I went to dinner with a few other beat writers last night. We were laughing about the fact Mariano Rivera showed up on Monday, refused to say whether he’s going retire at the end of the season, and we’ve all been writing about it for three days now.
That’s life in Yankees camp this spring. Rivera is a fascinating subject, and the fact he would even hint at retirement — and let me be clear, I walked away from that interview absolutely convinced this is his last year — is probably the most interesting thing that’s happened these past few days. It’s way too early to know anything about the fifth starter competition, nearly the entire roster is settled (barring injury) and there’s just not much drama going on so far.
I’m sure that will change, but right now, the spring is a lot like the winter. Quiet.
Another reason the Rivera story has lingered: There’s a very real appreciation for all he’s done and what he’s meant. As Bob Nightengale wrote for USA Today, closers don’t last in the big leagues. Rivera is the only current closer to hold his job for more than four full seasons with his current team, and there are only three others who have had the job for at least two seasons.
In a job with such radical turnover, Rivera’s been brilliant since 1997. Amazing.