Yankees manager Joe Girardi indicated earlier this week that Mariano Rivera could finally get his wish and play some center field this weekend in Houston, but it sounds like it’s not going to happen. In fact, it’s increasingly likely that Thursday’s epic send-off at Yankee Stadium was his final appearance in an MLB game.
It would be a little odd if our final memory of Rivera was him climbing Tal’s Hill in center field at Minute Maid Ballpark, so this makes sense. It’s impossible to top what we saw on Thursday.
Former Phillies right-hander Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez died in a traffic accident in Havana on Thursday, per reports from the El Nuevo Herald and CiberCuba. No other deaths or injuries have been reported in connection to the accident. Gonzalez was 34 years old.
The Cuban righty defected from his home country in 2013 and signed a three-year, $12 million contract with the Phillies. A bout of right shoulder tendinitis compromised his bid for a major league role, but he finally broke through to the big leagues at the tail end of the 2014 season and turned in a 6.75 ERA, 5.1 BB/9 and 8.4 SO/9 in just six outings. Another case of shoulder inflammation derailed any progress he might have made in 2015, however, and he recorded just five innings in Triple-A Lehigh Valley before the team officially released him prior to the 2016 season.
The Phillies released a statement following news of Gonzalez’s death: