Mariano Rivera Mariano Rivera to retire after this seasonAs we begin the 2013 MLB season, we have learned that one of baseball’s very best will be calling it quits after this season.  Mariano Rivera, the New York Yankees‘ reliever, plans to announce this weekend that he will retire after the 2013 season.

I guess that will depend on whether or not he has another season ending injury.  The 43-year-old closer was supposed to be having his farewell tour last year, but when he tore a ligament in his right knee while catching fly balls during batting practice, it got postponed until this year.  It seems that in New York things are done differently.  Most cities, when a player has hit his expiration date, they ride of into the sunset.  In New York, they must have the spotlight on them.

Rivera is baseball’s save leader with 608.  He is regarded as one of the best clutch pitchers in history, posting a record 42 postseason saves with an 0.70 ERA while helping the Yankees win five World Series championships.

“Greatest closer of all time.  No question in my mind,” Yankees manager Joe Giradi said.  I’ve had the thrill of catching him.  I was there when he really burst onto the scene as a dominant setup man and then to see what he did as a closer has been a thrill for me.”

It will be an interesting season, will the Yankees be able to bounce back after flaking out in the playoffs last year?  Will the distractions of A-Roid and his continuing PED use put a shadow on Rivera’s spotlight?  What happens if Rivera has another season ending injury, does it get drug out for another year?  All the questions we will be looking closely at, waiting for the answers to.

Rivera is the only and last – big leaguer who wears No. 42.  The number was retired in 1997 in tribute to Jackie Robinson, although players who had the number at the time were allowed to keep it.

 Mariano Rivera to retire after this season