Mariano Rivera: “As A Christian, With All Due Respect To Metallica, I Don’t Listen To That Kind Of Music”

Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Mariano Rivera: “As A Christian, With All Due Respect To Metallica, I Don’t Listen To That Kind Of Music”

Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

For 19 years, the Yankees’ Mariano Rivera was one of the most feared and respected pitchers in Major League Baseball. For most of that time — from 1997 until his 2013 retirement — Rivera was the Yankees’ closer. He had a mystique, and Metallica was a big part of that mystique. Rivera was known as the Sandman, and he’d take the mound to Metallica’s “Enter Sandman.” The song wasn’t Rivera’s choice; Yankee Stadium staff started using it to hype up fans. But it became an integral part of his identity. And Metallica have always been into it. In 2013, just as Rivera was about to retire, the Yankees retired his jersey in a home game, and Metallica performed “Enter Sandman” live as he took the field.

Yesterday, the news came out that Mariano Rivera would join the Baseball Hall Of Fame. He’ll join the Hall alongside Edgar Martinez and fellow pitchers Mike Mussina and Roy Halladay. And Rivera is the first player ever to be unanimously selected to the Hall Of Fame. All 425 members of the Baseball Writers’ Association Of America put Rivera’s name on the ballot.

Last night, Rivera sat down for an interview with the MLB Network to talk about his selection. And in the middle of the interview, Rivera got a surprise: A video message from Metallica — Hall Of Famers themselves — who spent a few seconds saying nice things about Rivera. Rivera responded, “I have so much respect for those guys. I met them, and they are great people… With everything that they have done, being there for me at the moment that I retire, it was amazing.” Here’s the video:

Here’s where it gets funny, though. In that same interview, as the New York Post points out, Rivera also admitted that he doesn’t especially care for Metallica’s music and implied that his Christianity has something to do with that. When asked how many times he’d seen Metallica perform, Rivera said, “With all due respect to the guys, I’ve never been to one of them… As a Christian, with all due respect to Metallica, I don’t listen to that kind of music.” Exit light, enter slight.

Metallica also recently paid tribute to the late Chris Cornell. It’s nice to see that James Hetfield is rocking the bigass handlebar mustache yet again.

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