According to multiple twitter feeds, Mariano Rivera has a torn ACL. He tore it shagging fly balls in the out field (something I have seen him do for years when the Yankees take BP in Tampa). A link to an ESPN story is here.
I must confess I have waited for this moment for years. Rivera has been a nightmare for the Red Sox for 15 years, and a cornerstone of the Evil Empire revival.
And now that it is here I feel a little sad. There are some fans who hate the players on other teams with a passion. I have never been one of those, and though I hate the Yankees with my entire soul, I must confess that I respected the four players that were the heart of the Yankees (Jeter, Rivera, Posada, Williams). Of those 4 Rivera inspired the most dread. But his greatness is one of the things that makes the memory of 2004 so sweet. It wasn't just that we were down 0-3 and 4-3 in the Game 4. We were down against the greatest closer in baseball history. And we came back against him twice.
The Soriano signing last year only made sense if it were considered an insurance policy. Soriano was terrible last year, but is back to his 2010 form. The Yankee pen is deep, and I don't think this hurts them the way Pineda did (though it is not certain Soriano will be the closer).
I always thought there was going to be a year when suddenly both the Red Sox and the Yankees looked old and would falter in a way they really haven't in 10 years. Perhaps this is the year (though there is a long way to go, and plenty of talent on both teams).
A side note: the injury bug has hit the Rays, the Yankees and the Red Sox in significant ways. Gammons noted yesterday that with Youk on the DL the Red Sox had $78 million in salary on the bench. Since spring training consider the losses:
Bailey, Ellsbury, Youk