If you haven’t seen the video, here it is. Mariano got hurt before the game tonight shagging flies.

To me, the lack of sound in the clip makes it even worse. You see Rivera crumpled along the fence. You see A-Rod grimace and look concerned before yelling to Girardi. You see Harkey trying to get someone’s attention by whistling. You see Girardi sprint out to the outfield. It’s the original “Nosferatu” playing out in front of you. (Look it up)

Let’s dispense with the obvious complaint, Rivera has shagged flies for twenty years without getting hurt. In fact, if you had ever witnessed him doing it you would have thought he was an outfielder, he was that smooth. Hindsight is 20/20, but you can’t wrap these guys in bubble wrap and expect them to emerge unscathed. Don’t blame Rivera or the Yankees for what happened tonight, it was a freak accident.

Now we have to face the very scary reality of what happened. At worst, it is probably a torn ACL and Rivera is out for the year. (or career?) At best, his knee is twisted and he is headed to the 15-day DL. No matter what the verdict, it seems certain that the Yankees are about to lose the one thing that made them better than every other team in baseball for these past 16 years. For all those years we have had the luxury of knowing the 9th inning was in good hands. There are plenty of names who could step up in his place, but there is only one Rivera.