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Is 2012 Mariano Rivera’s last year?

Nov 23, 2011, 8:59 AM EDT

Mariano Rivera Reuters

In terms of things that may force Mariano Rivera‘s retirement, I’ll put “needing to cut back his hours so he can remain eligible for Social Security” at the top of the list. It’s certainly more plausible than “the Yankees won’t want him back” and “he can’t get guys out anymore.”

For his part, Rivera said this when asked by the New York Post how much longer he plans on playing:

“I have one year left [on a two-year contract],” Rivera said. “I might call it over. I will know more in spring training.”

There is no reason to believe that Rivera won’t continue to be baseball’s best reliever in 2012, so it’s gonna be really interesting to see if he’s willing to actually hang it up when he’s still awesome. Well, awesome as an active player. He’ll probably always be awesome.

Don’t look at me like that. He’s the only Yankee I’ve ever been a fanboy of. Cut me some slack, OK?

  1. phukyouk - Nov 23, 2011 at 9:10 AM

    Can i go out on a limb here and say that there is a strong possibility that even the most anti Yankees fan would say that Mo is one of the most respected ball players in all of professional sports over the last 17 years?

    • kellyb9 - Nov 23, 2011 at 9:16 AM

      To be honest, it was never really the players that bothered me.. it was always ownership. Rivera is going to go down as the greatest closer ever, and personally, I doubt anyone is ever going to top what he’s achieved.

      • bozosforall - Nov 23, 2011 at 11:12 AM

        Ownership? Puhleeze…ANY fan who wouldn’t want their owner to do whatever was within the rules to win championships is not a real fan. Steinbrenner was that type of owner, an owner who gave the fans what they wanted…championships. Seven more than that doofus Tom Yawkey ever gave the Red Sux fans.

    • uyf1950 - Nov 23, 2011 at 9:24 AM

      phukyouk, I concur 110%. BTW, something tells me that Rivera is going to do what Andy Pettitte did, and leave the sport on his terms and when he still has a lot to give. I look for him to call it a career after this upcoming season. Regardless of when it happens he’s been a pleasure to watch over the years.

    • aceshigh11 - Nov 23, 2011 at 11:59 AM

      I’m a Red Sox fan and I love the guy. Can’t find a thing to criticize him on. What an awesome man and ballplayer.

  2. spizzjr - Nov 23, 2011 at 9:15 AM

    Love youre username phukyouk Lmfao and I room with a red sox fan at college and he respects mo so yeah

  3. hooks024 - Nov 23, 2011 at 9:17 AM

    What’s this “probably always be awesome” talk? Of course he’ll always be awesome. He’s a legend in ny. L.T.’s a sex offender, and everyone still loves him. Rivera would have to literally slaughter and eat 1,000 babies to not be considered awesome. 999 babies, and he’s still awesome. That’s how awesome he is.

  4. philsieg - Nov 23, 2011 at 9:24 AM

    “He’s the only Yankee I’ve ever been a fanboy of.”

    No Yogi? How can anyone not be a fan of Yogi?

    • yankeesfanlen - Nov 23, 2011 at 9:29 AM

      Quite correct.

    • phukyouk - Nov 23, 2011 at 10:53 AM

      yogi is like santa…. even if you wanted to you couldn’t hate him… one day when Yogi’s time comes its going to be a dark dark day for the world.

    • philliesblow - Nov 23, 2011 at 10:56 AM

      Anyone under 50 is too young to remeber Yogi playing. But I do like his AFLAC commercials.

      • phukyouk - Nov 23, 2011 at 11:04 AM

        I have not seen him play.. but when you see him in the stadium or on YES being interviewed you just want to hug him… seriously

    • stex52 - Nov 23, 2011 at 11:12 AM

      In his time he was a catcher of enormous skills. Ever since, he has only been a creidt to the game. A person who doesn’t like Yogi Berra doesn’t really like baseball.

  5. sdelmonte - Nov 23, 2011 at 9:26 AM

    One thing I would be willing to bet money on: he will make any announcement of retirement after his last season, whenever that is. No farewell tours for him. It would be too loud and showy for a man who lets his cutter do most of the talking.

    • CJ - Nov 23, 2011 at 9:36 AM

      What other choice does he have? His vocal chords need surgery.

  6. shaggylocks - Nov 23, 2011 at 9:31 AM

    As a Red Sox fan, my life always gets dark and cloudy when I see Mo take the bump against my boys (although we HAVE had some of our most exciting wins at his expense). Still, I think he’s a really classy guy and I’d cheer my heart out for him if he were closing an All-Star game or something. You’re lucky, New York: don’t ever take that for granted.

  7. yankeesfanlen - Nov 23, 2011 at 9:32 AM

    As uyf mentioned, he will go out on top. He’s an excellent self-evaluator, not ego driven like some Beep-beeps, however I hope he can see fit to make the ’13 season as well.

    • thefalcon123 - Nov 23, 2011 at 9:43 AM

      The guy is 41 and is still giving up homers, walks and Ks at the same rate he always did. I have a feeling it could be 10 years from now and 51 year old Rivera would post 40 saves, a sub-2.00 ERA and about a K an inning, leaving a wake of batters who still can’t hit his cutter after 25+ years.

      Players tend to hang on until they’re dragged off the field kicking and screaming, but I don’t see that happening here.

    • uyf1950 - Nov 23, 2011 at 10:04 AM

      yankeesfanlen, my friend. Have a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving.

  8. pisano - Nov 23, 2011 at 9:32 AM

    The best that ever was,( stealing a line from The Natural) that’s all that needs to be said of Rivera.

    • uyf1950 - Nov 23, 2011 at 10:03 AM

      My friend, have a Safe and Happy Thanksgiving.

      • pisano - Nov 23, 2011 at 7:29 PM

        Same to you my friend.

  9. Jonny 5 - Nov 23, 2011 at 9:44 AM

    I’d venture to say that MO will pitch past this season if he stays healthy and still has it.

    • uyf1950 - Nov 23, 2011 at 10:03 AM

      I hope you’re right. But i suspect you may be wrong.

      BTW, have a Safe and Happy Thanksgiving.

  10. test2402 - Nov 23, 2011 at 9:46 AM

    Nipples.

  11. rickset - Nov 23, 2011 at 10:10 AM

    He’ll go down as the greatest reliever of all time and almost as good a human being

  12. cap324 - Nov 23, 2011 at 10:15 AM

    Ugh, I shudder to think of life after Mariano. How do you follow that guy, there will never be another even nearly like him.

    • deathmonkey41 - Nov 23, 2011 at 1:37 PM

      I agree- although I think it will be David Robertson and not Soriano that eventaully replaces him. Hopefully, Mo could show him how to save a game without loading the bases first before he decides to call it quits.

  13. purnellmeagrejr - Nov 23, 2011 at 10:36 AM

    “There is no reason to believe that Rivera won’t continue to be baseball’s best reliever in 2012,” I looked into it and Rivera is undisputed best in the AL but, surprisingly enough (to me, at least) John Axford was the only one compettitive in the NL; He was 46-48 as opposed to 44-49 for Rivera in Saves while Rivera was significantly better in WHIP and a bit better in ERA. You have to be amazed at how Mariano’s managed to have his way with batters all these years – a really unprecedented player.

    • philliesblow - Nov 23, 2011 at 10:53 AM

      Rivera is the best of all time, no question. However if you are looking just at last season and bringing John Axford into the mix, you have to mention that Jose Valverde was 49 for 49 last season. His ERA is high overall because he wasn’t good in non save situations and he wasn’t alwayw 1- 2- 3 in save chances. But the end result was perfection.

    • Jeremy T - Nov 23, 2011 at 11:56 AM

      Rivera’s probably the best closer, but I’d say for last year at least, Robertson has to be in the conversation for best reliever. The back of that Yankees bullpen last year was scary good.

    • Kevin S. - Nov 23, 2011 at 12:40 PM

      Going year-by-year, Kimbrel was probably the best in 2011. Mariano’s greatness comes from ALWAYS being the among the best at the most volatile position in the sport.

  14. bozosforall - Nov 23, 2011 at 11:12 AM

    Say it ain’t so, Mo.

  15. aaronmoreno - Nov 23, 2011 at 11:21 AM

    Rivera’s rich, and he’s earned it compared to other professional athletes, but even if he weren’t, he would strike me as the kind of person who would get by just fine anyway.

  16. cur68 - Nov 23, 2011 at 11:47 AM

    I keep forgetting how old that guy is. 41 and still looks like a he did 10 years ago. If Moyer doesn’t make it back then, yeah; Mariano Rivera is your Julio Franco Award winner, 2012.

  17. phukyouk - Nov 23, 2011 at 12:31 PM

    BTW thinking about Mo retiring has seriously depressed me… thx dude!

  18. romoscollarbone - Nov 25, 2011 at 5:16 PM

    It’d be nice for the NYY to win 28 and let Mo ride off into the sunset without any chance of us seeing him slip. He’ll be thought of like Babe, Teddy ball game, Mays etc in 30 yrs.

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