The legendary Yankees closer, Mariano Rivera, suffered a torn ACL while shagging fly balls prior to Thursday's game against the Royals. The 42-year-old's surefire Hall of Fame career could be over. Here's a look at various reactions to Rivera's injury, the morning after.
Clubhouse reaction, from ESPN New York:
JOE GIRARDI: "This is bad, no question about it. You lose a Hall of Famer. That changes it a lot. The depth of our bullpen just got a little bit shorter because of the injury. But good teams find a way to overcome things. We got to find a way to get through it. It's not what you want, but it's not season over.''
DAVID ROBERTSON: "I don't know if I'm prepared to (replace Rivera) or not. I'm going to go out there and give it everything I've got, and hope for the best. I'm not Mariano Rivera, I'm not going to be able to go out there and get outs real quickly. I'm a different style of pitcher. I've never done it, so all I can do is say I'm going to try real hard."
Wallace Matthews, from ESPN New York:
Now, I think the same qualities that made Rivera the quintessential closer will drive him to start all over again.
... If it is merely a question of hard work, of wanting it so bad you are willing to sweat blood all winter to make it happen, then you have to figure he has a better-than-average shot [of coming back], even at 43 years old, an age he will reach on his next birthday.
Mark Feinsand, from Blogging The Bombers, at the Daily News:
That's pretty much all you need to know about Rivera. Not ony is he the greatest pitcher I have watched in my 12 years on the beat, but he's also probably the best person I have met in baseball. Seeing him crumble on the warning track clutching his knee was difficult to watch, and I have to think that any baseball fan - Yankees fan, Red Sox fan or anything in between - had to feel the same way.
Rob Neyer, from Baseball Nation:
Of course, Rivera had sort of hinted this spring that this season would be his last ... But who's to know he wouldn't have changed his mind at some point? Or that his goal was to go out on top, having put together another brilliant season? I won't believe that we've seen the last of Mariano Rivera until Mariano Rivera says, with some conviction, that he's not interested in pitching again.
-- See Pinstripe Alley for more reaction