Mariano Rivera ready for his final Opening Day

NEW YORK – Mariano Rivera laughed and said he knew the question was coming. Hours before the Yankees and Red Sox opened their regular seasons at Yankee Stadium, the all-time saves leader confirmed that he indeed did shag fly balls in the outfield.

“I was waiting for that one,” Rivera said. “Yes, I did. It felt good. I didn’t go full strength, but I will at some point. It feels good. I will continue doing it, like I said. I won’t change anything. It happened and you just have to move on.”

It has been a long road back for Rivera from last May 3, when he crumpled to the warning track at Kansas City’s Kauffman Stadium in pursuit of a batting practice fly ball, tearing his right anterior cruciate ligament.

The injury interrupted Rivera’s plans of retiring after the 2012 season, and he has now made his decision public to call it a career after he and the Yankees are done in 2013. Rivera said that what will be his last Opening Day has not felt very different than the others, but he has certainly heard the pleas that have filtered in from the grandstands.

“The fans definitely don’t want me to retire,” Rivera said. “They want me to continue. Players, not too much interacting; I was in Spring Training on Field 3 so I didn’t see them too much. During the season, it might happen. Again, it’s a decision that was made based on what I have left, what I need to give, and just move on.”

Rivera said that he also has not given much thought to what Opening Day will be like for him and the Yankees next season. Rivera has been a staple in pinstripes for nearly two decades, but he promised that when the day comes that he is not present, there will be no regrets.

“I can’t think about tomorrow,” Rivera said. “Next season I’ll be home. I really don’t think like that. My mind doesn’t go that far. It’s in the present and what I have to do now. I don’t know about tomorrow. Now is what I have to think and this is where I am. I have to enjoy this one and see what happens tomorrow.”

7 Comments

Congrats to Joba the Bum on once again proving how BAD a pitcher he is. Tell me how many more years will it take before the Yankee Brass pulls its head out of its ARSE and figure out that this guy was a one year wonder. Keep putting him out there Joe. A 5-2 game you can come back from late in the game. But thanks to Joba the Bum an 8-2 game is out of reach.

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They really SUCKED today. Thank God there is still 161 more games to play. Although with this crap lineup I still think it is going to be one LONG year.

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Mo’s going out on top. It seems like many hang on too long. I can understand him wanting to retire. He’s only middle aged and he has a nice Family and plenty of money. A while back he wanted to be a minister when he retired. I haven;t heard any different since. Good Luck and God Bless you Mariano!

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Mathew Meister is partially wrong but still wrong. I would trade A Nuni and Joba like last friday.

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Word……that was pretty aweful. A bunch slow bat speed veterans. I talked to Melky Mesa during the game, I expect him to replace Gardener in a week or 2

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Nunez is just bad enough to scare every Yankee fan. He is not a LEGIT starter in the majors with his inability to play D. This game went just about as I thought with this putrid lineup. Not good enough to rally against any opponent with its lack of talent and limited ability to score runs. Don’t be surprised more of the same down the road this season. Good example why Sherman is wrong about what he said about thetype of offseason signing the Yanks have made. Complete BS, another poor job of putting this team together

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Nunez is not making me feel good about Jeter being out of lineup. He has the hat trick for strike outs and he probably will get one more at bat. CC was nothing special. We’re going to have to rally to win opening day so that Mo can get a save!

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