What's buzzing:

Big League Stew

Mariano Rivera tears ACL during freak injury in batting practice

Big League Stew

The New York Yankees will go on without all-time saves leader Mariano Rivera, who twisted his right knee in a freak injury during batting practice Thursday, tearing his ACL and meniscus. Rivera, who is 42 years old and hadn't been on the disabled list in nine years, likely will miss the rest of the season because of the recovery time involved — usually 6-9 months. He hinted in spring training that he would retire after the season and, as of now, he doesn't know if he will pitch again. Rivera was teary talking to reporters.

"It's torn," Rivera told reporters after the game. "I have to fix it."

Rivera was injured chasing a fly ball — shagging, a normally routine duty all pitchers are required to perform. After Rivera fell to the ground on the warning track clutching his knee, coach Mike Harkey called for help. Teammates were stone-faced as Rivera was driven off the field in a cart at Kauffman Stadium, where the Yankees started a four-game series with a 4-3 loss to the Royals. Rivera smiled and laughed while leaving, reportedly, but the news was bad after he was taken for an MRI.

Manager Joe Girardi said he wasn't second-guessing Rivera's shagging as he's performed the task frequently and consistently without incident. This, Girardi said, was the very definition of a freak injury.

"Shagging, I love to do," Rivera said. "If I could do it again, I'd do it again."

Derek Jeter, a teammate for nearly all of Rivera's career, didn't know what to think.

"He's going to be missed. There's no other way to put it. You can't replace him."

[Related: Fantasy impact of Mariano Rivera's knee injury]

View photo


(YES Network via AP)

Though the Yankees have other capable relievers such as David Robertson, along with expensive ones such as Rafael Soriano, nobody in history has been better at the end of games than Rivera, who has 608 career saves, a 2.21 ERA and 12 All-Star appearances since his rookie season in 1995. And that doesn't count a nearly flawless postseason record (except for Game 7 of the World Series in 2001). If this really is the end of his career, it will rank as one of the cruelest goodbyes in baseball history.

He's the Sandman, the Godfather, Super Mariano, Mo. A giant of the game. The kind of player who, even though he plays for the hated (by many) Yankees, manages to elicit goodwill from pretty much everybody. As Jeter said, he cannot be replaced.

Love baseball? Even like it a little?
Follow @AnswerDave, @bigleaguestew, @KevinKaduk on Twitter,
along with the BLS Facebook page!

Other popular content on the Yahoo! network:
Jeff Passan: Jered Weaver's no-hitter was a relief for the Angels — in more ways than one
Jason Cole: Too soon to judge reasons for Junior Seau's death
Y! News: Baseball leads in public popularity of in-season sports

Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Hockey
View Comments (487)
  • George Karl is sorry for saying DeMarcus Cousins was tradable

    George Karl is sorry for saying DeMarcus Cousins was tradable

    But the Kings head coach did not address later reports that he was trying to trade the team's best player. … More »

    Ball Don't Lie - 4 minutes 27 seconds ago
  • Cardinals hit the road after rough loss to Rams at home

    Cardinals hit the road after rough loss to Rams at home

    The aspects of the game that had worked so much in favor of the Arizona Cardinals in three one-sided victories were problems they couldn't overcome in Sunday's 24-22 home loss to St. Louis. ''It's the first one we've lost like that and it's hard to … More »

    AP - Sports - 5 minutes ago
  • Canadiens F Zack Kassian enters rehab program

    Montreal Canadiens forward Zack Kassian has entered a substance abuse program after being involved in a motor vehicle accident. Kassian, 24, was placed in ''Stage Two of the Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program,'' according to Monday's … More »

    AP - Sports - 5 minutes ago
  • Warren emergence comes at key time for Iowa State

    Warren emergence comes at key time for Iowa State

    Mike Warren is breaking out at just the right time for Iowa State. The Cyclones running back has rushed for 301 yards in the last two games, including a 175-yard effort in last Saturday's victory over Kansas, the most ever by an Iowa State … More »

    AP - Sports - 7 minutes ago
  • Sharks forward Raffi Torres suspended for 41 games for hit

    Sharks forward Raffi Torres suspended for 41 games for hit

    San Jose Sharks forward Raffi Torres was hit with the longest suspension in NHL history for a hit on another player when the league banned him Monday for the first 41 games of the season for an illegal check to the head of Anaheim's Jakob … More »

    AP - Sports - 9 minutes ago