Mariano Rivera Retirement: Is This the End of New York Yankee Legend's Career?

Mike Moraitis@@michaelmoraitisAnalyst IMay 3, 2012

ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 23:  Mariano Rivera #42 of the New York Yankees throws against the Texas Rangers at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on April 23, 2012 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

It appears the worst may have happened to Mariano Rivera of the New York Yankees as Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News is reporting via Twitter that Mo has suffered the dreaded torn ACL and will be out the rest of the 2012 season.

Girardi on Rivera: "It appears he has a torn ACL...If that's what it is, it's pretty much as bad as it gets."

The injury occurred when Rivera was shagging fly balls in the outfield before the Yanks' game with the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium. Mo was no stranger to fielding and would often go out to get some extra exercise before a game.

This couldn't be more devastating news for a major league baseball great who could be on his last tour of duty this season. Rivera had hinted at retirement for most of the offseason and even stated he would announce his decision at some time during the season.

It certainly felt like Rivera would retire. But there's no telling what this injury will do to the 42-year-old. If he can recover from it, would Rivera allow his great career to end like that? If there was ever a superstar who could go out like that, Rivera has the type of temperament for it.

Mo is easily the greatest closer ever to grace a major league mound. The sport has never seen anyone like him, nor will it ever see anyone like him again. He is a one-of-a-kind player who is unrivaled in the history of the sport.

Some would argue Rivera was only a small part of the Yanks' success over the years, but that couldn't be further from the truth. How many times did Yankee fans have their safety blanket during a big game knowing Rivera would seal the deal at the end?

I would argue he was one of the most important parts to the Yankees' dynasty of the 90's and that isn't just because of what happened tonight.

That could all be gone in the blink of an eye and that scary proposition of a lifetime as a Yankee fan without Mo could start the very moment you finish reading this article.

Let's just hope, as baseball fans in general, that this isn't the sad end to the career of Mariano Rivera.