This isn’t how it is supposed to end.
A career that began as a starter in 1995 and transformed into that of the greatest closer in the history of baseball may have ended on a warning track in Kansas City during batting practice.
Mariano Rivera tore his right ACL while shagging flies during batting practice before last nights game against the Royals, certainly ending his season , and possibly his career. It can’t end like this, can it?
Although Rivera vowed not to make a decision on retirement, it was a forgone conclusion that this was his last season. Yankees fans, myself included, vowed to relish every pitch, every walk from the bullpen with Enter Sandman blaring from the stadium loud speakers, every save. We all knew we were witnessing the last games of a legend and future Hall-of-Famer, and wanted every moment etched into our memories for good.
But not like this memory.
His career should have ended like the 2009 season ended: with his arms in the air and a smile on his face as the fielders behind him record the final out of the World Series. A celebration of a championship, and a celebration of a champion.
But it is not to be. Not this year.
Rivera said he has no idea if he will pitch again, that he must first get through this injury. My hope is that he does.
Because it can’t end like this.