New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Tuesday he would love to bring Mariano Rivera back next year, despite the player's announced retirement.
"I would just say to Mo, think about it, and make sure; just to make sure that that’s exactly what you want to do," Girardi said. "And if it’s what you want to do, I respect it. As good as you’ve been I still think you can probably do it."
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Girardi made the comments after watching Rivera get the Chicago White Sox out 1-2-3 in the ninth inning, as he made his 40th save of the season and led the team to a 6-4 victory, according to The Star-Ledger.
At 43, Rivera has an impressive 2.12 earned run average.
Rivera tied with former Padres closer Trevor Hoffman for most saves in a season with nine, according to the New York Daily News.
Rivera, who announced during spring training that this would be his last season with the Yankees, appeared to not be as reflective as his manager after the game.
"I already told you guys," Rivera told reporters in response to Girardi's comments. "I don’t want to come back and do that again. I made my decision. Joe can do whatever he wants. That’s fine. I don’t tell him what to do. Other than that, I already made my decision in spring training."
Given Rivera's performance this season, Girardi said retirement is a tough decision to make.
"But knowing how hard it is to take your uniform off, you don’t ever want to think — in my mind as a player, and I’m not speaking for Mo — ‘could I have played a little bit more?'" Girardi said, according to the New York Daily News. "I knew and it was evident for me because I physically couldn’t stay healthy, but Mo seems to be pretty healthy this year."
Dayn Perry, of CBS Sports' Eye On Baseball blog,
said you can't blame "a manager for dreaming."
"The cutter is still sharp, and there's every expectation that Rivera could continue pitching at a high level if he chose to, age notwithstanding," Perry wrote.
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