Coming into the season, it seemed as if Mariano Rivera had a plan for what would happen after the season. Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York noted that Rivera knew what he was going to do once the 2012 season ended, but that he was not going to tell reporters.
Based on the comments that Rivera made, it seemed as if nothing would change his mind about what he was going to do following the season. There was likely no point in time that it crossed Rivera’s mind that he would tear his ACL while shagging fly balls during batting practice at Kauffman Stadium.
If Rivera was planning to retire after the season, then he might be reconsidering his plans now. Rivera is one of the game’s all-time greats. Having the last image from his career as him rolling on the ground in pain on the Kauffman Stadium warning track would not do his career justice.
Even at age 42, Rivera’s arm looked great as hitters were still unable to figure out the magic of Rivera’s cutter through his first nine appearances. It was clear that Rivera was still looking like an elite closer.
Since Rivera was considering retirement at the end of this season, it seems likely that Rivera wanted to go out while he was still at the top of his game. That would have been the case if he was able to stay healthy throughout the year. Now, if Rivera retires at the end of the season, he would be going out at a low point.
Rivera would leave behind a legacy of being the greatest closer of all time if he retires at the end of the year, and he would be a certain Hall of Famer. However, it is hard to see Rivera leaving like this.
The question about his future was already posed to Rivera. According to Erik Boland of Newsday, when Rivera was asked if he will every pitch again, he replied with a cracking voice and said, “I don’t know.” Rivera was uncertain about what the future now holds for him.
There could now be a possibility that Rivera waits a bit longer to decide what he is going to do. According to the David Waldstein of The New York Times, Rivera said he plans to wait and see what happens with his rehab before he decides what he is going to do.
If everything is going well, then there is certainly a chance that Rivera could come back to the New York Yankees.
Even though Rivera’s contract expires at the end of the season, it is hard to see a scenario in which he and the Yankees cannot come to a deal if Rivera decides that he wants to pitch again.
As a result of his knee injury, Rivera may choose to come back to the Yankees in 2013. Rivera has been a winner throughout his time with the Yankees. That type of attitude could motivate him to come back for one more season so that he can finish his career on his own terms.