It seems like every year fans and the New York media seem so ready to call for the end of Mariano Rivera. The natural defense of this ridiculous assumption is that it is usually Mets and Red Sox fans that say these foolish things. This is not entirely true. It is amazing how many Yankees fans were calling this the beginning of Mariano's demise. Some thanked Rivera for what he has done, but suggested this was the end. Others simply said it is time for David Robertson to take over as the closer. AND THESE ARE YANKEES FANS! If you do not believe me, check my @john_pielli twitter timeline from yesterday. It sounds ridiculous even talking about this.
The worst thing that happened that inning was giving up the triple to Zobrist. Not only did it tie the game, but it left such a small probability that the Rays would not get the run in from third with nobody out. Very few pitchers are getting through that inning and it is not always because of skill that pitchers do.
It is not like Rivera has been fading over the past couple of seasons. In fact, he has been just as good as he has ever been. Don't you think Rivera should be allowed to have a bad month or so before we start talking about a replacement? It is a little silly to be saying this may be the beginning of the end after one game. Remember the last couple of seasons from Trevor Hoffman. He pitched terribly for the last two months of the 2009 season and then signed with the Brewers where he was even worse in 2010. Rivera has shown no signs of what Hoffman went through. If I was a Yankees fan, I would not question his ability even if he blew the next three save opportunities. He is a legend and will never be equaled. If anybody deserves the benefit of a doubt, it is Mariano Rivera. And if you are calling for him to retire, you will probably have to wait again as I guarantee Rivera will pitch the 2012 season like the Mariano Rivera we have seen for the past 16 years.