By Sweeny Murti
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I went to bed last night thinking I had seen Mariano Rivera pitch for the last time. Boy, am I glad I was wrong.
Rivera’s declaration that he’s coming back next season after rehabbing his injured right knee (“Write it down in big letters!”) is perfect for all of us who thought part of us had died watching Rivera lying on the ground in pain on the warning track in Kansas City. This won’t be an easy road, not for such a major injury and surgery for a man who turns 43 in November. But this is no ordinary man. Why didn’t I remember that?
I was convinced that Rivera wanted this season to be his last anyway, and that his great faith and belief in God would have led him to the decision that this was God’s way of saying it was time to go, that Rivera was now needed somewhere else. The Yankees would go on. We would go on.
I should have known that this was not the way Rivera would go out. I should have known that the man I spoke to Thursday night was not the man I have known for so long. The man who told us Friday afternoon that he would be back in 2013 is the one we have all come to know and love.
Listen here, to the type of back and forth that has become one of the best parts of covering the Yankees for all these years. Sitting down in a chair with his right leg stretched out and a lovely floral delivery in his locker (“I didn’t die.”), Rivera entertained reporters the way he has many times before:
That’s the same old Mariano Rivera. We can only hope we see the same thing in uniform and on the mound again too.