In life as one gets older, there are things you'd rather not think about. Among the heavy topics which can cause the average middle-aged working slob to stay awake at night are: losing your job, getting cancer, one of your children getting ill, your shaky 2003 tax return, death, and Mariano Rivera not re-signing with the Yankees. Ouch.
Now, this writer considers himself and adult. With a career as a police officer behind me, I can say that I've seen and done a few things which required some guts and fortitude. However, after reading the following quote from the "Sandman" himself on MLB.com, it nearly caused me to fall out of my chair. Mariano was quoted as saying:
"Definitely, I want to finish my career here," Rivera said. "But if they don't give me the respect that I deserve, [if] I have to move on, I have to move on. The Yankees always give me respect. When it comes to these times, I don't like to talk about it." Yikes.
Forget the fact that the Yankees would be fools to let him go for any reason, who exactly would be able to fill in Mariano's shoes? Jay Witasik? (Kidding).
It's going to be a sad and strange season to begin with watching Yankees games on television knowing that Bernie Williams is doing the same thing. But, every time "Enter Sandman" plays over the P.A. system in "The House That Ruth Built" this season, one can't shake the nauseous sensation that at in 2008, someone else might be trotting out to the mound instead. With the luck the Yankees have, the song accompanying his trip to the mound might sound more appropriate for Ringling Brothers than Yankee Stadium.