Is 2012 Mariano Rivera’s last year?

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In terms of things that may force Mariano Rivera’s retirement, I’ll put “needing to cut back his hours so he can remain eligible for Social Security” at the top of the list. It’s certainly more plausible than “the Yankees won’t want him back” and “he can’t get guys out anymore.”

For his part, Rivera said this when asked by the New York Post how much longer he plans on playing:

“I have one year left [on a two-year contract],” Rivera said. “I might call it over. I will know more in spring training.”

There is no reason to believe that Rivera won’t continue to be baseball’s best reliever in 2012, so it’s gonna be really interesting to see if he’s willing to actually hang it up when he’s still awesome. Well, awesome as an active player. He’ll probably always be awesome.

Don’t look at me like that. He’s the only Yankee I’ve ever been a fanboy of. Cut me some slack, OK?