A couple of weeks ago I talked about some of the speculation that was swirling around New York Yankees camp regarding Mariano Rivera and his eventual retirement. It’s the media’s job to pick apart every minuscule detail and decipher it’s meaning. This is what I thought they were doing, but the more I think about it and hear things from Mariano Rivera, the more I think the New York Yankees will be unleashing a new closer in 2013. The New York Yankees and their fans won’t be left in suspense for too long though because Mariano Rivera intends to announce his decision by the All-Star break.
The fact that there is an announcement of a coming announcement is enough to lead me to believe that 2012 will be his final season. If he wasn’t retiring or if he had not made up his mind yet, he either would have said that or he would have said nothing. I could certainly be wrong and I hope I am, but all the times that we have expected Mo to hang it up we didn’t hear any retirement noise coming from him or the beat writers at the Yankees camp. Why would he change up now if everything was business as usual?
Losing Rivera is obviously a tremendous blow – if nothing else (and trust me, there is plenty), it takes away the warmest and coziest bullpen safety blanket that the game has ever seen. Nobody will ever fill Mo’s shoes, but the Yanks have several worthy options to replace him. Those guys were discussed in the article that I linked to. If you want the glass to be half-full, you can look at the payroll ramifications. If he retires, $15 million will be coming off of the books. And because the Yankees will address the vacancy from within, it will be a full $15 million that can go toward filling another need (as opposed to turning around and spending $10 million on a new closer – only netting $5 million).
Perhaps you’re not ready to buy into the idea that the New York Yankees will be playing their last season with No. 42 closing out games, but I’m starting to. Either way, we should all cherish every single cutter that Mo tosses this season. Don’t wait until Mariano Rivera is gone before we fully appreciate everything he has done for our New York Yankees.
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