Update: Mariano Rivera has a torn ACL, is done for the year, maybe more
After his MRI, Rivera was asked if he would ever pitch again, and he tearfully said that he didn't know.
This is devastating news, not only for the Yankees and their fans, but for all baseball fans.
Rivera will undergo another MRI in New York with the team medical staff, but barring a drastically different diagnosis, he'll miss the rest of this season, at the very least.
Rivera will stay with the team until they get back to New York, at which point he'll be analyzed by the team doctors and he'll make a more definitive decision regarding his playing future.
The one thing that stands out the most in Rivera's interview is his remarkable selflessness. He expressed a desire to stay with the team, instead of going straight back to New York, because he wanted to be there for the team and make sure they're ok. Forget the fact that he just suffered a devastating injury, he's more concerned for his teammates than himself.
This classy gesture is just one of many in what will go down as by far the greatest career ever for a closer. If Rivera never throws another pitch in his life, he'll join Jerry Rice as one of the very few people to be the best athlete of all time at their position, without any reasonable debate whatsoever.
Even as a Red Sox fan, I've always had utmost respect for Rivera. One of the most memorable moments was when the Diamondbacks beat him in the World Series, but it was a special moment only because he had always seemed invincible.
Ever since then, writers have been saying that he's nearing his end. Every time, they were wrong. He never reached the decline that they all predicted. Even this year, he has been almost flawless.
He picked up a blown save and a loss on Opening Day, but followed it up with 8 straight appearances without giving up a single run, and 5 straight successful saves.
Perhaps this is the best way for Rivera to go. No decline, no deterioration, just a freak injury to a guy who somehow put together one of the greatest careers of all time, despite relying almost exclusively on one pitch, a devastating cutter that hitters still can't seem to figure out, after 18 years.
He had been shagging fly balls during batting practice for years. Somehow, this was just the one time that disaster struck, and he somehow twisted his knee the wrong way upon reaching the warning track.
Maybe he's done for good, but then again, maybe not. Will Mariano Rivera really allow this to be the last time we see him as an active Major League Baseball player? It's a bit hard to swallow, and a little hard to believe that he'd let himself go out like that.
We'll see. Either way, we've lost the opportunity to see one of the greatest of all time. Whether it's only for the rest of the year, or the rest of time, and whether you're a Yankees fan or a Yankees hater, there is no doubt: the sight of Mariano Rivera on the mound will truly be missed.