On-Base Perception

Newsday's new all-encompassing baseball blog on the Yankees, Mets, MLB and more from around the sport.

Even the stats agree: Mariano Rivera is the best closer of all time

Mariano Rivera of the Yankees laughs in the

(Credit: Getty Images)

Mariano Rivera blew a save on Tuesday, but his loss against the Mets was just a blip on one of baseball’s best set of career numbers.

The Yankees' strength at the end of games has been their most consistent weapon since Rivera replaced John Wetteland as the closer in 1997.Even at 43, he is 19-for-20 in save opportunities in this, his final season.

Since 1901, among the 96 pitchers who...

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Newsday's Mets prospect rankings

Zack Wheeler delivers a pitch during a spring

(Credit: Alejandra Villa)

1. ZACK WHEELER, RHP, Las Vegas 51s (AAA): 3-1 (10 starts), 4.13 ERA, 53 K, 23 BB

Just a waiting game now until Wheeler comes off this list and is promoted to the majors.

2. TRAVIS D'ARNAUD, C, Las Vegas 51s: 250 BA, .429 OBP, .472 SLG, 1 HR, 8 RBIs

Recovering from a fracture in his left foot.

3. NOAH SYNDERGAARD, RHP, St. Lucie Mets (Class A): 2-2 (10 starts), 2.73 ERA,...

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Baseball magic numbers

Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Freddy Garcia delivers a

(Credit: AP)

75: Years since Abbott & Costello performed their classic “Who’s On First?” routine for the first time on radio. Early non-baseball versions of the skit played on the burlesque scene, and the comedy duo honed and polished an early version in vaudeville, but it was March, 1938 on “The Kate Smith Hour” that they performed it for the first time before a national radio audience.

8: Shutout...

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