Mariano Rivera is the greatest closer in baseball history and has shown no signs of slowing down at age 42. While that says enough in itself, perhaps the most impressive aspect of Rivera’s career is the way he has dominated opponents for years with a single pitch. Rivera’s cut fastball could be the best pitch in baseball. Hitters know the exact pitch that Mariano is going to throw every time they stare toward the mound, and they still can’t hit it. So what is the secret to executing the best pitch in baseball? Rivera has no idea.
“Anyone who’s ever asked, I show them the grip, the release, how I control it, anything they want,” Rivera said according to The Record. “But so far, no one’s got it.
Rivera said the pitch came to him out of nowhere 15 years ago during a game of catch with Ramiro Mendoza. No concentrating, no practicing — it just happened.
“All of a sudden the ball started moving, cutting, in a way I’d never seen before,” he explained. “I wasn’t doing anything different, yet it had a life of its own. So, tell me, how do you explain that? (Mendoza) kept asking me what I was doing to make the ball move like that, and I had no answer. To me, the pitch was a gift from God. How can I really teach this pitch if I can’t explain how it came to me in the first place?”
If you’re incapable of explaining the secret, the secret is as safe as possible. For those of you who believe in the powers above, Rivera’s explanation makes perfect sense. Those of you who lean toward science must believe there’s something about the way Rivera holds the ball or his unique arm and wrist action. As far as the Yankees are concerned, it doesn’t really matter.
H/T Hardball TalkGoogle+