Regular readers know that I'm a lifelong Yankee fan. I shared a partial season ticket package (usually 40-45 weeknight games) with my friend Refet during the late 1990s and early 2000s, and got to see the championship squads in all their glory. One of our favorite rituals was to bet the over/under on number of Mariano Rivera pitches every time he came in - usually set at 10.5 - with bonus points to one side for a broken bat. In the 1999 World Series clincher against the Braves, Ryan Klesko's helplessness against Rivera was especially entertaining.
Sure, the closer's role is overstated, but Rivera's 0.70 ERA in 141 postseason innings is almost impossible to hyperbolize. He was a joy to watch, money in the bank, the exclamation point on the Yankees' dominance. I'll miss him terribly. Thanks for everything, Sandman.
P.S. Refet now has a three-year-old son whose middle name is Rivera.
First pitch: No day games today. Both leagues start up in the 7 p.m. ET hour.
Interleague DH issues: Victor Martinez will probably get some time off - and might play a little first base - in this weekend's series at Miami.
Streaming starters: Dillon Gee wasn't so great on Thursday, so we're down to 104-60. The weekend picks are Corey Kluber (owned in 18.9 percent of FOXSports.com leagues) at Minnesota tonight, Miami's Nate Eovaldi (1.1 percent owned) versus the Tigers on Saturday, and old reliable Jose Quintana (20.8 percent owned) against the Royals on Sunday.
On to the rest of the news:
- Braves C Brian McCann left Thursday's game with a groin strain. He's day-to-day, and might miss the weekend.
- Mets 3B David Wright left Thursday's game after getting hit in the head with a pitch. Wright passed concussion tests, but his status for the weekend is up in the air.
- Indians OF Michael Bourn (wrist) might play tonight ... or not.
- I'm not sure if Alex Rodriguez will play this weekend, but the Yankees shot down a report that he'll skip the series with the Astros. The circus continues ...
- The season's final edition of Free Agent Frenzy has plenty of pickup ideas for the weekend. Check it out.
- We noted this yesterday, but if you missed it, Dodgers OF Andre Ethier won't play this weekend.
- Erasmo Ramirez will pitch Sunday's season finale for the Mariners, replacing rookie James Paxton.
That's all for today - I'll be back here next week if there are tiebreaker games in the AL. Otherwise, thanks for reading the blog all season. During the offseason, you can always reach me on Facebook or Twitter. Enjoy the playoffs!