Yankees closer Rivera says this is final season

By Mark Didtler

Associated Press

Published: Saturday, March 9 2013 11:27 a.m. MST

"Being the last player to wear No. 42 is a privilege," he said.

Rivera has not pitched in an exhibition game this spring training. He usually goes at his own pace in camp, working in the bullpen and throwing in simulated games — while avoiding bus trips to opponents' spring ballparks.

The 12-time All-Star has earned a record 42 saves in the postseason while putting up an 0.70 ERA. He began his major league career in 1995 and has spent his entire time with the Yankees.

Rivera made just nine appearances last season before he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee on May 3, and he had surgery on June 12. Rivera returned to his native Panama earlier this week on a personal matter.

As for the future, Rivera wants to take time off after this season to spend with his family. He envisions himself working in baseball, perhaps with minor leaguers.

"I definitely will be involved in the game some way, some aspect of the game," he said.

Rivera said there is no sadness, but it's a celebration, in announcing his retirement.

"There's nothing to be sad (about)," Rivera said. "I did everything within my power to enjoy the game, to do it well, to respect the game of baseball. Have so much joy, and no one can take that joy away from me."

"Thank God I was able to play the game of baseball for so many years," Rivera added. "I want no fans, no one member of my family to be sad."

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