New York Mets closer Edwin Diaz slowly steps out of the bullpen as manager Buck Showalter calls him out to close out a win, and fans rise from their seats as his theme song begins to play.
«Narco,» a song by Timmy Trumpet and Blasterjaxx, has become a fan favorite in Queens, and the Mets’ opponents know it as a very tough at-bat that’s about to happen. Diaz has become one of the best closers in the MLB, racking up 32 total in each of the past two seasons.
Many believe Diaz’s elimination material and signature song make him as a closer on his rival from across town: New York Yankees Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera.
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Rivera, of course, used Metallica’s «Enter Sandman» as his farewell music during his illustrious career. When asked about the comparison between the songs that have become synonymous with the departing pitcher, Rivera doesn’t really see one.
«There’s no comparison. There’s no comparison in that,» he told FOX 5 New York’s Jennifer X. Williams. “That song was there for 17 years and many championships. So there is no comparison.»
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While Diaz is one of the best in the game right now, the only unanimous Hall of Famer in Rivera tells the truth: He doesn’t have the hardware to compete with Rivera.
Rivera was a five-time World Series champion with the Yankees, appeared in 13 All-Star games, and won World Series MVP and ALCS MVP. And in 141 innings of postseason work, Rivera owns a staggering 0.70 ERA thanks to the wicked cutting of him that hitters knew he was coming but couldn’t hit anyway.
Diaz certainly has a ways to go before matching Rivera’s accomplishments in the Big Apple.
However, he won the Mariano Rivera Award for being the best reliever in the American League when he was with the Seattle Mariners, as well as the Trevor Hoffman Award in the National League.
Diaz is set to enter Year 5 with the Mets following his trade that also involved Robinson Cano, and at 28, he probably won’t reach 17 in New York like Rivera did.
But the Mets have the pitching and lineup to return to the World Series and secure their first win since 1986 this season. Many thought they would do it last year after winning 101 games, but they came up short in the wild-card round against the San Diego Padres in the new best-of-three format at Citi Field.
If Diaz can secure a ring and continue to be the tough closer the Mets expect him to be, perhaps «Narco» can be in the same conversation as «Enter Sandman.»
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But he’ll have to win a few more in Rivera’s eyes.