NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — When the phone rang this time for Mariano Rivera, it wasn’t a call to the bullpen.
President Ricardo Martinelli of Panama called the Yankees closer to congratulate him on his record-setting save, a gesture that Rivera certainly appreciated.
“It’s an honor, it’s a pleasure and it’s a privilege,” he said Tuesday. “It was great.”
Rivera, born in Panama City, said President Martinelli thanked him and wished him good luck. The pitcher said it was the second time he had spoken with President Martinelli, who took office on July 1, 2009. The other occasion was during a visit to New York.
LISTEN: Mariano Rivera after recording historic save
Rivera said he also received a congratulatory text message from Trevor Hoffman, who held the previous major league mark of 601 career saves before Rivera notched No. 602 on Monday against the Minnesota Twins.
Hoffman released a statement Monday congratulating Rivera on his achievement, and the Yankees reliever saw those comments on television.
“It was nice,” Rivera said. “Like I said before, I have tremendous respect for him.”
The 41-year-old Rivera celebrated with teammates Monday night at a party for longtime athletic trainer Gene Monahan in a steakhouse at Yankee Stadium. Monahan is retiring after this season, his 49th with the team.
So, was all the chatter there about save No. 602?
“No, no, no. Everybody was talking about Geno. That’s the most important thing,” Rivera said.
Never one to seek attention for himself, Rivera is more than ready to move on and focus on the playoff chase.
“We don’t have time to be thinking of what happened (on Monday),” Rivera said. “I have to move on and concentrate on what really we’re here for, and that’s the pennant race.”
Did Mo’s record get enough press, or should it have been a bigger deal? Sound off below…
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