No one can make a legitimate argument that Mariano Rivera is not the greatest closer in the history of major league baseball. In fact, you could go a step further. Rivera may be the best finisher in all of sports.
Not only has Rivera saved 608 games, the most in Major League history, and he has also finished a record 892 games.
When Rivera, baseball’s all-time saves leader tore the anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus in his right knee, baseball fans everywhere began talking about his career from a historical perspective. Most considered this injury to be career ending. That was before they had a chance to talk to Rivera himself.
After the diagnosis, after all the speculation and before his knee could be surgically repaired Rivera cleared up the situation for everyone.
“I’m coming back,” Rivera said. “Write it down in big letters. I’m not going down like this. God willing and given the strength, I’m coming back.” Keep in mind that his surgery is still three or four weeks out. Doctors say that the swelling in his knee has to go down before it can be repaired.
To date, I have not read or heard of anyone making a case against him returning to baseball and pitching for the New York Yankees in 2013. Rivera informed his teammates on Friday of his decision to return. “Miracles happen, guys,” Rivera said. “I’m OK. I’m a positive man. I’m OK. Everything is good.
I feel sorry that I let down my teammates, but besides that, I’m OK. The team will be OK, too.” Rivera is 12-time All-Star has been a part of five World Series championship teams with the Yankees, and he will be 43 years old when the 2013 season gets under way.
If someone would’ve told you 18 years ago that a guy with essentially one pitch was gonna save 608 major-league baseball games, I’m sure most of us would have said that was impossible.
So when that guy, Mariano Rivera, vows this injury will not end his career, I won’t lose any money betting against him.