NEW YORK -- Major League Baseball has asked Rangers closer Joe Nathan to contribute to a documentary on Yankees closer Mariano Rivera. MLB found him more than willing to talk about baseball's all-time leading closer who is retiring at the end of the season.
"It's no secret how much I look up to him and appreciate what he's done for me in my career as far as how to handle yourself on and off the field," Nathan said. "He's only going down as the greatest closer ever, but you wouldn't know that by talking to him or how he handles himself. That's the great thing about Mariano, the respect he has for the game, his opponents and his teammates.
"He doesn't need a rah-rah, look-at-me attitude. He just wants to take the ball, get the game over as quick as possible, get his teammates off the field and do it all over again tomorrow."
Rivera, going into Tuesday, had 634 career saves, the most in Major League history. Nathan is 14th with 323. But Nathan has been successful on 90 percent of his save opportunities, the highest rate of any reliever with at least 250 opportunities. Rivera is second at 89.5 percent.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.