Mariano Rivera with Casey Janssen, Darren Oliver and Jose Bautista. (The Canadian Press)The Mariano Rivera retirement farewell tour came to Toronto this week, and like every other major-league team the Blue Jays rolled out the red carpet for the all-time saves leader.
Rivera, the New York Yankees closer with 652 career saves and counting, has been receiving retirement gifts from teams as his 19-year career comes to a close.
On Thursday night, his last game ever in Toronto, it was the Blue Jays’ turn. The Blue Jays’ gift was closely guarded secret right up until the pre-game ceremony on the field. The Jays bestowed a $10,000 donation to the Mariano Rivera Foundation, and this:
The team said it wanted to give Rivera something “distinctly Canadian” – it’s a carving by Inuit sculptor David Ruben Piqtoukun depicting Kiviuq, a popular hero figure in Inuit legends and stories.
The confused and snarky reaction to the bizarre gift on Twitter was swift.
#BlueJays throw Mariano Rivera a curveball by giving him a sculpture called Kiviq's Journey. Classic garage sale item.
— John Woo (@J0HNW00) September 19, 2013
Breaking News: Sculpture the Toronto Blue Jays just gave Mariano Rivera has been placed on the disabled list. #bluejays
— Sid Seixeiro (@Sid_Seixeiro) September 19, 2013
Only toronto would give Mariano Rivera a sculpture of a guy catching a whale — Dan Rybacki (@Rybackii) September 19, 2013
On one hand the Blue Jays deserve some credit for making their gift unique and thoughtful. But on the other, something still within the baseball realm would have probably been more appropriate and appealing.
What say you? Pass or Fail on the sculpture?