New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera tore his ACL yesterday while shagging fly balls in the outfield. Mo is 42 years old, but never declared that this would be his final season in pinstripes.
It shouldn’t be.
1. He’s still bringing it. The cutter is still producing solid results. The ERA and WHIP are fantastic.
2. He never said it was going to be his last year because he isn’t ready for it to be over.
3. He is the greatest closer of all-time. How ironically awful would it be if the close of his career was this chaotic and clumsy?
4. It’s just an ACL tear. It’s a horrible, horrible injury, so don’t get me wrong, but it is also so common nowadays that a comeback should be relatively simple.
5. He is only 42. Lee Smith pitched until he was 40. Trevor Hoffman pitched until he was 42. Jamie Moyer is still starting, coming off an injury mind you, at the ripe young age of 49. And Rivera is better than all these guys at the same age.
6. The Yankees will be contenders this year and next year. Why leave a situation where you can win another title?
7. Rivera has been durable for the majority of his career. A knee-injury isn’t going to haunt him physically.
When you think about all those things, it wouldn’t make much sense for Mariano Rivera to retire. Unless he wants to. Ultimately it will be his choice. He has nothing left to prove to anyone at this stage, but you could clearly tell how disappointed he was in himself and for his teammates when talking about the injury yesterday. Perhaps he was considering hanging ’em up after this year, but the time away may give him a new-found appreciation for baseball and re-energize him for one last run.
I certainly hope so, or this would be the worst close of his career.