Mariano Rivera does not want you envisioning his son as the second coming of "The Sandman," throwing a devastating cutter and racking up World Series rings.
That wouldn't be fair, said baseball's all-time saves leader (652) and the Yankees' all-time leader in games pitched (1,115), ERA (2.21), WHIP (1.00) and opponents' batting average (.211).
The Yankees selected Mariano Rivera Jr. with the 872nd pick of the MLB draft Saturday. It's possible the Iona sophomore won't sign with the team.
"If everything goes well, and he agrees to the terms and everything, then he has to be his own," Rivera said Monday morning at JFK Airport after participating in a charity event for Delta Air Lines.
"It's going to be unfair to compare him or try to compare him to me . . . or expect him to be able to do some things that I did. If you're going to compare him to me, then that's not going to be good for him."
Rivera said he instructed his son "to be his own" since an early age and that he isn't overly worried about Mariano Jr. putting a lot of pressure on himself to be like his dad if he ever gets an opportunity in a big-league uniform.
Rivera Jr. started 12 games for the Gaels this year, pitching five complete games. He was 2-5 with a 5.40 ERA in 70 innings. He reportedly plans to pitch for the Laconia Muskrats of the New England Collegiate Baseball League this summer.
"He has accomplished something," Rivera said. "Everything, basically, he has done on his own. He has been doing it himself, alone. I haven't had anything to do with it. If he needs me and asks me, then I'm there for him."