Who do we celebrate more after last night's huge come from behind victory over Texas, Marcus Thames or Mariano Rivera? That's a tough one, but I have to side with Thames as a guy has had a limited role, but one who stepped up big-time.
We have come to expect excellence and nerves of steel in the face of adversity from Mariano Rivera. The bar he has set for himself is so high, sometimes even he can't measure up--which is unfair. But, last night trying to protect a one-run lead and having to face the beef of Texas' meaty order, he yielded a lead-off triple to Elvis Andrus only to respond by including three straight outs by Michael Young, Josh Hamilton (who already had three hits) and Vlad Guerrero. When a team as potent as Texas can't somehow get a runner home from third with NO OUTS...that's something.
As for Thames, he admits that he's "Marcus, I am not Tex." So be it. Marcus was awfully good last night in collecting three hits as the three-hole hitter in place of Teixeira, to go along with his two hits vs. the Rangers in game one. His long eighth inning HR and ninth inning game-winning RBI single was impressive.
It seems like it couldn't happen to a nicer guy. A Yankee property in his younger days, Thames has come back to fill a much-needed role, albeit not everyday. Yet, when called upon he has been professional, humble and productive. that's a great combination for a role player.
Here's to you Marcus Thames--Congratulations! Keep it up!