Yankees Mariano Rivera Retires After 2012 MLB Season?
It’s almost hard to believe that for being the greatest closer in Major League Baseball history, Mariano Rivera is an even better person off the field. Being a devout Christian and a true man of God, Rivera isn’t your typical athlete. However, one has to believe that being as honest and genuine as Rivera is in his personal life, has to make it very difficult to handle the media, especially in the Big Apple.
Knowing when to keep things to yourself and when to be honest when reporters ask sensitive questions, such as retirement ones, is one of the keys for having a long successful career in pinstripes. But, the NY media could be very persistent, which could make things very difficult for a person like Rivera.
After undergoing a delicate throat surgery this offseason, many people feared that Rivera would not return to play in 2012. This week, as pitcher and catchers began reporting for Spring Training, No.42 was back at the Yankees’ Single-A facility in Tampa, FL. Immediately, questions regarding his immediate future began flying around as he made his way to his locker.
“I made my decision already,” Rivera said as reporters quieted down. “But I’m not ready to tell you yet.”
While many people will criticize “Mo” for that kind of answer, you would have to be a complete fool to come out and announce to the world that this will be your last season before pre-season even begins. An announcement like that, especially coming from a Hall of Famer, would unfairly create an environment in which retirement questions would be an everyday occurrence in the Yanks locker room.
Instead, Rivera told reporters they could expect an official announcement in “maybe October.” Nevertheless, it doesn’t take Ms. Cleo to know when a player is ready to hang them up. In the case or Rivera, this is unquestionable his final season.
“This is something everybody goes through,” he said. “It’s just a matter of time. How many times did I tell you guys this is my last year? Seven or eight years: ‘I’m not going to play after this year’ and then I sign a contract for two more years, three more years.’ But this one is different. This is it. This one is my decision.”
Last season, Rivera passed Trevor Hoffman for most saves in MLB history with 603. Although Mariano says he’s decision is “irrevocable” one can’t ignore the fact that he’s coming off a season in which he registered 44 saves; the third highest total in his career.
“My kids want me home,” Rivera added. “They were ready for me to stay home. I had to tell them, I have a job to do. I have obligations. I have my church, my family. I’ve been blessed in amazing ways. I’ve have a great career, but at the same time, there’s other things to do.”
How remarkable would it be for the Yankees to send the greatest ever into retirement by winning his sixth World Series ring? Well, Brian Cashman is certainly doing his best to put this team in a position to do just that.
It’s worth noting that Derek Jeter and Mo are the only ones that remain from the great Yankees of this era. Bernie Williams, Andy Pettitte, and most recently Jorge Posada, became the latest Monument Park bound player to hang it up. By the sound of it, Rivera is next in 2012! When will the 37-year-old captain put on the pinstripes for the final time in his MLB playing career?