Mariano Rivera is retiring at the end of the 2013 season but the 43-year-old does not want to start the final All-Star Game of his career. An online campaign had been started via blogs and twitter urging American League manager Jim Leyland to start Rivera in the mid-summer classic.
Rivera is aware of the intentions of those who want the all-time saves leader to start the All-Star Game but he is not on board.
“I’ve been told about it, but I don’t like it,” Rivera told reporters, via USA Today FTW.
“What I do is close the games,” he explained. “I don’t start the games. It’s a privilege and an honor to be considered like that, but I think the right thing is to do it the way it is — especially when it counts. I don’t want to start the game and give up 10 runs in the first inning. I’d rather pitch in the ninth.”
Rivera’s comments were made on Sunday prior to the Yankees 67th Old Timers Day. Next year the 19 year veteran will be at the event as one of numerous ex-Yankees.