This is probably a non-story, but based on the rare openness of Joe Girardi’s postgame press conference last night, I suppose it’s at least worth mentioning.
The Yankee skipper acknowledged that he does plan to talk to Mariano Rivera about his decision to retire, and that he will make his case that he believes the greatest closer of all-time could continue playing beyond this season.
“As a player that decided to retire at the age of 39, I think it’s important that you let a player get away for awhile and to see what that feeling is like,” Girardi said. “When you’re away for a game for a month or two months, to see if that feeling changes, because it’s hard to come back once you leave, as you’re an older player. I would just say to Mo, ‘Think about it and make sure’ – and I won’t talk to him the first month (after the season ends) – ‘Just to make sure that’s what you want to do. If that’s what you want to do, I respect it, but as good as you’ve been, I still think you could probably do it.’ ”
Rivera dismissed the notion that he might reconsider. And to be honest, it would be a total shock if he did. With all of the ways that he’s been celebrated this season, it would be pretty hard to change his mind at this point.
“I don’t know why we’re talking about this,” Rivera said after recording his 40th save of the season on Tuesday night. “I’ve made my decision.”
Girardi openly acknowledged that, “I believe he’s going to retire,” but he also knows that Rivera will miss the game when he’s gone. He spoke about how he knew it was time to call it quits when his body couldn’t stay healthy, but that hasn’t been a problem for Rivera this season.
Considering how daunting life without Mo will be, I guess you can’t blame him for trying.
“It’s just a man who has retired talking to another man who’s thinking about retiring, and just telling him my feelings on it. It’s not me lobbying him to comeback, because as I’ve said along, I would never want a player to comeback if he didn’t want to comeback,” Girardi said. “I’ll just talk to him, because I want to make sure that his heart is right when he decides it’s time.”
Associated Press photo