Before last night’s game, Mariano Rivera met with long-time Rockies employees as part of his effort to say thank you in every road city of his final season. When the meet-and-greet was over, last night’s Rockies starter, Juan Nicasio, emerged from the back of the room to ask Rivera for a picture. Sure, Nicasio was going to try to beat Rivera in a few hours, but first he wanted photographic proof that he’d met the game’s greatest closer.
The Yankees will wrap up their Rockies series this afternoon, then the Rivera farewell tour will make one of its most interesting stops: Kansas City, the site of last year’s season-ending ACL injury.
“I will enjoy it, definitely,” Rivera said. “Because that moment, and seeing where I am right now, that’s why it’s gratifying. … Being there, and appreciate what you’re going through. It could have happened in New York. It could have happened anywhere else. It happened in Kansas City. We’re going to play Kansas City. I’m just going to have the same fun that I’ve been having, the same fun that I always have. That ain’t going to put me down or have me say I don’t want to be here. No. I want to be there. I want to be there. I want to enjoy it. I want to see the doctor who took me to the hospital and say thank you. I want that.
“It’s not to feel sorry. It’s to have joy, because I’m still doing what I love to do.”
Rivera said he will shag fly balls tomorrow, just like he did a little more than a year ago.
“Nothing’s going to change,” he said. “I’m going to do what I love to do. And yes, I will. I got hurt like this, (but) I might go to the same spot where I landed, where I was. But I’m going to enjoy it. It’s nothing to regret. Nothing to regret.”
Associated Press photo