Mariano Rivera is used to striking fear in the hearts of opposing batters, but he recently unintentionally struck fear in the hearts of New York Yankees fans.
First, Rivera unveiled that he will be having surgery soon, not on his Hall of Fame-bound right arm, but on his vocal cords. Normally this would not be much of a concern as Mariano prefers to let his pitching talk for him. But as Mariano noted, nothing is simple when it comes to surgery.
But the scarier comment came when Mariano left open the possibility of retiring after the 2012 baseball season. He didn’t commit one way or the other, but hanging up his pinstripes is clearly on Rivera’s mind, much to the terror of Yankees fans and the hopeful glee of opposing hitters all around baseball. As much as we hope that a David Robertson or a Joba Chamberlain can eventually step up to take over the closer’s job, we know in our hearts that Mo is simply irreplaceable.
In our heads, we know the day is coming when Mo will not be closing games for the Yankees. But in our hearts, we all want Mo to keep going until he is at least 50, which gives us another eight years of not having to worry about the 9th inning of baseball games as so many other teams do. It may sound completely unrealistic, except that Mo really hasn’t shown any signs of fading. He marched right up to the all-time saves record without breaking stride. Mo is too humble to care about numbers, but the now 42-year-old has achieved a record that will likely never be broken.
Happy Birthday, Mo!