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Joe Girardi will try to talk Mariano Rivera out of retiring

Sep 4, 2013, 10:15 AM EDT

New York Yankees manager Girardi talks with Yankees closing pitcher Rivera against the Baltimore Orioles during the ninth inning of their MLB American League baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York Reuters

I’ve written a few times that it just doesn’t seem fair to the baseball-loving public for Mariano Rivera to retire when he’s still so clearly an amazing pitcher, if only because I want to find out exactly how long he can continue posting a sub-3.00 ERA. 45? 50?

Anyway, apparently Yankees manager Joe Girardi agrees, because on the same day Rivera notched his record ninth 40-save season Girardi told Ian O’Connor of ESPN New York that he plans to try to talk the 43-year-old future Hall of Famer out of retiring once the season is over.

I don’t see any reason why he couldn’t do it next year, I don’t. He’s made it pretty clear that he doesn’t want to [return], but I always say, you know, January rolls around and sometimes you have a different feel about what you want to do. … I’m sure I’ll talk to him at some point in the offseason and … I’ll tell him when the season’s over, “Take a month. Take a month and a half, two months, and make sure this is really what you want to do. Because once you do go, it’s hard to come back.”

For his part, when asked about Girardi’s plans Rivera said: “I told you guys already. I don’t know why we’re talking about this. I’ve already made my decision.”

Meanwhile, he has a 2.12 ERA and 46/9 K/BB ratio in 51 innings and could end up with his most saves since 2004. Keep playing, Mo!

  1. Old Gator - Sep 4, 2013 at 10:18 AM

    Fucking ridiculous numbers.

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  2. jarathen - Sep 4, 2013 at 10:18 AM

    The only thing more sad than a player who refuses to accept the dying of the light is one who can’t make up his mind. Retire or don’t, but you don’t tour the country to standing ovation and weird gifts just to come back next year.

    Go out a hero before you become… that other thing.

    • Kevin S. - Sep 4, 2013 at 10:19 AM

      Rivera has made up his mind.

      • RickyB - Sep 4, 2013 at 10:28 AM

        Agreed. If there is one athlete you can take at his word, it is Mariano Rivera. He will not pitch in the big leagues next year.

      • jarathen - Sep 4, 2013 at 10:31 AM

        I believe that Rivera will retire. I just wish Girardi would accept that.

      • historiophiliac - Sep 4, 2013 at 10:57 AM

        Denial is the first stage of grief.

      • badintent - Sep 5, 2013 at 12:42 AM

        Say it ain’t so , Mo.

    • apkyletexas - Sep 4, 2013 at 10:26 AM

      @jarathen – “you don’t tour the country to standing ovation and weird gifts just to come back next year”

      Unless you are the freaking Sandman, and you are still basically unhittable. Unless you’ve only given up 12 earned runs in 5 months, and you’ve saved 40 games. Then you ignore the commentards and you do whatever the hell you want.

      • cackalackyank - Sep 4, 2013 at 4:43 PM

        Yes, MO can write his own check. Could he put a s**t load of zeroes on said check. Oh heck yeah. Has he EVER given us the faintest idea that he is the type of guy that would go back on his word and do it? NO

    • aceshigh11 - Sep 4, 2013 at 10:27 AM

      Well-said, Harvey Dent.

      What is this, the Dark Knight?

      • jarathen - Sep 4, 2013 at 1:48 PM

        The night is always darkest just before you sign Pujols and Hamilton. Then it stays that way.

      • jimeejohnson - Sep 5, 2013 at 8:08 PM

        In Alaskan winter.

    • hockeyflow33 - Sep 4, 2013 at 7:17 PM

      Imagine the gall of changing your mind. A player really is a selfish jerk for deciding that he wants to keep playing the sport he has played his whole life.

  3. apkyletexas - Sep 4, 2013 at 10:23 AM

    Just last night I wrote that he shouldn’t retire when he’s got a 2.16 ERA. After last night’s game, his ERA is down to 2.12.

    He can have a job with my Pirates if he’s tired of being a Yankee. But there’s no way he should be retiring.

  4. mdpickles - Sep 4, 2013 at 10:26 AM

    Mo could have a sub 3.00 ERA till about 68. But he’s got villages to save, baseball would just be a waste of time. Great pitcher, even better human being.

  5. xpensivewinos - Sep 4, 2013 at 10:27 AM

    Won’t the Twins want their cool rocking chair back if he doesn’t retire? :)

    • dluxxx - Sep 4, 2013 at 11:34 AM

      Nah, they’d just change the name of it from “The Chair of Broken Dreams” to “The Chair of Broken Promises.”

  6. gpatrick15 - Sep 4, 2013 at 10:27 AM

    Better to walk away on his own terms than be forced out due to circumstances beyond his control. I’m glad he’s sticking to his word.

  7. proudlycanadian - Sep 4, 2013 at 10:29 AM

    The Yankees could afford to keep Mo next season only if (1) A-Rod gets an unpaid vacation or (2) if Cano signs elsewhere.

    • Caught Looking - Sep 4, 2013 at 1:28 PM

      They can afford him in any case. Even if he plays, A-Rod’s salary drops by $3MM next year. Plus, Jeter will make less next season with his player option at $8MM vs. this season’s salary of $17MM and Youk’s $12MM is off the books. I’m not saying they won’t spend elsewhere, but if he wants to come back, they will easily find a way to pay for it.

    • kevinbnyc - Sep 4, 2013 at 4:23 PM

      When’s the last time you heard someone add a qualifier to “The Yankees could afford (player)”?

  8. johnnysoda - Sep 4, 2013 at 10:38 AM

    It’s better if he leaves while he’s still on top of his game, then have to retire because he can’t do it anymore. How many times do you see a top player go out at the top of his game?

    Besides it would be strange to see all these teams give Mo retiring gifts, and then see him come back like nothing happened.

    • kcroyal - Sep 4, 2013 at 12:02 PM

      Yes, but the point is he could come back next year and still go out on top. I hate the Yankees, but Mo is the best. Hating the Yankees just won’t be quite the same.

      • km9000 - Sep 4, 2013 at 10:59 PM

        You mean it’ll be a lot easier, right?

  9. aceshigh11 - Sep 4, 2013 at 10:46 AM

    I’m sure he could pitch another season, but I think it would go totally against the grain of his dignified persona and dignified exit from the game to rethink his retirement.

    He’s already having all of these ceremonies at parks across the country. Just let Mo go out on his own terms.

    Girardi is WAY out of line even bringing that up in public as far as I’m concerned.

    • historiophiliac - Sep 4, 2013 at 11:23 AM

      Cashman should tell him to STFU.

      • km9000 - Sep 4, 2013 at 11:17 PM

        “Now, where was I? Oh yeah, So Chipper, babe, I know you said you weren’t coming back this year. So what’s it gonna take for you to come back and don the pinstripes next year?”

    • cackalackyank - Sep 4, 2013 at 4:50 PM

      Yes Girardi is out of line for bringing it up. Yet Gleeman wrote about it…and here we are commenting about it. Sooooo.

  10. girardisbraces - Sep 4, 2013 at 11:28 AM

    As usual, people (read: media) are taking this innocent statement out of context.

    Girardi did NOT say he was going to try to talk Mo out of retiring. All he said was that he wanted to have a conversation with him and just ask the question “Are you really, really sure you want to retire?”

    It’s just a former ballplayer talking to an almost former ballplayer from a point of view of someone who’s been through it.

    As usual, it’s another misleading headline to grab more clicks. Garbage.

    • bigharold - Sep 4, 2013 at 1:00 PM

      Correct, if one saw his press conference he didn’t say he’d try to talk him out of retiring. But, “Girardi will ask Mo to be sure he really wants to retire” just doesn’t have the legs as “Girardi will talk Mo out of retiring”.

      Of course, on the other hand life without Rivera will be significantly more difficult for Yankee managers so it’s not like Girardi doesn’t have a vested interest. I could see an ulterior motive for Girardi wanting to talk Rivera out of retiring but I don’t think that’s the case. Nor, do I think it would work in any case.

  11. styx630 - Sep 4, 2013 at 11:36 AM

    No thanks. I have nothing against Mariano and think he’s a great player, but I can’t take another year of the media slobbering all over him retiring like it’s the second coming of Christ.

    • nbjays - Sep 4, 2013 at 1:57 PM

      With Mo gone they will just concentrate all their slobbering on Bryce Harper.

      • cackalackyank - Sep 4, 2013 at 4:52 PM

        No, next year will be Jeter’s last season, most likely.

  12. pisano - Sep 4, 2013 at 11:51 AM

    He can talk until he’s blue in the face, he won’t change his mind. I listen to him last night on the post game, and there’s no way he’s coming back.

  13. michaeljacksonisback - Sep 4, 2013 at 12:04 PM

    He sucks, quit today Mario it’s over

    • cofran2004 - Sep 4, 2013 at 1:29 PM

      you’re an idiot.

      • cackalackyank - Sep 4, 2013 at 7:45 PM

        I think you are being awfullly courteous and polite by only calling jacksonisback an idiot….

  14. thegronk87 - Sep 4, 2013 at 12:08 PM

    Millar walks. Roberts steals second. Mueller with a blast up the middle. Tie game!!!!

    Ah priceless memories….

    • zzalapski - Sep 4, 2013 at 12:20 PM

      That’s adorable. Rivera probably wouldn’t begrudge you reliving that at his expense; he’s got five championship seasons of his own to relish.

      • bruininnh1984 - Sep 4, 2013 at 4:33 PM

        this is very true. he’s earned every one of his rings don’t get me wrong. but Mo’s blown save in game four got the ball rolling for the red sox to come back in that series which propelled the red sox into the world series, which ultimately culminated in a red sox championship. The fact that the blown save came off of Rivera, made it all the more a huge accomplishment considering he’s been damn near automatic throughout his career let alone the postseason where he’s been just about untouchable.

    • chiadam - Sep 4, 2013 at 1:04 PM

      A blast single?

    • jimbanks02 - Sep 4, 2013 at 6:21 PM

      Yes, let’s take a trip down memory lane, shall we? Bob Gibson in ’67, The Big Red Machine in ’76, Bucky Dent, Bill Buckner, and Aaron Boone. Felling better now?

      • thegronk87 - Sep 4, 2013 at 7:07 PM

        Just pointing out the obvious..sox own rivera.

        Rivera may have 5 rings, but he’s cost the yankees at least 2 WS by himself.

        Shhoosh joba, i’m talking.

      • Kevin S. - Sep 5, 2013 at 12:43 AM

        The Sox have a career .241/.306/.333 line against Rivera, and he’s posted a 2.78 ERA against him. They’ve faced him 113 times, so obviously they’ve had a couple instances where they’ve gotten the better of him, but let’s not get carried away with this owning stuff.

  15. lew24 - Sep 4, 2013 at 12:20 PM

    If he comes back next year, does he have to return the Sandcastle that the Rays gave him?

  16. albertmn - Sep 4, 2013 at 12:47 PM

    Mariano is done. He has said repeatedly that he is ready to move on with his life, and who can blame him? He doesn’t owe anything to the Yankees or their fans. He put in his time, was great, earned his money (as much as any athlete ‘earns’ that much money), and deserves to spend time with his family and enjoy retirement. Who among us wouldn’t retire today, if we knew money was never going to be an issue again in our lives, regardless of whether or not we can still do our jobs well?

    • albertmn - Sep 4, 2013 at 12:50 PM

      Oh, and while Girardi is within his rights to talk to Rivera after the season, he didn’t need to say anything publicly now or ever. It is just grandstanding to draw more attention to himself.

      • hockeyflow33 - Sep 4, 2013 at 7:19 PM

        Or he was answering a question that was asked of him.

      • km9000 - Sep 4, 2013 at 11:12 PM

        Either way, he could’ve just ended his statement with “He’s made it pretty clear that he doesn’t want to [return].”

  17. hitdog042 - Sep 4, 2013 at 12:58 PM

    So the farewell tour then becomes a joke. Teams bought him gifts. If he does come back do us a favor. Retire when the season is over and don’t announce it.

    • hockeyflow33 - Sep 4, 2013 at 7:19 PM

      The farewell tour is a joke anyways.

  18. sleepyirv - Sep 4, 2013 at 1:36 PM

    Rivera is retiring and boarding a rocket ship. He has nothing left to prove on this planet.

  19. 1historian - Sep 4, 2013 at 2:52 PM

    FYI – I don’t like the Yankees and never will, but Rivera is a class act, and I think he should stick to his plan and just hang it up.

    IOW – go out on top. Don’t look back

  20. genericcommenter - Sep 4, 2013 at 5:12 PM

    I could be wrong, but he doesn’t seem like the type of guy to receive a Retirement Hummer and then come back the next year (and especially not for another team.)

  21. txnative61 - Sep 5, 2013 at 2:29 AM

    With numbers like that he’s obviously been on roids for years. Probably pissed away all that money on paternity lawsuits, luxury mansions, hookers, bling, and defense attorneys so he really HAS to keep playing to stay out of jail. Orrrrrrr——maybe going to the ballpark every day of a very long season isn’t doing it for him anymore, and he doesn’t feel he owes anybody anything. Adiós Amigo, mucho gracias.

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