By Sweeny Murti
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Mariano Rivera hinted as strongly as he could without actually saying it. The day Yankee fans have feared is coming soon—it is quite clear that Mariano Rivera intends to retire after this season.
Rivera told reporters Monday that he made a decision two or three weeks ago about whether he will pitch after 2012, the final year of his current contract. Without revealing what it is, Rivera said the decision has been made regardless of the type of season he has. “Even if I save 90 games, even if they want to pay as much money as they want to,” Rivera said.
Based on the eight minutes and change he spent with reporters Monday afternoon, it would appear this will be the final season of Rivera’s brilliant career.
Here is Rivera speaking after Monday’s workout:
Rivera turned 42 last November. He has been with the Yankees since 1995, has been their closer since 1997, and for about the last decade has generally been considered the best there ever was at his position.
WFAN’s Sweeny Murti joined Mike Francesa on Monday afternoon to discuss Rivera’s Yankee future which appears to be coming to an end.
“We all had a pretty good idea that this was the direction he was going to lean in. He’s 42, will be 43 in November and in the final year of his contract. One of the thing you can tell is how much he misses is being around his family. His oldest son is in college now. Basically, Mariano has been away his entire life,” Murti told Francesa.
He continued, “I remember him last Spring telling me that he couldn’t make it through Spring if his wife and kids didn’t come to see him during the course of the seven weeks of Spring Training. It’s that tough for him. Last year, he talked about leaving for camp and his youngest son was attached to his left leg crying.”
Francesa imagined the farewell Rivera might receive.
“He’s an iconic figure. Let everybody have their little ‘Mariano Day’ on the road and let them have some big, huge day at Yankee Stadium. He’s earned all that. Not only is he recognized indisputably as this greatest reliever of all-time. He’s probably is as well-respected as anybody in the sport, too. Everyone respects Mariano Rivera,” Francesa stated.
Get a good look at Mariano in 2012. It certainly doesn’t sound as if you’ll see him on the mound again after that.