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Mariano Rivera: “I am coming back. Write it down in big letters. … I’m not going out like this”

May 4, 2012, 4:55 PM EDT

Probably never a good idea to make life decisions within 24 hours of something bad happening, but Mariano Rivera has earned the right to do whatever the hell he wants to do:

And:

Wow.  And while it is somewhat shocking to see him say it so forcefully so soon after his injury, is there any doubt in the world that he can?  He is still in peak condition, even at his age. And he is still the best reliever in baseball.

Can’t wait for the return.

  1. Reflex - May 4, 2012 at 5:01 PM

    I do not think anyone is suprised. Hopefully he gets a farewell tour next season. I’ll be rooting for him.

    • vivabear - May 5, 2012 at 12:27 PM

      Has anyone yet discussed how this is A-rod’s fault…he hit the ball in BP that tore Mo’s ACL?

  2. scapistron - May 4, 2012 at 5:01 PM

    The lack of a Terminator picture is so disappointing.

  3. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - May 4, 2012 at 5:01 PM

    @Alfonso Soriano: F@CK!

  4. aceshigh11 - May 4, 2012 at 5:03 PM

    If he could come back next year and only be HALF as effective as he normally is, he would still be a tremendous asset to the Yankees, and still one of the best closers in the AL, no doubt.

    Best of luck to him. It will be a fantastic story if he does.

    • 18thstreet - May 5, 2012 at 7:44 AM

      He’s going to come back with a slider and pitch until he’s 60.

      He’s unstoppable, and I never count the guy out.

  5. icanspeel - May 4, 2012 at 5:10 PM

    Not a Yankee fan, but I’ll root for him to make it back and pitch again.

    • danaking - May 4, 2012 at 5:13 PM

      I’ll go so far as to say I’m a Yankee hater, but he’s one of the class acts in all of sports. Lets hope he can go out on his own terms.

  6. Chris Fiorentino - May 4, 2012 at 5:12 PM

    Why wouldn’t he come back? I mean, yeah he is not a spring chicken. But it isn’t like he tore a ligament in this elbow or rotator cuff or needs Tommy John surgery. He hurt his knee in a fluke accident. He can come back with no problem and be his usual fine self. It all depends on how soon he comes back. It would be a mistake to come back in October because he may develop some bad habits that could cause injury to his arm or shoulder. But guys come back from this injury all the time in the NFL. I think Mo will be just fine. He doesn’t have to run the bases or shag fly balls(anymore)…he’ll be just fine Yankers fans.

    This is like when in Terminator 3, when Arnold cuts open his chest and throws out one of his battery packs. Rivera is just going to do that and be fine. He’ll be ready to go in spring training 2013

    • nixonotis - May 4, 2012 at 5:57 PM

      The fact that I read this and agreed with every word is a testament to just how consistent Mariano has been in his career. In the eyes of baseball fans around the country, it’s simply inconceivable that anyone or anything but Mo himself could put an end to this astounding run. Here’s wishing him a full recovery in time for 2013.

  7. charlutes - May 4, 2012 at 5:13 PM

    Craig is more emotional that my girlfriend after watching greys anatomy

  8. xsherr - May 4, 2012 at 5:14 PM

    So should I extend his contract in my roto league then? Interesting.

  9. jwbiii - May 4, 2012 at 5:33 PM

    You can bet against Mariano Rivera if you want; sometimes you’ll win. Mostly, the Mo gets you. If he says he’ll be coming back, well. . .

  10. Old Gator - May 4, 2012 at 5:34 PM

    So I guess the Hall will have to wait another year or so. Good. I was just beginning to enjoy this debate about how much a closer matters anyway.

    • Chris Fiorentino - May 4, 2012 at 5:47 PM

      OG, I read some of that debate on Craig’s posting about the initial injury and it amazes me how much some people have their heads in the sand on this issue. For someone to say that pitching the 6th inning is the same as pitching the 9th inning, they are just saying they hate the save stat and then being stubborn about everything else. They think that baseball is played by robots who don’t have wives, kids…don’t hear the fans or know the score or the situation when they come into the game.

      The same people who will say the 9th inning is no better than the 6th will say that their team is set because they have studs in the BP for the 7th, 8th and 9th. And Craig should have first-hand knowledge of how important the 9th is…once Kimbrel got tired down the stretch last year, the Braves went into the tank. Coincidence? LOL.

      If you believe that the 6th inning is no different than the 9th, then what you are saying is that EVERY SINGLE MANAGER IN BASEBALL USES THEIR BULLPEN WRONGLY. EVERY ONE. Because I don’t know a single manager who will bring in his 8th inning guy in the 5th with a 1-run lead and the bases loaded. Not one.

      So which is it…Craig and the people who agree with him are right…or EVERY SINGLE MANAGER is right?

      • nixonotis - May 4, 2012 at 6:01 PM

        I don’t think the argument is that pitching the 6th inning is IDENTICAL to pitching the 9th, but that the difference between the two is drastically overblown. The fact is that a pitcher who successfully holds a 1 run lead in the 6th inning would, more often than not, hold that same lead in the 9th. While there can be added pressure coming into the game as a closer, there are just as many instances where the high leverage situations are pitched by a lesser pitcher in the innings prior to the 9th.

      • Chris Fiorentino - May 4, 2012 at 6:07 PM

        “The fact is that a pitcher who successfully holds a 1 run lead in the 6th inning would, more often than not, hold that same lead in the 9th. ”

        Sorry, nixonitis…I couldn’t disagree with this statement any more. If there were no difference, then managers would not have “8th inning” and “9th inning” guys. Unless you think that every manager today is wrong? And it’s funny how most of the time, those “closer by committee” situations never seem to work. Wonder why that is.

      • nixonotis - May 4, 2012 at 6:14 PM

        Again, not disagreeing that there’s a difference, but that the difference between those two situations is not as drastic as the “pro-closer” crowd likes to suggest.

        I think the “closer by committee” thing fails because pitchers work best with defined roles, not because one particular guy is best suited to pitch the 9th inning.

      • Liam - May 4, 2012 at 10:07 PM

        You can’t derive “ought” from “is”. A major league manager and a major league organization have similar, but not identical goals. The organization wants to win as many games as possible while the manager wants to keep his job. Obviously winning a lot of games helps that goal, but there is definitely value in being risk averse and conforming. If you miss the playoffs because your 9th inning guy failed in the 9th then the general manager is at fault for not giving you a good enough 9th inning guy. If you miss the playoffs because your 9th inning guy failed in the 7th, then what was the manager doing pitching him in the wrong inning? That said, I’m sure that some players are better in specific innings than others and there is some value to getting your relievers in a routine, but let’s not pretend every managerial move maximizes a team’s chances of winning.

        And closers-by-committee usually fail because no team with an elite reliever tries it. The 2004 Red Sox bullpen was better than the 2003 bullpen because Keith Foulke was a better pitcher than anyone in the ’03 pen, not because they settled on one static role for him.

  11. randygnyc - May 4, 2012 at 5:43 PM

    He may even be back this year…..

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - May 4, 2012 at 5:53 PM

      Not with a torn ACL. Being 42 doesn’t help, either.

      • Jeremy T - May 4, 2012 at 5:58 PM

        on the other hand, being a superhuman freak from outer space helps a lot

  12. ltzep75 - May 4, 2012 at 5:53 PM

    Why do I get the feeling that he may be better next year than the last couple of seasons?

    And yeah…the lack of a Terminator graphic is a definite fail, Craig.

  13. beanster71 - May 4, 2012 at 6:04 PM

    This just made my day.

  14. cares5x - May 4, 2012 at 6:11 PM

    Big red sox fan, would love to see him back, great guy for baseball, wouldn’t want to see him go out this way!

  15. heynerdlinger - May 4, 2012 at 7:19 PM

    This might be a good time to point out that he’s not under contract for next season.

    • aceshigh11 - May 4, 2012 at 10:53 PM

      Actually it’s a terrible time. Try for some tact.

    • mybrunoblog - May 4, 2012 at 10:55 PM

      Very interesting point. What if Robertson or Soriano do well and Yanks will pennant or World series? Might get a little ugly if Mo wants another $14 million and Yanks have to be realistic about a 43 year old guy with a bad knee. I know, I know he is the greatest ever but owners and general managers don’t think like us fans .

    • Gobias Industries - May 4, 2012 at 10:59 PM

      True. However, this might be a good time to point out that this…

      Rivera: “Listen, I’m the greatest closer of all time. I’ve been a part of the Yankees family for 23 years. I’ve won five world championships with this club. I’m a True Yankee (whatever that is). Judging by the comments on HBT over the last couple days, I’m perhaps the most universally respected if not loved player in the game. I’m attempting an unprecedented, storybook comeback. Won’t you sign me for one more season?”

      Yankees Management: “No.”

      …ain’t gonna happen.

  16. sleepyirv - May 5, 2012 at 12:38 AM

    I would love to see a Comeback Season for one more tour around the league so Rivera can leave on his terms. It’s a great story and would bring a lot of focus, very deserving, especially if he can return his regular shutdown stuff. We can really appreciate what kind of special player Rivera is by how close we almost lost him.

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