Rivera, 43, has been pretty adamant all year that this season will be his last, and all the evidence seems to point in that direction. If his press conference at the beginning of the year wasn't convincing enough, the farewell tour he's been on for the past few months has pretty much sealed the deal. (Would you want to give all those gifts back?)
Girardi doesn't seem convinced, however:
"I'll tell him when the season's over, 'Take a month. Take a month and a half, two months, and make sure this is really what you want to do. Because once you do go, it's hard to come back ...'
"As I've said, sometimes when you're a player in the midst of a season and you're grinding it out, your mind is one thing, but when you get away for a couple of months and your body feels pretty good...
"Your mind is another thing."
Girardi added that he didn't want his own career to end until he physically could not do it anymore, and that Rivera's good health and solid performance this year could lead to second thoughts in that regard. Girardi did ultimately say that he believes Rivera will retire, but the rest of his statement indicates doubt.
Rivera is pitching as well as ever this season. He owns a 2.12 earned-run average and a strikeout-to-walk ratio of better than five-to-one in 51 innings, adding another 40 saves to his all-time record total. He did blow three consecutive saves for the first time in his career last month, but that was merely a small blip in an otherwise stellar season.