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Rivera a 'freak of nature' among closers

Updated: April 1, 2010, 11:49 PM ET
By Andrew Marchand | ESPNNewYork.com

When it comes to closer longevity, Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley is the nearest statistical comparison to Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, but even Eckersley says there is no comparison.

"He is the best," says Eckersley, who is now an MLB analyst for TBS.

Eckersley's decline started around Rivera's current age. At 41, Eckersley's arm speed slowed, his precision waned and he bounced from Oakland to St. Louis to Boston to retirement, knowing the whole time it ...

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