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Girardi hopes Rivera will reconsider retirement

The SportsXchange

New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi wants closer Mariano Rivera to rethink his retirement plans after this season.

The 43-year-old Rivera announced before the season that 2013 would be his 19th and final year in the major leagues.

"I don't see any reason why he couldn't do it next year, I don't," Girardi said, according to ESPNNewYork.com. "He's made it pretty clear that he doesn't want to, but I always say, you know, January rolls around and sometimes you have a different feel about what you want to do."

Rivera picked up his 40th save of the season on Tuesday night. He has now posted 40 or more saves in nine seasons, tying Trevor Hoffman's major league record, and he has a 2.12 ERA in 51 innings this year.

"I'm sure I'll talk to him at some point in the offseason," Girardi said, "and ... 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.'"

Girardi doesn't have any doubts about Rivera continuing to be able to pitch effectively.

"I think he could still do the job, but knowing how hard it is to take your uniform off, you don't ever want to think, in my mind as a player, and I'm not speaking for Mo, but I never wanted to think, could I have played a little bit more," Girardi said after Tuesday's game. "It was really evident for me because I physically couldn't stay healthy. But Mo has been pretty healthy this year."

Rivera has insisted that his decision is final. This season has turned into a farewell tour for him as he visits opponents' ballparks for the final time.

"I told you guys already. I don't know why we're talking about this. I've already made my decision," Rivera said after pitching the ninth inning in the Yankees' 6-4 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday night.

The Yankees plan to honor Rivera before their home game on Sept. 22 against the San Francisco Giants.

"I believe he's going to retire," Girardi said. "But 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."

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