Actually, I was pointing more broadly -- Mo over the last SIXTEEN seasons. Think of not having to be much concerned about this crap, for the most part, for like a decade and a half.
Using Yahoo as a cite, here are Rivera's and Papelbon's career (regular season) save stats:
Rivera: 550 sv, 64 bs, 89.6% sv, 2.21 era, 1.00 whip
Papelbon: 180 sv, 24 bs, 88.2% sv, 2.04 era, 1.00 whip (including today)
Obviously I would agree that Rivera is by far the greatest of all time. But this stat means that if you give Rivera and Papelbon 71 save opportunities, Rivera is going to convert one more save than Papelbon.
Maybe Papelbon has had more high-wire acts than Rivera, but in the end, in terms of saving baseball games (which is the primary job of the modern-day closer), Papelbon is pretty much every bit as effective as Rivera. I know it doesn't *feel* like that's true, but we have a lot of years (and save chances) worth of data that says it is true. (note: Rivera's last 3 seasons have been quite possibly the greatest 3 year stretch in the history of the closer role...and this has coincided with a bit of a slide by Papelbon, so that adds to the feeling that Rivera is much, much better than Paps)
Doesn't make me feel any better about today's game though.