"He's the best ever," longtime teammate Jorge Posada said. "That's the only way I can explain it. He doesn't surprise me with what he's doing. I think we're used to him doing it for so long that we really take it for granted how good he is, to tell you the truth."
Rivera's current streak of 14 straight seasons with 25-plus saves is already a record since saves became an official stat in 1969. The right-hander has reached the 30-save plateau 13 times in his career, which is one shy of the record by Trevor Hoffman. His eight straight seasons of at least 30 saves matches Hoffman for the longest streak in history.
Soon enough, that record can be Rivera's, too.
"I never pay attention to that stuff," said Rivera, who has posted a 1.75 ERA en route to 24 saves. "If you don't mention it, I wouldn't know. I really don't think about it. Because it's not about me. It's not about what I do. It's about the team concept. Yes, on the way to all that, you will have some individual achievements. But at the same time, I don't think about it."
The 41-year-old Rivera ranks second all time in saves with 583 and has a great chance to catch Hoffman (601) by the time he finishes his current contract, which runs through the 2012 season.
The question is if Rivera will continue to play past that contract.
Rivera does tend to render age meaningless.
"I haven't thought about it," Rivera said. "That's another thing -- I don't go too far away. I just go with what I have to do. I know I have a contract for next year, and after that, we'll see; we'll see what happens. I won't be thinking that far. But after that, we'll see."