Last night was an emotional one in the Bronx. Mariano Rivera—the greatest closer ever; one of the greatest pitchers of all time—exited Yankee Stadium for the last time, barring any sort of ill-advised comeback. He was helped off the mound by Andy Pettite and Derek Jeter. Cameras caught Jeter telling Mo, "Time to go." Which caused Rivera, and 90% of all Yankee fans, to break down like children. "Thank God they came out," Rivera later said. "I’m not sure I would have made it on my own."
This is the culmination of a season-long victory lap-slash-goodbye for No. 42. (You just can't see him playing during the Yankees' meaningless three-game road swing in Houston this weekend.) Every baseball fan is taking this retirement especially hard. He's played the game with integrity. He's impossible to dislike. And, like all goodbyes, Rivera's is a reminder that everyone gets old, even guys who spent their years playing a kid's game.