722_Mariano_retirement

It was perhaps the best “mid-game entrance” routine in the history of sports. I certainly can’t think of anything that comes close. When Mariano Rivera strolled out of the bullpen in Yankee Stadium to Metallica’s “Enter Sandman”, it was game over. The ominous, yet melodic heavy metal tune certainly added to the mystique. It truly stunk to be on the opposing team.

Exit light
Enter night
Take my hand
Off to never never land

Rivera not only has the most saves in baseball history, he also has the highest save percentage (89%) among the all-time greats.  (The save statistic is defined for closers as either recording the final out in a game in which the run margin is three runs or less, or recording the final out with the potential tying run on deck).

Rivera retired after the 2013 season from a career that some feel could warrant the first unanimous Hall of Fame selection in MLB history. He was (indirectly) back in the news this past week when the newest ESPN SportsCenter commercial debuted. Apparently, with Rivera now retired, Metallica is looking for a new gig – any gig, literally:

The top closers all have theme music that booms behind them when they enter a home game.  The best closer in the game currently, Craig Kimbrel, jogs in from the bullpen in the 9th inning to Guns ‘n Roses’ “Welcome to the Jungle”. Prior to Mariano Rivera, the top closer all-time in MLB history was Trevor Hoffman–AC/DC’s “Hells Bells”.  In all cases against the elite closes, the entrance music spells doom: the long arm of the law has arrived. You may think you have a shot at overcoming this, but resistance is futile. You might even get a “rally” going – maybe a few runners on, but your chances don’t increase against the top closers, it just makes them bare down more, they know they have you right where they want you.

As we stand clean and justified in Christ before God, there’s still an “old Adam” within us that believes it can rally. It has a difficult time accepting that we win by losing, that the way up is down, that foolish things confound wise things. The old Adam believes that though it may not be possible to obey the teachings in the Sermon on the Mount perfectly, it can at least get a few runners on base.

Thankfully, in our sanctification, the long arm of the law welcomes us into it’s jungle and closes down any rally attempt from our crucified selves. The Sandman enters to remind us that the lights are out on the old Adam. Oh, and as an aside, the lead guitarist’s first lesson is free.

Rivera and Metallica doing their thing together (sort of):