While I am sort of indifferent to this idea, here are some of the positives as to why Rivera should accept his role and start this year’s All-Star Game.
First of all, I know he is a closer, the greatest closer in Major League Baseball history at that, but what if the National League wins this year’s All-Star Game and Rivera does not get a chance to save the game for his American League squad like he plans?
Also, if Rivera were to start the All-Star game this year, not only would he be guaranteed to pitch in that game, but he would make All-Star Game history as the first closer to ever start an All-Star Game. Who better than the greatest closer who ever lived to do that?
Another reason is there will be tons of Yankees fans present at the game since it is in New York. So it is a safe bet that every single person in that crowd is going to want to see him pitch more than watching the actual All-Star Game, and who would blame them? The MLB talent pool is extremely diluted nowadays, but that’s a whole other story for another day.
The only guarantee Rivera has to pitch, in what will be his last ever All-Star Game, is to start the game and pitch the first inning. I know Rivera said he does not like the idea since he is a closer, but like I said, there is no guarantee the American League is going to win the All-Star Game. So in my opinion it would be a smart decision, and a pretty cool one from a fans’ perspective, if Rivera were to start this year’s All-Star Game just to make sure he gets to go out of his last All-Star Game in style.