By Sweeny Murti
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New York, NY (WFAN) – The reaction generated by Mariano Rivera’s injury–and subsuquent declaration that he will return–was a 24-hour period perhaps unlike any other in recent times regarding an athlete and an injury. Thanks to social media we had swift reaction from those around the game and around the world. And, as we have done at WFAN for nearly 25 years now, the pulse of New York was taken quite swiftly as well.
It felt like a funeral Thursday night. And Friday afternoon it felt like a resurrection. No, Mariano Rivera did not come back from the dead. But for everyone who hoped that a Hall of Fame career didn’t end on the warning track in Kansas City, it was a Hallalujah moment.
So now we seek reaction from those around the game about Rivera’s hopeful return (Is there any doubt really?)
John Smoltz and Dennis Eckersley were at Kauffman Stadium Saturday night to prepare for Sunday’s TBS braodcast. Eckersley, already in the Hall of Fame, and Smoltz sure to join him in the near future, I spent a couple minutes with both pitchers to get their reactions and thoughts regarding Mariano:
John Smoltz on Mariano Rivera
Dennis Eckersley on Mariano Rivera
The third member of the TBS team, play-by-play man Brian Anderson, is also the TV voice of the Milwaukee Brewers. Anderson pointed out to me the case of Yovani Gallardo, the Brewers righthander who in 2008 had the same injury as Rivera. Gallardo was injured in early May and came back to pitch in late September that year. Of course, he was 22 years old and Mariano is 42. Such a recovery will be impossible to predict until the surgery is complete and we see the recovery process begin. But would any of us put it past Rivera to make it happen?
Whenever Rivera does come back–this year or next–it will certainly be a day of great celebration.