Mariano Rivera is not going to let an injury dictate the end of his stunning career. While recovering from major knee surgery, the iconic closer told the New York Yankees that he wasn't ready to hang up the cutter just yet.
George A. King III of the New York Post passed along this quote from Yankees GM Brian Cashman: "Rivera contacted us and wants to play."
This is fantastic news for the Yankees, the game of baseball and sports fans everywhere.
Rivera, 42, is baseball's all-time leading saves leader. The career Yankee has accumulated those saves over an 18-year career, and he has been the team's closer since replacing John Wetteland in 1997.
Rivera's consistency and longevity have been amazing, and he's done it all with really only one pitch: the cutter.
Baseball was not the same this season without that physics-defying pitch.
The injury occurred in early May. Rivera, as was his routine, was shagging fly balls when he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. It's an injury more typically reserved for an NFL running back than a pitcher, but the result is the same: a long recovery process.
That said, Rivera shouldn't be at a huge risk for re-injury. There is a good chance he will no longer be shagging fly balls, though, and I wouldn't expect him to get in any pickup tackle football games in the near future.
As for his pitching? It is likely he will be just as wicked as when he left. Rivera pitched only 8.1 innings last season, but he looked like his typical dominant self.
It is also safe to assume that he will be pitching in pinstripes. Teams, especially a team like the Yankees, do not let players like this go.
The Yankees received wonderful pitching in the closer role from Rafael Soriano last year, but they are still likely to jump at the chance to get Mariano back in that role.
Now they just have to remember how to hit so he can have a game to save.