I'm sorry, what?
Again, but just the second part:
Mariano Rivera's "path" began in Puerto Caimito, Panama playing baseball with makeshift equipment in the streets. He signed with the Yankees for $3,000 and spent 5 years toiling in the minors. Now he's won 5 World Series, is the greatest closer ever and has accomplished it all with a freakish reliance on one pitch. Jonathan Papelbon was a starting pitcher in the minors, has one World Series ring and closes for a team in the AL East, but you lose me after that.
Now, aside from the fact that both guys have three vowels in their last name, what are these amazing off the field similarities?
When you compare the earnings curve of the Yankees' icon and the Red Sox All-Star, there are definite parallels, especially in the way both have worked on one-year deals in the early years of their careers.
Yes. Them and 75% of the other players to reach the Major Leagues. See, there is a process called arbitration, and most players aren't offered multi-year deals that buy out... Nevermind. Maybe I'm nitpicking here, but "off the field" usually refers to a player's life away from baseball, not his contract status with his team.
But continue, Gordon, with these uncanny parallels:
Rivera had two Series rings when he became eligible for arbitration for the first time in 1999 and signed a one-year deal for $4.25 million. He went to an arbitration hearing before the following season, 2000, and lost, receiving a contract for $7.25 million after asking for $9.25 million. His $3 million raise was just $100,000 short of what Papelbon received.
Yes, what a coincidence that Papelbon and Rivera both performed well, went through the same process and got similarly proportioned raises. It's almost as if Papelbon's agent used Rivera as a precedent!
And now for the part where Edes completely submarines his own analogy:
Papelbon has demonstrated that he will not settle for anything less than what he considers fair value for his talents, and the Red Sox may not be willing to pay eight figures for a closer. And unlike the Yankees, the Red Sox have a prospective closer-in-waiting in Daniel Bard.Got that folks? Jonathan Papelbon = Mariano Rivera. Until the last paragraph, wherein Jonathan Papelbon = John Wetteland and Daniel Bard becomes Rivera.
The last Yankees closer before Rivera was an All-Star named John Wetteland, who was named MVP of the 1996 World Series after saving all four games against the Atlanta Braves. But after the season, the Yankees allowed Wetteland to leave as a free agent because Rivera was in the wings. And we all know how that worked out.
Was Jonathan Papelbon raised in a fishing village in Panama? Did he once work upon a commercial shrimping boat? Is he devoutly religious? Is he fluent in Spanish? Does he own a steakhouse in New Rochelle?
No. Jonathan Papelbon is a blithering ignoramus who picks out names for his kids based on whether they are "badass" or not. He says stupid things without thinking. He's a demonstrative douchebag on the mound. He does not throw a cut fastball. He's part childish buffoon and part ungracious asshole. In short he's the anti-Mo.
Rivera is as distinguished of a player as there is active in baseball. He conducts himself with dignity and class in every facet in his life that is visible to the public. It's nothing short of insulting to Mo to equate him to Papelbon in an way. To do so is to stoop to lazy, hacky journalism. Eventually, someone may follow in Mariano Rivera's "path" to some extent. But that person will not be Jonathan Papelbon.