If you were looking forward to seeing the greatest closer ever pitch this weekend, you are out of luck. Unless something changes, Mariano Rivera played in his last game Thursday night.
Mariano Rivera (John Munson/THE STAR-LEDGER via USA TODAY Sports)
On the heels of perhaps one of the best final acts ever in Yankee Stadium, no one expected Rivera to pitch Friday night. But with long time teammate, and former Astro, Andy Pettitte on the mound tonight, there was the possibility of the closer relieving him one last time.
But prior to tonight’s game, Rivera met with the media and pretty much put that speculation to rest. David Barron’s blog post also silences rumors about Rivera perhaps closing out his career in center field.
"“I’m done, guys. I’m done,” Rivera said prior to Saturday’s game. “I gave everything that I had when I was playing for something. … I think Thursday was the day that I left everything on the field.”"
What we also found out during Rivera’s chat with reporters, is that he has not been healthy this month.
"Even then, he said, he was pitching in “with tremendous soreness in my arm. But at the same time I was giving everything. Now I’m just going to enjoy what is left of the season and enjoy my family. I know that was the perfect moment.”"
As bittersweet as it may be, I think it is for the best that Rivera does not pitch or play the outfield this weekend. Our lasting image of him should be departing to a standing ovation in Yankee Stadium after handing the ball off to Pettitte and Derek Jeter.