When David Ortiz watched the television replay of Yankees closer Mariano Rivera suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament –– while shagging fly balls –– on Thursday, the designated hitter was overcome with sadness.
"It was pretty emotional," Ortiz said. "It was pretty sad, seeing him last night going through what he went through. You don't want to see anyone getting injured, especially a guy like Mariano."
Back in the New York, the 42-year-old closer announced he would attempt a comeback from the season-ending injury. But there was speculation the ACL tear could've ended the closer's historic 18-year career, where he amassed 15 seasons with at least 20 saves.
Rivera also converted 42 career postseason saves, including two in the 2000 World Series to eliminate the Mets. As the manager of the Mets that year, Bobby Valentine couldn't deny Rivera's impact on the outcome.
"The series kind of went because one of their batters had a great at-bat against our closer and we didn’t have any great at-bats against Mariano," Valentine said. "In 2000, he was great. We knew that. The plan was not to get him in the game, not to beat him once he got in. We didn’t follow the plan, or we didn’t execute the plan."
Rivera similarly gave the Red Sox fits, going 12-7 with a 2.80 ERA and 54 regular-season saves. Despite the history, Ortiz –– who shares the same agent as Rivera –– plans to call the closer to wish him well.
"He's the kind of player, you want to see him end his career competing, like everybody is used to and finish it like that," Ortiz said. "That's the way it's supposed to be."
And Ortiz may get his wish.