Mariano Rivera, the second pitcher to record 600 saves, is taking his retirement roadshow to Petco Park tonight. Presumably on Sunday, the Padres will give him a gift to commemorate his career, as is the custom.
Last year the Padres gave Chipper Jones a surfboard, which Big League Stew ranked the best of his gifts. This year the stupid Oakland Athletics stole the idea and gave him a surfboard, which makes no sense at all because they're Oakland. You're supposed to give him a gift that represents your city or a common interest. They're the worst.
Earlier this year the Mariners gave Mo a $5,000 check to benefit his foundation. Useful, but cash is tacky. The Cleveland Indians gave him a gold record of Metallica's Enter Sandman, his entrance music. Cleveland is home to the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame, it makes sense. The Tigers gave framed pictures with embedded bottles of dirt from their mound. The city is bankrupt, it was fiscally responsible. The Rangers gave him cowboy boots and a hat.
The Twins are probably in the lead right now for best gift with their much publicized "Chair of Broken Dreams", made of broken bats. It's certainly the most creative yet.
The Dodgers just stole another possible Padres gift, a deep sea fishing rod. Mo comes from a long line of fisherman and both San Diego and Los Angeles have connections to the sea. I just hope the Padres kept the receipt.
The Padres are screwed. What do you get for a man, without any hobbies?
When I asked if he had any hobbies, Rivera said no — being with Clara and the boys was his hobby. Rivera seems almost not to have any personal attributes at all; virtue and duty and dignity take up the space that in others is occupied by appetite or vanity or cleverness or even ulterior motive.
They have two days to come up with a gift. Maybe they can give him some VIP tickets to Sea World for him and his family, or let him visit his spirit animal, the capybara, at the San Diego Zoo.
Then again, maybe we're thinking too hard about this. Rivera may be content just to meet his idol Trevor Hoffman and get a signed Padres jersey. Or to exchange stories with the last great Yankee to wear number 42, Padres Hall of Fame broadcaster Jerry Coleman. Or to sign Yankees memorabilia for Dave Winfield, the biggest Yankees fan.
Really when you think about it, the privilege of being in San Diego at a Padres game may be the greatest gift of all and it won't cost the Padres anything, which is right up their alley.
@gaslampball So did I but apparently it will be tonight. And of course, Trevor Hoffman will be in attendance— Marty Caswell (@MartyCaswell) August 2, 2013