Nice try, Joe, but 2013 is it for Mo

As much as Yankees fans would love to see Mariano Rivera pitch again in 2014, they have to come to grips with the fact that 2013 is Mo’s final season in the major leagues. He made the announcement back in spring training, and one thing you can be sure of is that Rivera is a man of his word.

So why were all these questions about possibly changing his mind asked of Rivera Tuesday night after he reached the 40-save plateau for the ninth time, matching Trevor Hoffman for the major-league record?

A report on ESPNNewYork.com quoted Yankees manager Joe Girardi as saying he would talk to Rivera about whether he might change his mind about next season. Actually, it was an innocent remark by Girardi, who later explained that he wanted Mo to make sure he was comfortable with walking away from the game.

Stories like these get legs, however, and they walked right up to Rivera, who wanted no part of it. He made it clear that he will retire. He has been on a farewell tour all over the continent and been given parting gifts that included several checks to his foundation. He does not want to give back all that truck.

I found it all kind of amusing. After all, Girardi’s contract runs out at the end of this season. I am sure the Yankees will bring him back, but isn’t it kind of presumptuous of a manager to ask a player to think about the possibility of coming back in 2014 when that manager does not know for certain that he will be back in 2014?

I have been paying close attention to Mo since he was pitching in the minor leagues and like most of you have thoroughly enjoyed observing his brilliance over the years. I hate to see it end, but all good things do. Rivera is going out with a flourish. I cannot think of a player who has had a better season in his last one since Ted Williams hung them up in 1960, which is more than half a century ago.

Enjoy it while it lasts. It will not last forever.

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