Jim Thome first faced Mariano Rivera in the playoffs thirteen years ago. Rivera got him to line out to short, but the Indians won the series. The next year, Rivera got him to line out, ground out, and pop out, as the Yankees beat Cleveland in six games. The two never met again in October until last night.
Now I have no idea if Jim Thome ever imagined he’d still be playing baseball at age 40, much less starting in a playoff series. But if the thought had crossed his mind, I’m sure he’d have never imagined that Mariano Rivera would still be there to torment him, twelve years after 1998.
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