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MLB Today: Mariano Rivera Mum on Plans

February 22, 2012 | By RotoRob | comment on this post
David Robertson could be the heir apparent to Mariano Rivera for the New York Yankees.
David Robertson is stoked about the idea of replacing Mariano Rivera.

Mariano Rivera has made a decision. He’s just not telling anyone what the hell it is.

Does this mean 2012 will be the final season for the greatest closer in history?

Or perhaps he’s decided he prefers Coke over Pepsi.

When Mo arrived at Spring Training, he said he’s made an “irrevocable” decision, but no one really knows what that means.

We can speculate, though.

Now 42, Rivera remains among the best in the business, so there’s no real reason for him to contemplate hanging ‘em up. But perhaps he’s just had enough.

Baseball’s all-time leader in saves after racking up another 44 of them last year (to go along with a sweet 1.91 ERA), Rivera is headed into his 18th season and the final year of a two-year, $30-million contract.

In keeper leagues, David Robertson just became a prime candidate to be extremely valuable in 2013 – assuming (a) Mo doesn’t change his mind (again, assuming he is actually planning to retire); and (b) the Yanks don’t go out next winter and land a big-name closer to replace Rivera.

Quick Hits

  • Speaking of retiring, now that Tim Wakefield has called it a day, New York Mets starter R.A. Dickey is pretty much the last knuckleballer left standing. We should have a moment of silence… or as long as it takes one of Wakefield’s knucklers to get from his hand to home plate – whichever takes longer.
  • Zach Britton may not be ready for Opening Day as he’s dealing with some shoulder soreness this offseason, so he’s just starting a throwing program. The regimen is designed to have him ready to go at the start of the season, but I’d be cautious when drafting the young Oriole starter.
  • Vicente Padilla, who’s in camp with the Red Sox as part of the cast of thousands competing for the fifth starter job, is already alienating the Boston media. Not that this takes much, but not that he’s not known for being a bit of a pink taco.
  • Albert Pujols has taken issue with the Angels’ new marketing campaign – wrapped around Phat Albert, but never disclosed to him up front – that features billboard ads of him with the words “El Hombre.” In English, of course, this means “The Man,” and to Pujols the only “Man” is Stan the Man, as in Stan Musial, the all-time great Cardinal. A couple of years ago, he asked the media and fans in St. Louis to stop calling him “El Hombre,” and now his new team is building a campaign around that very catchphrase. Trouble in paradise already?
  • Roberto Hernandez (nee Fausto Carmona) is hoping to receive a pardon and return to the Indians. We’re not holding our breath and neither should Fantasy owners. He’s three years older and hasn’t improved with the sudden hike in age. And other than teasing us occasionally, he wasn’t that great before. Take a wide berth around him on draft day. Hey, if Hernandez forces his way onto your roster as an in-season addition, great. But until then, we won’t be drinking the Kool Aid. Although, we do rather enjoy Kool Aid.
  • We still have no idea exactly when Ryan Howard will be back from his Achilles injury (early May?), but the fact that he took his first round of live BP Wednesday can’t be a bad thing. While he’s out, the Phils plan to try Ty Wigginton, Laynce Nix, John Mayberry, Jr., and Jim Thome at first base and see what sticks. The fact that Mayberry is more likely ticketed to left field leaves the other three, and one of them may be a useful player in the first few weeks of the season, so consider them as a late-round flier once that position battle sorts itself out.

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