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We all hate the Yankees. Generally that means hating all the Yankee players. Still, some of us do have soft spots for some of them. Plenty of Red Sox fans admire Derek Jeter's professionalism. For me, I'll miss watching the greatest relief pitcher of all time take the mound.

Mariano Rivera announced that the 2013 season will be his last. He likely would've retired at the end of last season had it not ended prematurely on the warning track in Kansas City.

Seeing #42 come out of the pen scares me just as much now as an opposing fan as it did in the 90s. Rivera's constancy is nothing short of astounding. Even as his velocity has modestly eroded the results haven't. Showing such little slippage in performance it's easy to think Rivera can pitch forever.

Rivera is in his mid-40s and perhaps has other things he wants to do with his life. He has dealt with a cranky elbow for many years as well. When you have all the money your grandchildren will ever need, and your hall of fame status is secured, there's something to be said for waking up in the morning pain-free.

When Rivera takes the mound at Fenway Park for the last time a polite applause wouldn't be uncalled for. His response to his standing ovation in 2005 showed the kind of person Rivera is. If he slams the door on the Red Sox in the 9th, then we can dust off the boos and "Yankees Suck!" chants.

Jason Chalifour 3/08/2013 12:41:00 PM Edit
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