“I give everything that I have in the tank. So I have nothing left. So if you see me like this, and you think I can play, I will tell you that I can’t play no more, because I have nothing left." - Mariano Rivera
On my last holiday, I had the pleasure of seeing Mariano Rivera pitch. He pitched for the last time at a game in New York in September. Mariano is a finishing pitcher for the New York Yankees. He is brought in at the end of the game in the 8th or 9th inning to "save" it, that is, to stop any runs being scored by the opposing team. By the 8th and 9th inning the batting team should be tired and the new pitcher should be fresh.
Mariano is a pleasure to watch but I think he has retired at exactly the right time. He says so himself. He had a good 2011 season breaking the "602 saves" record on 19/9/2011. Unfortunately, he could not play for most of the 2012 season because he tore a ligament in his right knee whilst catching a ball during batting practice. He vowed to come back for the 2013 season and did.
"I asked the Lord for one more year and he gave it to me. And for me, when I saw that decision made, I was happy with that. And the result was a blessing knowing that I could play." -- Mariano Rivera
Every time I saw him play he was great, but in my opinion, during the 2013 season, he was missing something. He knew that he had peaked and it was time to go. Retiring at the end of the 2013 season was the right thing for him to do. Perhaps there is a lesson for us all in this - know when to quit.
The Pirates starting pitcher A. J. Burnett is thinking about retirement. I would say he should stick around for another season unless he has fallen out of love with the game. It is not the right time for him quit and he knows it.