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The Great Rivera enters the new season at 40

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The greatest relief pitcher in history prepares for the new season as the World Series Champion Yankees prepare to defend their title.

GO YANKS!

Mariano Rivera has no concerns about entering the final season of his contract at age 40.

The New York Yankees’ closer doesn’t know how many more years he wants to pitch but says, “I still think I can perform.”

“Take it a year at a time and see what happens,” Rivera said before the Yankees’ first workout for pitchers and catchers on Thursday. “See how things go, how things develop and go from there.”

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“I definitely want to pitch. It’s another thing if they want me here,” Rivera said. “I have a contract this year. That’s all I need to know. The rest is not in my control. That’s why I don’t have to worry about it.”

Girardi said Rivera will have his normal spring training this year, which includes pitching eight or nine innings.

“It’s one thing to pitch a long time, but to pitch at the level that he’s done is truly amazing,” Girardi said. “People talk, how much longer do you think he can do it? I don’t think any of us really know. When you’re the type of player Mo is, and I don’t want to speak for him, he has his opinion on the way that he should do it and who are we to question it.”

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“Bodywise everything is good,” Rivera said. “I’ll be ready for the season.”

“I love to do this,” he said. “Knowing that I can do it, I will do it. I won’t do it when I can’t do it anymore. One day that will happen, and that day I will go. It happens in life. People come and people go. Your body will tell you.”

That's one day I will be very sad.

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The greatest relief pitcher in history prepares for the new season as the World Series Champion Yankees prepare to defend their title.

GO YANKS!

Ditto!!!

It's hard to imagine that Rivera and his "group" -- Jeter, Pettitte, etc. -- are all the elder statesmen of the team.

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It's hard to imagine that Rivera and his "group" -- Jeter, Pettitte, etc. -- are all the elder statesmen of the team.

What a core!

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It's hard to imagine that Rivera and his "group" -- Jeter, Pettitte, etc. -- are all the elder statesmen of the team.

What a core!

And for almost 15 years! Of course, included in that group is Jorge Posada as well. Although Pettitte did take a little hiatus from the Yanks, I can't imagine any of these guys in any other uniform.

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It's hard to imagine that Rivera and his "group" -- Jeter, Pettitte, etc. -- are all the elder statesmen of the team.

What a core!

And for almost 15 years! Of course, included in that group is Jorge Posada as well. Although Pettitte did take a little hiatus from the Yanks, I can't imagine any of these guys in any other uniform.

It would be great if all four were to enter the Hall of Fame at the same time. But I doubt that Posada or Pettitte will make it, although Pettitte has an outside chance because of his playoff record. Rivera and Jeter probably will not retire at the same time, but they are a shoe-in for the Hall.

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Although Pettitte did take a little hiatus from the Yanks, I can't imagine any of these guys in any other uniform.

It's safe to say that Pettitte was shown the door for no good reason (since when do the Yankees haggle over $500K/year for a player they want?) Pettitte then talked Clemens into joining him in the Astros rotation, just as Clemens was finally getting comfortable in NY. I've always felt that these departures cost the Yankees more than they could ever make up for with free agents. You make your choices...

(Letterman to Pettitte after the '09 WS: "You left for a while to run a Dairy Queen somewhere, didn't you?" After he stopped laughing Pettitte reminded Letterman that he had taken that "Dairy Queen" to the WS.)

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