Does it concern any Yankees fans that Mariano Rivera is now tipping the clocks at 35, and that for the first time in his storied career he didn’t throw a single ball in the offseason, according to the man himself? Usually this would be a sign of a few things:
- Mariano is getting old, fat, and lazy (not likely)
- Mariano is getting old and knows his own physical limitations (likely)
- Mariano was overworked last year, sees no end in sight to that pattern, and needs to pace himself starting right about now (very likely)
- Mariano got an XBox, a kegolator, and a subscription to FHM
Not that I expect anything but a great closer in Rivera, but I think it is imperative that the Yankees plan for life without Mo, sooner rather than later. I have no illusions about Rivera’s historical greatness and current goodness – he’s not getting supplanted any time soon. But giving somebody a chance to close in Rivera’s stead (however rarely) or acquiring somebody with that in mind (however unlikely) would have numerous benefits. Some are long-term and obvious, but others would go mostly undetected, recognized only at the point that Rivera is once again able to successfully close out an important postseason game.