Mariano Rivera decided last spring that would be his final season in Major League Baseball. After he tore his ACL last May, it looked his final chapter would have anything but a happy ending. A cloud of uncertainty hovered over the Big Apple as Rivera contemplated his future. He wanted to go out on his own terms so he decided to make a comeback. Rivera has made his way back. Metallica’s Enter Sandman will blare throughout Yankee Stadium for one more season. But only one more. Rivera announced over the weekend that would be his final year in Major League Baseball. No matter how the season ends, Rivera will walk right off the mound and into the Hall-Of-Fame. The legendary closer will hang up his cleats following this year but his mark left on the game will never be touched.
His name is all over the record books and there is no argument to be had about who the best closer of all-time is. It’s Rivera and now he gets to leave the game he loves on his own terms. Mariano Rivera joined ESPN Radio New York with the Michael Kay Show to talk about whether he would reconsider the possibility of playing in if he has a great year this season, if his retirement is going to come because he has spent too much time away from his family, whether he thinks sitting out this past season will help the transition with retirement, if he thinks the Yankees will have a chance to win this season and what he will miss the most when he retires.
Whether he would reconsider the possibility of playing in 2014 if he has a great year this season:
“There’s nothing to reconsider. It’s done. (Host: But that would mean you have a lot left in the tank if you have a great year.) No, no, no. I’m going to give everything that I have. If I have something left then that is for me to enjoy. Michael, I will give you a better scenario. I have 60 saves and a great ERA, it don’t matter, it don’t matter. No, it’s done.”
Is it because you have spent too much time away from your family?
“No, it’s not about that. I have other things to do. To me baseball is not everything. It’s something that I did for more than half of my years already. It’s time to move on.”
Do you think sitting out last year will help you make the transition to retirement?
“I would say so, I would say so. It will be easier. I was home the whole year and I did enjoy it. I was going through rehab and working for a lot of other things. I was home every night. It allowed me to enjoy and I saw things different so the transition was easier.”
Do you think this Yankees team has a chance to win this year?
“A lot of injuries happened this year, now in spring training, but I always say one thing, if it’s going to happen then let it happen in spring training so we have enough time to re-do the team or go and get some help if we need help. The most important thing is we have a combination of veterans and young boys that are willing to step up. Last year we had a lot of people down and we came through. This year it’s no different. We start the season without Alex (Rodriguez), Tex (Mark Teixeira) and (Curtis) Granderson, but someone will step up. We just have to believe, that’s all. Play the game we know how to play and we will be okay.”
On what he will miss the most when he retires:
“Just being on the mound and competing. That’s the only thing I’m going to miss. Obviously my teammates, but the rest you can give it to Michael (Laughing).”