KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The New York Yankees
lost legendary and likely Hall of Fame shoe-in closer Mariano Rivera
for what appears to be the rest of the season Thursday. This comes as a shock considering his injury
did not occur during a game. In fact, it was barely an "on the field" injury.
Rivera routinely shags fly balls in the outfield during batting practice. He's done this throughout his career as a way to stay in shape. This was the case as well Thursday evening as he prepped at Kauffmann Stadium for a showdown between the Yankees and Kansas City Royals.
While making a leap for a batting practice ball, he fell awkwardly and crumpled to the ground. The resulting injury was a torn ACL and a torn meniscus. The early prognosis is that he's finished for the year. That's tough to take, considering the 42 year-old has already hinted that this would be his final year.
The all-time MLB saves leader (with 608) faces the possibility that his career could be over after a freak accident. I certainly hope this isn't the case. If he goes out like that, it's really not that fair.
Now I'll admit. I'm one of the Yankee "haters." Part of it could be mired in jealousy as a life-long Rangers fan that's seen them get beaten down too many times by the "pinstripers." But it's a respectful hate. In fact, I have nothing but respect for most of the Yankee greats: DiMaggio, Gehrig, Maris, Mantle, Ruth, Torre as a manager, Rivera, Jackson, Pettite, Cone, Jeter . . . I could go on but won't for now.
My point is, Rivera is one of the "good guys," despite the team he plays for. And regardless of how you feel about a player, you hate seeing something like this. It's not supposed to happen that way.
The Yankees will find another closer to fill his shoes. They have seemingly endless resources. They may even find another Hall of Famer to do the job. But they won't find another Mariano Rivera.
Here's to hoping he's not done yet.