You can hear the swirls of music, the applause of the gathered fans — Mariano Rivera will not be felled by an injury, he will not abide by the limits of time. He is coming back, and there is no question about it apparently.
“I’m coming back. Write it down, in big letters. I’m not going out like this.” said Rivera, who according to Yankees beat writer Bryan Hoch, will return to throw for the Yankees in 2013 as a 43 year old near miracle of longevity and stubbornness.
Rivera’s future had been put in doubt by the severity of last nights injury (a torn ACL and meniscus), its recovery time (6-8 months, at least), Rivera’s age, and seeming desire to make this season his last season, but now while the Yankees struggle to replace Mo, they can at least be relieved to know that the Sandman will, someday, enter again.
What happens then though? That’s a question that few are ready to either examine or answer, but while a Rivera return in 2013 is whats best for baseball and certainly the Yankees, I have to wonder what that could theoretically mean for a David Robertson that relishes the new role and excels, or a Rafael Soriano that re-finds his dominant 9th inning abilities.
As the Yankees felt duty bound to hand Andy Pettitte an eventual role in their rotation, even when it was already over-full (ah, those were the days), the team will surely give Rivera back the 9th inning when he returns next year, as they should. But what if that means either stammering Robertson’s progress, or perhaps driving Soriano to use his out clause and free the Yankees up from another albatross of a contract? Interesting stuff to ponder as we wait to see if either Robertson or Soriano can rise to the occasion and fill in for Mariano Rivera while he works on his Lazarus impression.
Rivera’s injury is just the latest of the sort in a trend that seems to be striking big names in other the other sports. Just last week, Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose crumbled to the ground while driving to the hoop late in Game 1 of their series versus the 76ers. The next day, the fears of all of Chicago were confirmed when it was announced that Rose had suffered the dreaded torn ACL. So what is the future for Rose? Sadly, it’s not good.
Now let’s move to the NFL. There were two huge running backs who went down with the same ACL injury, Jamaal Charles and Adrian Peterson. Charles burst onto the scene two years ago, and was ready to have a season to propel him to the top of the list of best running backs in the NFL. Unfortunately, this dream was cut down in just the second week of the season, when he was hurt against Detroit. Charles was seen as primarily an endurance back who could outrun anyone on the football field. His speed is sure to take a hit with this injury, as is his cutting ability. It is sad to say, but I don’t see Charles coming close to the stardom he achieved just two short years ago. Things can change so fast.
What do you think? Will these superb athletes be able to get their swagger back? Let us know in the comments!