Will Mariano Rivera add a new piece of hardware to his mantle by winning the Comeback Player of the Year at the end of this season? Given what Mariano has done recently I wouldn’t bet against him.
Last season it looked like it might be Rivera’s last season in baseball. It was speculated that last season would be Rivera’s last as the New York Yankees closer looked content to head off into the sunset. However, he never got a chance to make his announcement, at least officially, and instead said he would come back for one more season. There were a lot of doubts about a 43-year-old pitcher coming back from a torn ACL. However, Rivera, like he has done every year of his career, has suppressed the doubters and been vintage Mo.
There is no doubt that Mariano should win the Comeback Player of the Year Award, a final trophy for him to put on his mantle. This season, Rivera has notched 44 saves with a 2.25 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and striking out 52 batters in 60 innings. Not bad for a 43-year-old, a 43-year-old coming off of major knee surgery.
Other contenders for the award include John Lackey, Scott Kazmir and perhaps Ervin Santana. There might even be a chance that Brett Gardner also gets some recognition. However, the award should go to Mo who has come back without missing a beat. Given the Mo love-fest that has gone on this season, it would be hard to imagine Mariano not winning this award. It isn’t a Cy Young or World Series but it will be one more deserved accolade for the greatest closer of all-time.