Mariano Rivera wants to pitch for three more years, with his final season coming in the new Yankee Stadium. And he hopes that Alex Rodriguez is with him for all three of those seasons.
Rivera, who spoke with reporters on Thursday at his new restaurant, Mo's New York Grill, said that blaming A-Rod for the Yankees' early postseason exit is simply unfair.
"This guy, he's a great player. We're a better team with him; I hear people say we should trade him and I don't agree," Rivera said. "I don't think we lost because of Alex. We lost, period. The fans, everybody, they should be with him."
"They didn't give the guy a break. New York, the town," Rivera said of Alex Rodriguez. "He's done a good job. If you ask me who has hit in the playoffs, I am going to say two or three guys. Alex is one guy, he is not the team. You can't win with that on one guy. A team is 25 guys."
Rivera, speaking at Mo's New York Grill, said he had not yet reached out to Rodriguez or any of his teammates. He said he had no insight into the rumors about Rodriguez being traded.
"It's not up to me whether he is here or not or whether the Yankees want him here or not," Rivera said. "He wanted to be a part of the team, part of a winning team. He's done everything. He works so hard, it's amazing.
"It's not easy being himself sometimes," Rivera said. "It's tough on him."
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Maybe he isn't going anywhere. Rivera is a Yankees legend and his word surely must carry a lot of weight.