The all-time saves leader, Mariano Rivera, suffered a torn ACL yesterday while shagging fly balls at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City and according to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com it is still unknown if he'll ever pitch again.
“At this point, I don't know,” Rivera said, repeating softly (via Hoch), “At this point, I don’t know. I have to face this first.”
According to Hoch, Rivera will be evaluated by the Yankees' physicians in New York, but “they're not expecting a miracle,” so his season is likely over. The future Hall of Famer also acknowledged that his career could be over.
“If I had to do it over again, I would do it over again,” he said. “No hesitation. There's reasons why it happens. You have to take it the way it is and fight through it. Now we just have to fight.”
Rivera, 42, is the all-time saves leader with 608 and probably will go down as the best reliever baseball has ever seen. His career record is 76-58 with a stellar 2.21 ERA, 0.5 HR/9, 2.0 BB/9 and 8.3 SO/9 in 1,219.2 innings. He ranks 26th all-time in SO/9 (8.3), second all-time in WHIP (0.99), fifth all-time in SO/BB (4.04), first all-time in ERA+ (ERA adjusted for park effects) with 206. The closest one in that department is Pedro Martinez with 154. Rivera's postseason numbers are also incredible, 42 saves, 0.70 ERA, 0.1 HR/9, 1.3 BB/9 and 7.0 SO/9 in 141.0 innings and five World Series rings.
“The Sandman,” for his walk-up song (Enter Sandman by Metallica), is one of the most beloved players in the majors. Even though he's the greatest reliever to ever walk the earth, at least in my opinion, he doesn't act like one, he's a humble person and a relentless hard worker.
Sometimes when we read about players like Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Cy Young, just to name a few, we wish we could've seen them play. Everybody sees them as the greatest players the game has ever seen, but we tend to forget those who play in our era. Sometimes we don't realize how lucky we are to have seen a guy like Rivera pitch. I feel extremely lucky to have lived in the Rivera, Derek Jeter, Cal Ripken Jr., etc. era and I'm sure I will tell my kids stories about these great players that helped make baseball the greatest game in the entire world.
I really hope we could see Rivera pitch at least one more year, he deserves to retire after entering a game with the song “Enter Sandman” blasting through Yankees Stadium's speakers and achieving another 1-2-3 inning save.
Image by Keith Allison under the Creative Commons License Agreement.