In New York, rooting interests in baseball and football are usually divided into two groups: 1) Yankees and Giants and 2) Mets and Jets. The reason for that is because before Giants Stadium, the Giants played at Yankee Stadium while the Jets’ home was at Shea Stadium. Nevertheless, there’s plenty of Yankees-Jets and Mets-Giants pairings as well for one reason or another. On Monday, all the Yankee fans watching the Yankees-Rays game at Tropicana Field who happened to be Jets fans as well had themselves a rough night. Not only did they have to watch their beloved Yankees get beaten by the Rays 5-1, but also saw the newest Tampa Bay Buccaneer, Darrelle Revis, throw out the ceremonial first pitch. Fans of the Rays and Bucs on the other hand, had themselves quite a time.
Revis delivered his pitch and it floated for a while–enough for Revis to intercept it had it been a quarterback who threw the ball–before landing on what would have been the outside corner to a right-handed batter for a strike. The Bucs certainly didn’t acquire Revis for his arm strength, but it summarized quite well the Revis trade saga: it wasn’t always pretty and the ending was uncertain for quite a while, but in the end, everything worked out perfectly. Revis stood on the mound with a gray T-shirt and a Buccaneers’ hat and threw the ball nonchalantly, raised his hands to acknowledge the crowed, and then walked off in deference to the next person to throw out a ceremonial first pitch, Sargent Michael Nicholson from South Tampa. Nicholson, who had lost three limbs serving in Afghanistan received the larger applause, and rightfully so.
The whole sequence was vintage Revis, never the biggest showboat, never one whose impact is realized for more than a few moments, but nevertheless a player whose presence is always felt, even in the background. We’ve heard all about Revis the past few days and that will continue to be the case the rest off the offseason. On the field, though, the less we see of Revis the better as his best coverage will come on plays where the ball isn’t thrown to his receiver. As he stepped onto the mound at Tropicana Field, Darrelle Revis set the tone for exactly what everyone hopes will define his time in Tampa Bay: a quiet tenure but a very influential one, even if that impact goes mostly under the radar.