Some people have suggested that Mariano Rivera should be chosen to start the All-Star game for the American League as a way to honor the future Hall of Famer in his final season, but there’s one major problem: Rivera doesn’t want to do it.
“I’ve been told about it, but I don’t like it,” Rivera said, via Joey Nowak of MLB.com. “And the reason why I say that is it’s not what I do. What I do is close the games; I don’t start the games. It’s a privilege and honor, but I’m not contemplating it.”
Obviously starting would guarantee him an appearance, whereas there’s only a 50-50 chance of the AL holding a lead going into the ninth inning, but wouldn’t it be a whole lot more exciting if Rivera closed out the All-Star game?
Of course, we could also just agree not to let Rivera retire. I mean, the guy has a league-leading 26 saves and a 1.61 ERA. Strictly in the interest of figuring out exactly what humans are capable of I say he should be forced to keep pitching until his ERA rises above, say, 3.00 for a season.
With last Wednesday’s start against the Yankees, Mariners hurler Hisashi Iwakuma pushed his 2016 innings total up to 2016. That clears the 162-inning hurdle for his 2017 option to vest at $14 million. However, as Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors reports, the language in Iwakuma’s contract also stipulates that the right-hander finish the season without suffering a specific injury.
Iwakuma, 35, was in agreement with the Dodgers on a three-year contract back in December but failed the physical, which nullified the deal. He ended up signing with the Mariners on a one-year, $12 million deal with a full no-trade clause and club options for 2017 and ’18 that vest at specific inning thresholds (162 each or 324 for both seasons).
This season, Iwakuma has stayed healthy, making 26 starts to the tune of a 14-9 record, a 3.81 ERA and a 118/36 K/BB ratio in 163 innings.
Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki deposited a single to left-center field in the fourth inning of Monday night’s game against the Mets, then added a double to center field in the eighth. Those mark hits No. 3,010 and 3,011 for Suzuki in his major league career, tying and then moving past Wade Boggs for sole possession of 27th on baseball’s all-time hits list.
Suzuki would come around to score on a double by Xavier Scruggs to break a scoreless tie in the eighth.
Here’s the video of Ichiro’s first hit.
By the end of the season, Suzuki will have presumably moved ahead of Rafael Palmeiro (26th; 3,020) and Lou Brock (25th; 3,023).
Suzuki was 2-for-4 after the double. With baseball’s fifth month nearly complete, the 42-year-old is currently batting .298/.371/.373.