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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Mariano Rivera was ready for retirement, had ‘no desire’ in September

Mariano-Rivera-injures-knee-shagging-fly-ballsMariano Rivera could still be a very effective closer if he chose to return to the New York Yankees for another season in 2014. The 43-year-old saved 44 games this season. He blew seven saves, though his 2.11 ERA was below his career ERA of 2.21. Still, all indications are that the Sandman has no intention of changing his mind.

In an upcoming documentary that will air on FOX this weekend called “BEING: Mariano Rivera,” the Yankee legend is shown having lunch in Boston with Red Sox slugger David Ortiz. He addressed his impending retirement while the cameras rolled.

“I can’t wait for the moment when this is over,” Rivera told Ortiz in Spanish, via the NY Post’s Page Six. “I’m ready for it already, brother. I’m ready for it. Mentally and physically, I’m ready for it. There’s no desire anymore.”

It had to have been incredibly difficult for Rivera to remain focused this season. Those of you who kept track of all the thoughtful gifts Mo received from teams around Major League Baseball can appreciate that he had to worry about a lot more than just pitching on game day. He became bigger than the game. As the greatest closer of all time, Rivera deserved it. That does not mean he was comfortable with it.

“We keep doing this for what?” Rivera added during his chat with Ortiz. “Is it for boastfulness, or for the love of the game, or because we don’t want to do anything else?”

For what it’s worth, Rivera may have worn down as his season — and likely career — came to a close. Five of his seven blown saves came during the final two months of the season, including back-to-back blown saves against the Red Sox in the series surrounding his lunch with Big Papi. Could Rivera come back and pitch effectively next season? There’s no doubt in my mind, but he seems perfectly at peace with his decision to call it a career.

Thanks to LBS reader David for the tip


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