Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Secret To Mariano Rivera's Dominance

Are you ready for this, guys? Because it's pretty earth shattering. All these years, all those effortless strikeouts and escapes from impossibly high leverage situations... how did Mariano Rivera do it? Could he possibly have been that good? Then when the pressure rose, get even better? That tiny, tiny postseason ERA. The best playoff pitcher of all time. The best closer to ever live. The aura of impenetrability. The numbers to back it up. What was his secret?

Brace yourselves.

It took 15 seasons in the major leagues for someone to notice this, and when it happened, it wasn't a guy on third base, the opposing manager, an umpire, or one of the 20 million people that have seen him play live from stands. No, it was a vigilant Angels' blogger over at Halos Heaven in Game 3 of the 2009 ALCS. Mark this down, folks. Yesterday was the day that Mariano Rivera's legacy died.

Personally, the video you are about to watch is pretty amazing: I would say this is pretty conclusive evidence of why Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera is able to throw only one pitch that has unpredictable, yet precise movement.
You see, the reason that Rivera's cutter is so hard to hit is because it's the physical incarnation of an oxymoron.

Here's said video. Avert your eyes if you are easily upset.

And they've uncovered totally conclusive screen grabs that PROVE IT. FOX is on on the conspiracy too! That's why they cut away so fast when it happened!!! The show the spit literally hovering of the ball for several frames, surrounding it with some sort of force field! I knew there was something special about this gu...

/touches earpiece

What's that? Oh, I've just been informed that it's actually the Majestic logo on Mike Scioscia's jacket coming through as FOX faded to the next shot.

Do these hacks at Halos Heaven really think that's been the key to throwing the cutter all these years? Spit directly on the ball and hope no one notices? FOR FIFTEEN YEARS? If it was his super-secret method, don't you think he'd be a touch more discrete about it?

Go there. Defend our honor. Do not stand for such slander. Explain to them the concept of "camera angles". Ask why no one else has ever called him out on this. Do it for Mo.

[Note: Don't be surprised if it starts showing up in other places, sort of like the YouTube clip of Joe Mauer "stealing signs".]


  1. If you watched on MLB.tv you can see the spit go to the left of the ball. It never touches the ball. Spitball my ass, Boston bitches.

  2. Yankees=Cheaters10/20/09, 10:59 AM

    Hahaha now this is on Deadspin so the whole world will know the Yankees and their cheating ways! Down with the Cheaters! Up With the Halos!

  3. Oh wow, it's up on Deadspin. How shocking! It's not like I predicted it in the bottom of the post or anything.

  4. I just hope it works just as well next time.

  5. What a bunch of morons. The other day it was the Yankees and their umpires, now Mo is cheating and Fox is in on it. The jerkoffs are not only sore losers but bad winners. Unreal

  6. hey yankees=cheaters, if you bothered to read the post at Deadspin, you'd realize that it agrees with this one


  7. Yankees beating the Angels 2-1 but Fack Youk is beating Halos Heaven 2-0

  8. Eh. I'm not looking to start a blogowar.

    The comments over there on the Abreu thing had some decent points. Anecdotally he may have had some mental influence upon them, but I didn't see any statistical evidence of it outside of Figgins.

    This one though? Yeesh. To say it's grasping at straws would be giving it too much credit...


    Speaking of grasping at stuff why don't you acknowledge that homo pic of ARod grasping at Jeter's hot ass????

  10. Right after you acknowledge that you're actually 13 years old.

  11. Regardless of the other points that have been made, why is it heresy to believe that, since there is no evidence that Mariano was throwing spitballs in his early years, he is incapable of resorting to touching up the ball at nearly 40 years of age and in his 15th big league season?

    If the video had been of Bruce Sutter or Rollie Fingers in their later years, would you be 1/100th as incredulous as you are today?

  12. JE - I'm pretty sure one of the opposing players, managers, third base coaches or HD cameras would have seen him do it at some point before this.

    I don't think that Rivera would be brazen enough to just bust it out during a playoff game.

    And about Sutter and Fingers - given the same video, no I probably wouldn't have been compelled to write a post about it.

    But I don't think the person posting the video would have claimed that their successful careers were due to doctoring the ball, which is what most of my incredulity here is directed at.

    Is it possible? Sure, anything is possible. But even if he did, that was one pitch. Cameras are on him at all times during the middle of innings and no one has ever noticed something like that before.

  13. In no way do I exculpate Halos Heaven for hysterical reporting, Jay. That site is the weakest of weak links in the SB Nation chain.

    However, fifteen years of not getting caught is not exculpatory. And otherwise bright people do stupid things all the time. (Ask Eliot Sptizer.) I agree with Calcaterra: it would have been nice had FOX not cut to Scioscia's mug before the saliva made contact with the ground/sleeve.

  14. To suggest that he spat on the ball in that clip is one thing. While the video is inconclusive, it's also suggestive.

    But to imply, as they do, that Mariano's success over the course of his career is predicated on the spit ball, is asinine.

    Mariano's success is widely attributed to his cutter, which is an east-west pitch. To my knowledge, the spitter gives either unpredictable or downward movement - neither of which is characteristic of Rivera's repetoire.

    Mariano has a 14 season track record of unparalleled success. Halo's Heaven has a 14 second clip that may show him spitting on the ball, or may show absolutely nothing at all. But it's a mighty big leap to claim "Eureeka" just from seeing this.

  15. Halos Heaven: You have been owned.

    Nice work.

  16. My favorite part of the HH post is the guy keeps calling the Majestic logo a "spit halo" as if there were such a thing. This ;halo' thing has rotted the kid's mind.

  17. You can see the spit on the ball dumbass, so instead of criticizing them for finding this, discuss FACTS, not Riveras career.

    watch the video

    it's conclusive, but keep your head in the sand Ostrich

  18. Is that you Coach Calhoun? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xokthY5zuPU

    Here are some facts for you:

    The video is not conclusive
    This link has conclusive screen caps showing he did NOT spit on the ball http://deadspin.com/5385945/spit-takes-debunking-the-mariano-rivera-loogie-accusations/gallery/
    Spit balls move erratically, they do not consistently bear in on the hands of a left handed hitter
    MLB has already said there's nothing to this
    Mike Scioscia has said there's nothing to this

  19. Angel fans are retarded. Guess Boston really did rub something off on them during the ALDS. Saliva does not hold enough weight to change the style or speed of the pitch. ESPN, although very biased, correctly pointed out that vaseline is most effective when throwing a spitball pitch. I bet these are the same Angel fans that blamed the rain for the nasty pitches Rivera threw in Game 2.

  20. A lot of name calling in the posts on this site. I`ll probably read elsewhere from now on. This place seems to attract too many kids. Thanks for the video but MLB has reviewed it and found the claims to be bogus.

  21. Wow, last Anon. Who would have thought there could be anything offensive on a site called Fack Youk? If this is the post that pushes you over the edge, good riddance.

    And yeah, apparently you didn't even read the post because I was saying it was bogus all along and wrote a post acknowledging that the MLB reviewed it 11 hours before you made that comment.


    Seriously though, thanks for stopping by.