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Mariano Rivera postgame quotes
10/13/2004 12:45 AM ET
Q. After the sad events today in Panama what helped you to remain focused to be able to pitch in tonight's game?

MARIANO RIVERA: Well, I mean, it was tough, you know, leaving my family there. And I think what kept me -- prayers, God, first of all. I came here and my friends, my teammates treated me like a king, and that was something special and I appreciate that.

I'm tired but my mind kept going. Like I said, my friends and my teammates helped me out big-time tonight and made this happen.

Q. Did you ever think of remaining in Panama and not attending this game?

MARIANO RIVERA: Well, everything was done. I was trying to do everything as quick as possible, and once I did that, you know, I wanted to stay there, definitely I wanted to be with my family. But there's nothing that I can do, so I talked to my wife and I talked to the family, that I need to be here, and that's the reason why I'm here. Believe me, I wanted to stay home and stay with my family, but I have a job to do and I have 24 players that were waiting for me and a manager that are happy for me to be here and I'm happy to be here, also. It went well.

Q. What do you think it is about you as a person that enables you to go to a funeral in the morning where it's the worst thing anybody has to experience and then come here tonight and help bring all of this joy to your teammates and fans and to people who were watching on TV?

MARIANO RIVERA: I don't know, that's who I am. I think the blessings and prayers and being a man of God I think keep me humble. That's what I believe in, when you believe in God I think you can do anything you want and that helped me get going.

Q. Do you think it was better for you to pitch tonight than to just come here and not participate?

MARIANO RIVERA: No, I was coming here to pitch. I wouldn't be on site if I wouldn't pitch today. I wanted to pitch. I wanted to be there. My teammates, you know, needed me there.

Q. Did it help you mentally in any way?

MARIANO RIVERA: Well, like I said before, I think the reception that my teammates did help me a lot. I was ready. I went to the bullpen in the fifth inning. I was ready.

Q. Bill Mueller, obviously he beat you with the home run in July. Can you just describe your emotions getting him on the double play and what were your emotions when you finished the game?

MARIANO RIVERA: Actually I was happy. I was glad that the game was over. Yeah, I mean, it happened once. You have to put that behind you. If it would have happened today, well, you have to put it behind, too.

So I don't think about it that way. Going against anybody if they hit me or they don't, I'm the same guy.

Q. What was the most difficult part of your day today?

MARIANO RIVERA: The most difficult part of my day was leaving my family, knowing that they are still in pain. It was tough, it was tough, you know, coming on that plane alone. I was thinking, you know, just there's tears coming out of my eyes. It was tough. It wasn't easy, those almost five hours on that plane.

But, knowing that the prayers were there and knowing that my wife, the family was praying for me, that kept me going.

Q. Do you recall what Joe said to you when he gave you the ball, and also, it looked like Jeter gave you a little bit of a pep talk; do you remember what he said to you, as well?

MARIANO RIVERA: You know, Jeter was over there, but this time it's, you know, "get him out," "get him out," that's it.

Q. After the game he hugged you, it looked like he hugged you and said something?

MARIANO RIVERA: He said after the game -- well, after the game, I mean, he said, congratulations. Jeter is a guy that, you know, I've been with Jeter for so many years, since the minor leagues. We have that kind of relationship that, you know, I don't think nobody can break. Being the captain of the team, he always is there for us, and I appreciate that. You know, he's my friend, my teammate and I love him. You know, he just congratulated me and was happy that I was here.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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