Mar
07

Mariano Rivera set to announce retirement following 2013 season on Saturday

By
Walkin' away. (Star-Ledger)

Walkin’ away. (Star-Ledger)

An era is ending in the Bronx. Joel Sherman reports Mariano Rivera will hold a press conference on Saturday morning to announce his retirement from baseball following the 2013 season. He could always change his mind between now and then, but I wouldn’t count on it. The press conference is scheduled for 10am ET at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa.

Rivera, 43, said he made up his mind about his future when camp opened, but he wasn’t ready to tell anyone anything yet. News of Saturday’s announcement is no surprise, as I think most of us expected Mo to retire following last season. The season-ending knee injury in early-May changed those plans. In fact, Rivera said himself there was a “good chance” he would have retired in the offseason had the knee gotten healthy in time to allow him to pitch in the playoffs.

The Yankees signed Rivera for just $2,000 as a 20-year-old out of Panama back in February 1990. He spent the early part of his career as a starter, gradually working his way to the big leagues and making his debut on May 23rd, 1995 against the California Angels. They clobbered him, hanging five runs on eight hits and three walks against Rivera in 3.1 innings. He remained in the rotation for another three starts and resurfaced later that season, most notably striking out eleven White Sox in eight two-hit, shutout innings on Independence Day. It was, by far, the best of his ten career starts.

(AP Photo/John Dunn)

(AP Photo/John Dunn)

The club moved Rivera to the bullpen to open the 1996 season and the rest, as they say, is history. He pitched to a 2.09 ERA with 130 strikeouts in 107.2 relief innings that year, serving as a super-setup man to closer John Wetteland. Rivera allowed one run in 14.1 postseason innings that fall to help the Yankees to their first World Championship in almost 20 years. All of that happened before Mo learned his trademark cutter.

As the story goes, Rivera was playing catch with fellow Panamanian Ramiro Mendoza in 1997 when the ball just started cutting. That was it, he didn’t alter his grip or anything. Rivera rode that pitch to become the most dominant reliever in baseball history. He took over as closer for Wetteland in 1997 and hasn’t looked back, pitching in that same capacity for the last 17 years now. Mo has helped the Yankees to five World Championships and 18 postseason berths during his 19 seasons.

Along the way, Rivera has become baseball’s all-time leader in saves (608), games finished (892), and ERA+ (206). His postseason record in beyond belief, with a 0.70 ERA and 0.76 WHIP in 141 total innings. That is ridiculous. Rivera has never won a major award but he owns five top-five finishes in the AL Cy Young voting and has received AL MVP votes in nine different years. He will also be the final player in baseball history to wear #42. Mo is a 12-time All-Star and one of the greatest Yankees to ever live. An icon.

Off the field, Rivera is well-known as a kind and caring person who is a true class act. He’s everything anyone could ever want in a baseball player and person. Mo has been my favorite Yankee for a long time and this is a bittersweet day. I’m sad he’s leaving and I’m glad he’ll leave under his own terms. Getting carted off the field following a pregame accident in Kansas City is no way to go out. Teams will give Rivera a grand Chipper Jones-esque send-off this summer and it will be glorious.

Categories : News

74 Comments»

  1. teddy says:

    no!!!!!!!! why would he retire in his prime

  2. vin says:

    ::single tear::

  3. Eddard the Great says:

    I figured this would be it for him. Last year might have been it had he not gotten hurt. Mo deserves to go out on top so hopefully this is a rallying point for this team.

  4. Winter says:

    What happened to that “The (early season) Yankees are in trouble” post? Seems like it was there for a second and then gone.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      I’m sure this came up and took precedence, and that we’ll probably see that one around 3:00 PM.

      My two cents? Tired of the “in trouble” posts and comments, no matter how truthful a lot of it is. I’d love to see some new, unexpected wrinkle on things.

      • LK says:

        I think a lot of us would like a new, unexpected wrinkle on things. I just can’t figure out what it would be.

  5. Matt DiBari says:

    Good for him. I’d rather he pitched forever, but whatever makes him happy. Hopefully we pull off a miracle and win one for him on the way out

  6. The Real Greg says:

    Luckily for the Yankees, the one place where their farm system is really stacked is bullpen pitching. Mark Montgomery will probably be ready by next year to move into our bullpen.

  7. Jack says:

    The Hammer of God. Twas a privilege to watch him for as long as I’ve been a Yankee fan. Sad to see him go.

  8. Pat D says:

    I think this should be Mo’s entrance for the rest of this year. (Sorry for it being a live video and not the broadcast version)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGNydJkNBOk

  9. jsbrendog says:

    phew. now hopefully he doesn’t get hurt.

    last yr i bought all three of the final homestand on presale so i could see his final reg season save….not only did he get hurt but the boston games were meaningless (although fun.)

    did the same this year with the three rays games to close the home schedule.

    here’s hoping he saves all 3. I want to be there, standing, yelling MA-RI-ANO clap clap clapclapclap as he walks off the field with the S for the final time (in the reg season)

  10. John C says:

    We all figured this was coming. Guess Mo will spend alot of time with Robertson this season grooming him for the job.

  11. Improbable Island's Dirty Midget Whores (formerly RRR) says:

    What a shame that his final season will clearly be with his worst to second worst team.

    Win it for Mo, guys.

  12. Nuke Guy (Knoxvillain) says:

    It’s hard to expect anything much from the Yankees this season, but hopefully they some how pull out number 28 for Mo.

  13. Robinson Tilapia says:

    Not surprised.

    It’s been an honor.

  14. Kiko Jones says:

    Because I was a toddler when he retired and my late father was a lifelong baseball fan, it’s possible I saw my favorite Yankee play. But, alas, I have no memory of The Mick. I do, however, have many fond ones of my second favorite. Maybe one day, God willing, I’ll be able to regale youngsters with stories of seeing the other great no. 42 in all his glory. Only one more to go, but it’s been a blast. Gracias por todo, caballero.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      Even if he just wanders the concourses all game, I need to get my boy to the stadium this year.

      • Kiko Jones says:

        +1

      • Cris Pengiucci says:

        Brining my grandson to one of the games at Coors Field in May. At 7, he’s not a big baseball fan, but I’ll forever remind him that he got to see HOF’er Mariano Rivera in his last season, and another HOF’er in Derek Jeter. Maybe one day, when he’s older, he’ll appreciate that. I too, saw the Mick play (in’66), but don’t truely remember it as I was 6 years old at the time.

  15. Karl Krawfid says:

    Wait until he blows a couple saves. “Retire now!”

  16. Marsha says:

    I am booking my hotel room at Cooperstown now. Our family always said we were going to Mo’s induction.

    • Pat D says:

      You’d just better hope they’re taking reservations for 2019 already.

      • Cris Pengiucci says:

        They’ll waive any time requirements and allow him in right after the season ends. Before the next class is even announced. He’s that good!

  17. Wil Nieves #1 Fan says:

    I don’t feel good right now :(

  18. Flamingo says:

    It’s hardly a surprise, but I do dislike the way his career obituary has been written already. It’s not the end of an era yet! Here’s to 45 saves, an ERA below 1.00, and #28 this year. Six rings would sound even better in a career roundup.

  19. Stevis says:

    What a great pleasure to watch this incredibly gifted and nice man!

  20. yankonymous says:

    I hope he closes out just one more with pettitte as the starter. That way Mo would have 609 for his career with 69 coming on a pettitte win.

  21. Barry's Gift Basket says:

    I got the goose bumps reading this.

    • Barry's Gift Basket says:

      Teary eyes now… shit, If i keep going like this, I may(will) cry like a little girl when the last game of the season ends.

  22. Ghost of Joe Dugan says:

    My family planned a trip to NY last year specifically to see Mo come out of the bullpen @ YS one last time. Alas, the trip was great but no Mo due to injury. Dare I make a 2nd trip, (I live 2500 miles from NYC).

    I DARE!

    • Barry's Gift Basket says:

      Do it, I’ll do it in july. I have no idea how many miles are from Mexico City to NYC, but I don’t care, I’ll go watch the Yankees (Mo) this season.

      • Bleacher Creatcher says:

        I have to see Mo this year! He once waved at me when I was making a fool of myself in the bleachers, hence my name. cheap yankees tickets There is only one way I won’t see Mo this year and that’s if he wears a Red Sox uniform.

  23. Rizi Walnuts says:

    A Yankee legend. It has been a privilege watching him perform. Thank you, Mariano.

  24. Ethan says:

    Why do I feel like I just read an obituary.

  25. SD Charlie says:

    As the retirements start rolling in, the reality is also becoming more clear. We’ve enjoyed such a great (and nowadays uncommon) run in the last 17-18 years with a core of amazing players who have given us so many great memories. Jeter will likely be the last man standing from the core 4, and it’s really going to be weird to see a lineup without him. Just have to sit back and enjoy it while you can.

  26. ThatstheMelkyMesaWaysa says:

    I’m going to miss Mo so much. The amount he’s given to this organization and the game of baseball as a whole cannot be quantified. One of the greatest of all time.

  27. King of Fruitless Hypotheticals says:

    I THOUGHT YOU MEANT TODAY.

    HOLY MOLY.

  28. Fuji says:

    I was just joking about the whole Tex is breaking down rhetoric the other day, and I haven’t been on RAB since that news came in. I am just…i don’t know

  29. Nathan says:

    I know a grown man shouldn’t cry but I’ll probably let some tears loose on the final day he pitches.

  30. Jacob the OG says:

    The greatest pitcher to ever throw the ball, rolaids relief award should be the Mariano Rivera award. The only must for me this year is to see him pitch in a game hell or high water.

  31. AK says:

    RAB: While I don’t doubt that this is true but it seems like strange reporting from an otherwise very veritable and trustworthy reporter. Having read Mo stories in the past and seen all sorts of sites (ESPN,RAB, LoHudYanks) gush about Mo upon reposting Joel Sherman’s reporting, it seems strange that he or someone would have leaked this. It seems more likely that the Yankees scheduled a press conference for Mo to speak to reporters and that this was just the logical conclusion. By no means do I expect otherwise but it still just seems strange to conclude this without any sort of doubt. Why would Mo have “leaked” this or told one reporter and not another. All in all, it just seems more likely that Joel Sherman put 2 and 2 together rather than was told it was 4. He is and will still be right, most likely, but have found it odd is all.

  32. LK says:

    It’s been a privilege to watch Mariano all these years. Like many Yankee players, he won’t be fully appreciated until after he’s gone.

  33. Jamey says:

    According to ESPN we are witnessing the crumbling of the Yankee empire. I was unaware this current team has been playing since the 1920′s. Where do Jeter & Mo keep their 27 rings?

  34. cr1 says:

    As an introduction to greatness, when I was a novice baseball fan watching my starter team, the Dodgers, a million years ago when my family lived in LA, even before there was a Dodger Stadium, I saw Sandy Koufax pitch.

    Now that I am a retiree living in tropical sunshine in another country, I am very glad to be able to say that I saw greatness with my grownup team, the Yankees, too – yes, I saw the great Mariano Rivera pitch.

    When someday my grandchildren tell me about their new favorite great pitcher, my first question will be: can he get them out if they know, before every windup, what pitch it will be and at exactly what speed it will come? If not, don’t talk to me about greatness.

  35. matt nokes says:

    Is there any film of that start where he struck out 11 over 8 innings?

  36. trr says:

    THE GREATEST …without qualification. Let me say, the pleasure has been ours. See you in the Hall!

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