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He's not gone yet, nor is it official, but it sounds as if the greatest closer ever will pitch his last season in 2013
It's easy to get lost in the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry, but one thing even Red Sox fans have been able to agree upon is that Mariano Rivera is special. Sure, there was nothing like beating up Rivera when the opportunity presented itself, but the reason it felt so amazing, even aside from the act of winning, was that Rivera was just so fantastic at his job. Better, even, than anyone else who has ever performed it. I feel the same way about Rivera that I like to assume many Yankees fans felt about Pedro Martinez: you loved the moments you got to him, and just quietly enjoyed seeing him do work when luck wasn't on your side, just because of ridiculously great he was.
That's why, even though it's somewhat of a happy thing to hear, it's with a bit of regret that we see Rivera is set to retire after the 2013 season. While there is no official announcement yet, as it will come on Saturday, Joel Sherman, Ken Rosenthal, and others have confirmed that's what it's going to come down to.
Rivera was so, so good that he is probably the only relief pitcher ever -- health and mechanics aside -- that you could make a reasonable argument for sticking in the bullpen instead of moving to starting. There was never any real debate for Jonathan Papelbon, because of the condition of his shoulder, and even a guy as dominant as Aroldis Chapman isn't good enough to avoid the chance at starting. Rivera, however, was that dominant in relief, that there was seemingly no point in ever trying him as a starter once he had set a baseline for excellence that no other reliever has touched. Rivera is, in reality, better than whatever dream world of value has been talked up for relievers past and present. That should be missed, especially since, well into his 40s, he's still capable of that level of play.