A reader recently brought an interesting New York Times article to my attention. Jack Curry’s article from December 10th, 1999 discusses Mariano Rivera’s devotion to God. Some interesting quotes:
"Finally, after he half-sobbed and half-spoke for 20 minutes, Rivera, who is 30, told the congregation that he would play baseball for four more years before retiring to become an evangelical minister or preacher."
"I would love to play as long as I can, but I think if I play four, five, or six more years, that’s enough and then I’ll stop. Maybe it’s one year. Maybe it’s two. You never know."
"Then he stopped speculating and reaffirmed what he had told the congregation: ’Like I said, I want to play four more years.’"
"If I came to be a free agent, I wouldn’t think about going anywhere else. I want to finish my career with the Yankees. Inside of me, I’m thinking four more years. That will be enough. I love the game, but I love God more."
By all accounts, Rivera should’ve retired by now. I’m not sure what happened in the last six years to change Rivera’s mind. But what if instead of being the object of his first-ever free agent bidding war, the Hall of Fame closer simply retires after 2007?