Last season, Yankee fans and local media were kept in the dark regarding Mariano Rivera’s intentions with respect to playing another season until after he tore his ACL in early May. This year, he plans to be much more upfront about his future. “I’ll tell you in spring training,” the all-time saves leader told reporters. “Spring training is going to be the date.” That would certainly be preferable to the way last Spring played out, when every move from arriving to camp on-time, something of a rarity for Mo, to supposedly enjoying the experience more than most, was scrutinized for signs that the beloved Rivera was spending his last March in training camp.
If I had to wager on it, I’d bet that 2013 will be Mo’s final season, and his comments here don’t do a whole lot to change that assumption. “The decision to come back wasn’t easy,” he said. “Once you see the other side, I had almost the whole season to see things and enjoy my family and do all the things I didn’t do for 22 years. [But,] I’m a baseball player. The way I finished the season wasn’t the way I wanted to finish, so that’s why I said I’m going to come back.” That’s all well and good, and I think we can all agree we’re very glad that the image of him laying in the Kaufman Stadium outfield was not the way we wanted to see Mo’s amazing career end, but that also doesn’t really sound like a guy who spent some time away from the game and had the desire to continue to play strengthen.
Update: Here’s Mo talking about his decision to return on Geico SportsNite: