Alex Rodriguez capped off a season that began with his marriage in shambles, a tell all book on the shelves, being caught lying to Katie Couric about his steroid use and becoming the new face of steroid users and denial.
He finished it a post season hero, beloved in New York getting his first ring.
(Take note Tiger Woods... the best way out of trouble is to win, win win!)
He was awarded The Babe Ruth Award as the MVP of the post season. And hey, he had a terrific post season... he hit a game tying homer in the Division Series and the LCS when the Yankees were 3 outs away from a huge home loss. And while his numbers weren't as eye popping in the World Series, he hit a game turning homer in the 3rd game and the 2 out game winning RBI double in Game 4.
He was terrific.
He wasn't the MVP of the post season.
Just as I felt that Hideki Matsui was not the MVP of the World Series, I feel the same person was cheated out of the Babe Ruth Award.
If any post season illustrated the importance of a reliable closer, it was the 2009 post season.
Had Joe Nathan not blown a save, the Twins would have gone back to the Metrodome tied 1-1 and with momentum.
Had Jonathan Papelbon not blown a save, the Red Sox would have stayed alive and maybe pull off yet another post season comeback.
Had Ryan Franklin not blown a save, the Cardinals would have come back to St. Louis with the series tied. (Yes I know Matt Holliday dropped the ball, but Matt Holliday didn't let the next 4 batters to reach!)
Had Huston Street not blown a save, the Rockies would have forced a game 5 against the Phillies with a shaky Cole Hamels taking the mound for the eventual NL Champs.
Had Brian Fuentes not blown a save, the Angels would have gone back to Anaheim with the series tied 1-1 and the whole complexion of the ALCS would have been different.
Had Brad Lidge held the Yankees scoreless in Game 4, the Phillies would have had a chance to tie the series at 2-2 with Cliff Lee pitching Game 5.
But they all did and all of their teams lost their series...
Only one closer escaped unblemished.
Maybe everyone takes him for granted... but no player in the post season was more valuable than Mariano Rivera.
I have a feeling even A-Rod believes that.
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