NY Yankee fans were dealt a devastating blow yesterday when legendary closer Mariano Rivera was injured during batting practice.

Rivera was shagging fly balls during batting practice, something he has done for years. Jayson Nix was taking his swings at the cage. A ball was hit to centerfield, Rivera tracked it, leapt, came down awkwardly on his leg and crumpled to the ground.

 

Initial reports were just a twisted knee, but further tests revealed a torn ACL. Rivera is 42 years old this season, and a torn ACL takes about a year to rehab. Will we see him attempt a comeback next season, or did we just watch the end of a first-ballot Hall of Fame career?

As a life-long Yankee fan, this is absolutely heart-breaking. I have friends that root for other teams, from the Mets and Phillies to the Red Sox, Tigers, Mariners and all across the league; no matter who you root for, you can respect Rivera. He's always been classy and composed, never involved in controversy, a philanthropist off the field, and a dominant force on the field.
There are rarely graceful exits for athletes, but Rivera really deserves a better end than this. Here's hoping he can recover.

Watch an interview from YES Network here: