Mariano Rivera Likely Done for 2012 with ACL Tear, Devastating Loss for Yankees

Doug RushSenior Analyst IMay 4, 2012

Yankee fans all over the world watched in horror when Mariano Rivera fell to the ground at Kauffman Stadium on Thursday night.

Through the hours of the night on Thursday into Friday, Yankee fans hoped it would just be a twisted knee.

Unfortunately, it's worse than that.

Wallace Matthews of ESPN reported that Rivera has torn the ACL in his right knee, and will likely be out for the rest of the 2012 season.

The report comes from Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who has said that it's a preliminary report, but in all likelihood, it looks as if the Yankees' closer is done.

When you look back at the video of Rivera falling to the ground, you see Alex Rodriguez's concern, saying "Oh my god, oh my god," which led to Girardi sprinting out to the warning track to check on his closer.

A-Rod's reaction and words were exactly how all of Yankees Universe felt when they saw him tumble to the ground holding his knee like that.

There were a lot of rumors and whispers wondering if the 2012 season would be the final year in the historic career of perhaps the greatest closer in baseball history.

If the 42-year-old Rivera can't come back from this kind of injury, it would be an absolute shame for him to go out this way because Rivera deserves better than that.


Not only has he been the most dominant closer of this generation, but he's been a total class act and a role model for younger baseball players and pitchers to look up to and idolize.

With the injury, I can see the Yankees giving the closer role to David Robertson, who a lot of people thought would end up being the heir to Rivera once he retired.

But now, if Rivera is in fact done for the season and his career, it's time for Girardi to give the reins to Robertson.

I'm sure Robertson will do just fine adjusting, but what a crucial and devastating loss for the Yankees.

In the 17 years Rivera has been a Yankee, this is really his first major injury that he has suffered. He's been a model of consistency and durability in his career.

But this is really a crushing blow to the Yankees' pitching staff and to the team.

Rivera gave the Yankees that end-of-the-game edge that psyched out other teams. If you were losing in the ninth inning by three runs or less and Enter Sandman was playing, 99 percent of the time, the game was over.

That intimidation factor may be gone now for the Yankees with Rivera now on the shelf.

How do the Yankees handle not having Rivera for the rest of 2012?

And will this be the final chapter for the future Hall of Famer? Only time will tell.

Yankees Universe can only hope for a positive outcome with this, if there is even one possible.