Athletics Give Yankees' Mariano Rivera Cruel Parting Gift in 18-Inning Affair
Mariano Rivera said goodbye to the city of Oakland on Thursday, continuing his retirement farewell tour.
It looked like it would be another successful stop on Mo's retirement tour before the game started, as he dressed as a pizza delivery man to entertain team employees.
Rivera had the pleasure of surprising Julie Vasconcellos, who has become something of a veteran for the Athletics, working 25 years in the team's mail room, according to The Wall Street Journal. Vasconcellos has become a staple for Oakland, working longer than any player on the team's current roster.
Vasconcellos was the latest employee that Mo has surprised, and he is still loving every minute of it, per the WSJ report:
Oh, I love it, yes. I'm enjoying every minute. They all have their own personality. I decided before spring training that I wanted to do something different and make sure I said thanks to the fans—not just the regular fans, but also those behind the scenes, like Julie, who has been here (more than) 20 years. That's wonderful.
While Mo has his fun, Vasconcellos couldn't even believe it was happening:
Oh, my heart's going to town, oh my God. I'm shaking...Oh, this is too funny, thank you.
Whew, this is really something. In grammar school, we could only get the Yankees on our PA system. I grew up here, but there was no Oakland team yet.
Rivera's delivery was smooth enough, but the rest of the day was downright unpleasant for the 43-year-old closer.
Robinson Cano started the game off right for the Yanks, belting this two-run homer in the top of the first inning to put the team ahead. Sadly, these would be the only two runs the Yankees would score.
Oakland would score two runs of its own in the third inning, but it could have been worse if catcher Chris Stewart hadn't made this spectacular throw.
Starting pitchers Hiroki Kuroda and Jarrod Parker would settle in, both pitching eight strong innings and allowing just two runs apiece.
The bullpens then did their jobs, matching each other for a full nine innings by shutting out both teams. However, the game would have ended a little sooner if the Yanks didn't get some defensive help from Vernon Wells and Chris Stewart in the 15th inning.
The innings would drag on, and eventually, the Athletics would come up to bat in the bottom of the 18th inning.
Catcher Derek Norris would ground out to start the inning, and it looked like any other inning. However, John Jaso's single would chase Preston Claiborne from the game in favor of Mo.
Rivera has been as close to perfect as humanly possible this season, posting a 1.48 ERA and recording 23 saves in 24 opportunities.
This wasn't his night.
In a matter of minutes, Seth Smith singled, Jed Lowrie was intentionally walked and Nate Freiman would hit a walk-off single before Mo could even retire a batter.
It wasn't the fairytale ending Rivera wanted in Oakland—surrendering the final run and essentially losing the game—although he won't be charged with a loss.
This wasn't the first time on his tour that his big night has been spoiled, however. He threw out the first pitch against the New York Mets before blowing his only save opportunity of the year before leaving Citi Field forever.
This is just another instance of Mo's retirement tour failing to go as planned, as the Athletics gave him a very bitter parting gift.
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