PHOENIX -- Growing up less than 200 miles from where his country's most celebrated athlete was born, Panama native Randall Delgado was just 5 years old when Mariano Rivera made his Major League debut in 1995. From that point on, the D-backs right-hander naturally became a fan of the Yankees great, watching him pitch on television whenever he could.
So when Delgado sat back and watched Rivera's final appearance at Yankee Stadium -- a celebration that culminated when Andy Pettitte and Derek Jeter removed the closer from Thursday night's game with two outs in the ninth -- the 23-year-old understandably got emotional.
"I almost cried, man," he said. "I've been a big fan since I was little. Even with the knowledge that he was going to retire at the end of the year, I just couldn't believe it until that happened. I felt like, 'Wow.' I mean, you think about everything he has done, it's hard to describe the emotions. All I know is I felt happy and proud to be Panamanian."
Although Delgado was not with the D-backs when the club visited the Yankees earlier this season, he has met his countryman once before, when he visited Rivera's Spring Training home in Florida in 2012 while he was with the Braves. That night still holds a special place in Delgado's memory.
"It was great; he invited us over, and we shared with him and his family," Delgado said. "We had a good dinner, and we got some good advice from him. I couldn't believe it. He was so great."
When Rivera takes off his jersey Sunday for the final time, Delgado will become one of only six active big leaguers from Panama. He hopes he can continue to advance his country's place in the Majors down the road.
"I know everyone will miss watching Rivera," Delgado said. "He meant so much to Panama, so you wonder what's going to happen next, but he definitely motivated me."
Citing fatigue, D-backs to pace Corbin in '14
PHOENIX -- Looking at how Patrick Corbin's results faded down the stretch in 2013, the D-backs will most likely prep their young ace a bit differently next year in hopes that they can keep him fresher as the season wears on.
Competing for the fifth spot in the rotation entering Spring Training, Corbin tossed a team-high 25 2/3 Cactus League innings this season. Those frames, combined with the 208 1/3 he threw during the regular season, gave him 234 on the year.
"He threw more than he probably should have before he came in," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "So I think since he'll be in the rotation as long as he's healthy, we'll plan it out a little differently. That way, maybe he'll have a little more in his tank next year."
After compiling a 13-3 record with a 2.45 ERA in his first 25 starts in 2013, Corbin went just 1-5 with an 8.00 ERA over his final seven outings, including Friday, when he surrendered five runs in five frames to the Nationals.
"Just didn't have the same pitches he had in the first half," Gibson said. "I'm sure part of it had to do with how far he went; we asked a lot of him. He made 32 starts -- that's a lot in the big leagues for such a young kid. It just caught up to him a bit. I know he'll be better; he'll get stronger."
Tyler Emerick is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.