Rivera, Liriano win Comeback Player of Year awards

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

Mariano Rivera heads off into retirement with another trophy.
The legendary New York Yankees closer was selected the American League winner of the Comeback Player of the Year award.
Pittsburgh Pirates left-hander Francisco Liriano won the National League award -- the second Comeback Player of the Year honor of his career. Liriano is the first two-time recipient of the award.
Rivera, 43, sat out nearly all of 2012 after tearing a knee ligament. He returned in 2013 and regained the form that made him the greatest closer in baseball history.
In 64 appearances this year, Rivera had 44 saves, a 6-2 record and a 2.11 ERA. He was selected the Most Valuable Player of the All-Star Game at New York's Citi Field, and he ranked third in the AL in saves.
Liriano, 30, endured a disappointing 2012 season with the Minnesota Twins and Chicago White Sox, then ran into difficulties after agreeing to a two-year, $12.75 million with the Pirates last December. On Christmas, Liriano suffered a broken right arm, an injury he said occurred when he playfully slapped a door with both hands at his home in the Dominican Republic, trying to startle his children. The injury prompted the Pirates to reduce his deal to a one-year, $1 million contract with an $8 million option for 2014.
Liriano missed the first six weeks of the 2013 season, then went 16-8 with a 3.02 ERA in 26 starts. He helped pitch the Pirates into the postseason for the first time since 1992, then earned the win as Pittsburgh beat the Cincinnati Reds 6-2 in the NL wild-card game.
After a down season with the Minnesota Twins in 2009, Liriano was selected the AL Comeback Player of the Year in 2010 following a season in which he went 14-10 with a 3.62 ERA.
The Comeback Players of the Year were selected by beat writers for MLB.com.
The winners since the award was instituted in 2005:
2005 -- Jason Giambi (AL), Ken Griffey Jr. (NL)
2006 -- Jim Thome (AL), Nomar Garciaparra (NL)
2007 -- Carlos Pena (AL) Dmitri Young (NL)
2008 -- Cliff Lee (AL), Brad Lidge (NL)
2009 -- Aaron Hill (AL), Chris Carpenter (NL)
2010 -- Francisco Liriano (AL), Tim Hudson (NL)
2011 -- Jacoby Ellsbury (AL), Lance Berkman (NL)
2012 -- Fernando Rodney (AL), Buster Posey (NL)
2013 -- Mariano Rivera (AL), Francisco Liriano (NL)

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