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Mariano Rivera hinting at retirement after this season?

Feb 20, 2012, 2:14 PM EDT

Mariano Rivera Reuters

Mariano Rivera was asked this morning if this will be his final season and the 42-year-old future Hall of Famer gave an interesting answer: “I know now, but I don’t have to tell you.”

Different reporters had different takes on exactly what that implied, but Marc Carig of the Newark Star Ledger thinks Rivera was hinting at retirement. Carig wrote: “He wouldn’t say it straight out but Mariano Rivera sounded like a man at the start of a farewell tour.”

If true that would be pretty huge news and, while Rivera might think he can dance around the topic for now, it’s tough to imagine the constant spotlight of the New York media won’t eventually get him to address it further.

Rivera has yet to experience a decline in his performance, saving 44 games with a 1.91 ERA and 60/8 K/BB ratio in 61 innings last season. It was the eighth time in the past nine years that he’s posted a sub-2.00 ERA and the 7.5-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio was the second-best of his entire career.

I’m about as far from a Yankees fan as someone can be, but selfishly I’d sure love to see Rivera keep pitching until he at least ceases being amazingly dominant. Which, knowing him, might be 2017 or so.

  1. mrmarkls - Feb 20, 2012 at 2:43 PM

    I want Rivera to be one of the rare few that retire before their decline clouds the memories of a brilliant career.

    As a Yankee fan, I hope that is about 20 years from now…….

  2. dexterismyhero - Feb 20, 2012 at 2:47 PM

    Then they could sign Jeremy Lin.

  3. Old Gator - Feb 20, 2012 at 3:04 PM

    I like the fractal sponge syntax whereby Mariano can tell a reporter “It’s none of your goddamned business” and create bafflement instead of indignation.

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Feb 20, 2012 at 3:27 PM

      It’s all about tact.

      This shouldn’t be groundbreaking anyway; he’s 42 and his buddies are all retiring as well. I would think he’d like to go out on top.

      • Old Gator - Feb 20, 2012 at 3:51 PM

        Then again, maybe it’s just about native intelligence. It can take a sports journalist hours to decode any sentence without a simple subject, present-perfect predicate and more than one modifier, can’t it?

      • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Feb 20, 2012 at 5:17 PM

        I’d say native intelligence is a given here, considering the timing and efficiency of his reference.

  4. yankeesfanlen - Feb 20, 2012 at 3:16 PM

    ankee PITCHERS tend to go (Andy, Moose) out on top, this gives Mo a couple or three years.
    Position players, not so much

  5. proudlycanadian - Feb 20, 2012 at 3:17 PM

    He has been a great pitcher; however, If Rivera retires, it would help the Yankees with their luxury tax problem.

  6. jwbiii - Feb 20, 2012 at 3:29 PM

    He seems like a quiet, dignified guy. He may just want to avoid the hoopla of a MARIANO RIVERA FAREWELL TOUR!!!, retire and live out his life in quiet dignity. Or maybe he really doesn’t know and this answer may prevent him from answering the same damn question every damn day from now until October.

    • daisycutter1 - Feb 20, 2012 at 4:06 PM

      The press is going to keep asking anyway, and unless he definitively says he plans to come back this season will be treated like a Mariano Rivera Farewell Tour.

      This isn’t Mo’s fault, it’s just the way things are.

  7. ml3939 - Feb 20, 2012 at 3:48 PM

    They will sign Madson in the offseason and Boras will claim it was his master plan to get Madson the most money possible by settling for a one year deal this year.

    • bigharold - Feb 20, 2012 at 4:16 PM

      Robertson is already better than Madson and a damn sight cheaper.

      Not to mention Chamberlain coming back. Besides, if Hughes doesn’t lock down that starter job this season he’s likely going to be the next guy that heads to the pen. And, as crazy as that might sound to some, aside from the success Hughes has had in the past in the pen, .. Rivera was a starter until he was 26 years old, then became Wetteland’s set man at 26, … the same age Hughes will be NEXT year.

      • pisano - Feb 20, 2012 at 4:42 PM

        bigharold…. you beat me to it, if Robertson keeps on doing what he’s been doing, there’s no doubt he’s the next Yankee closer.

      • henryd3rd - Feb 20, 2012 at 5:43 PM

        Nice way to go out. Sounds too much like a fairytale; but I like that ending

  8. tonystrong - Feb 20, 2012 at 4:51 PM

    Say it ain’t so Mo…SAY IT AIN’T SO!!!

  9. buffalomafia - Feb 20, 2012 at 4:59 PM

    Mario gets save in game 7 of his final world series game!

  10. baseballisboring - Feb 20, 2012 at 5:14 PM

    This is good news for 29 other teams who enjoy walk off wins.

  11. henryd3rd - Feb 20, 2012 at 5:42 PM

    He’s in a class of his own and he has earned the right to determine when he tells the baseball world when he intends to retire. Having watch the grace and dignity he’s has displayed throughout his career he’ll never want the spotlight on himself. He’ll pick the opportune time to tell us when he’s leaving the game and he’ll do it with little very little fanfare.

    Robertson and Soriano are you listening?

  12. aceshigh11 - Feb 20, 2012 at 7:25 PM

    Even as a Red Sox fan, I love this guy. Pure class, and a machine on the mound.

    I love watching him work his craft…the day he calls it quits will be a very sad day for baseball.

    • baseballisboring - Feb 20, 2012 at 8:14 PM

      Agreed, Mo is the Yankees player I have the most respect for easily. The longevity of his dominance in the closer’s role is unheard of.

    • pisano - Feb 21, 2012 at 12:19 AM

      aceshigh11… and you are a class act to give such credit to the rival of your team.

      • protius - Feb 21, 2012 at 5:30 AM

        Here here

      • jimeejohnson - Feb 21, 2012 at 7:26 PM

        World peace IS possible when Yankee and Red Sox fans agree on something.

  13. jfk69 - Feb 21, 2012 at 5:23 AM

    He will retire with Jeter. You can take that to the bank!
    Unless there is a serious injury…Then it will be immediate>

  14. yankee4everfan - Feb 23, 2012 at 10:34 PM

    Maybe Rob Lowe knows

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