque on Twitter at @scottlevesque.