Sad day in the Yankee universe. The team has been struggling as of late, a dark cloud seeming to follow them around. But the cloud thundered loudly and the Yanks were deluged with extremely bad news–our closer, the great Mariano Rivera, tore his ACL during warm-ups and will probably be out for the rest of the season.
Watching an emotional Mo talk to the press was painful. The guy is the greatest closer of all time and has brought so much joy to the team and its fans. He’s respected throughout the league and is a truly life- and faith-affirming man. So to see him on video try to remain positive and answer questions about his season-ending, possibly career-ending, injury …well, let’s just say that I’m glad that nobody was around when I watched it. I was not in the greatest mood when I had to attend a school function later that evening.
While I was there, I had a conversation with a friend (who’s a Red Sox fan) and it really turned my stomach. My friend came up to me and asked if I’d heard about Rivera. I said yes and that it was sad news. And he replied in all seriousness, “Yeah, you must’ve been sad. I was laughing, though. He’s not coming back.” I quickly excused myself from the conversation because I couldn’t believe what I had just heard. Laughing?! Really??
Now, I understand how you can feel when an opposing player gets injured (see my April 13, 2011 post). And I will admit that I have chuckled to myself when reading about Carl Crawford needing wrist surgery or John Lackey needing Tommy John surgery. But the key words here are “to myself.” If you say that kind of stuff in public, you come off as being insensitive, rude, and unsportsmanlike. Heck, you can even say it to your fellow fans, but you only pour salt in the wound if you say it to the opposing fans. I’ve had other incidents similar to this with Red Sox fans (one in particular involved my oldest daughter when she was 6, but I’ll save that story for another time), so I’m wondering if I’ll hear any other uncouth comments regarding Mo’s injury. I’ll keep my ear to the ground and keep you posted. In the meantime, let’s hope that the classy Mariano Rivera remains positive and can get back to the mound someday.
It gets late early out there.