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Roger Clemens Writes Farewell Tribute to New York Yankees’ Mariano Rivera; Wishes He’d Continue Playing

September 27th, 2013 at 4:27 PM
By Doug Rush

From 1999 to 2003, Roger Clemens and Mariano Rivera were teammates on the New York Yankees and won two World Series championships during that time together. When Clemens won his 300th career game at Yankee Stadium back in 2003, Rivera was the one who got the save during that game for "The Rocket."

The two were reunited again after Clemens had retired from baseball in 2003, then came back to sign with his hometown Houston Astros in 2004 and pitched there from 2004-2006 and stepped away from the game in what everyone thought was a second retirement, but Clemens shocked baseball when he decided to forego retirement and sign with the Yankees in 2007 on a one-year deal, following long-time teammate and friend Andy Pettitte back to the Bronx, so Clemens knows a thing or two about retiring and coming back to baseball.

In three days, the 43-year-old Rivera will retire from baseball after pitching for 18 years, winning five World Series and owning the all-time saves record with 652 career saves along with 42 postseason saves, all the while being on top of his game. Rivera has also said he won't change his mind after this year and won't return to the game and to the Yankees, as he feels that he's given everything he can to the sport and to the game.

In a special story written by Clemens himself on Friday in the Houston Chronicle, the former Yankee talks highly about Rivera and how he dominated the sport with such grace and work ethic, but at the same time, feels like he is stepping away from the game too soon.

"And one last thing, Mo. When you're sitting at home next May and the Yankees are in need of a closer, remember … anybody can retire once!" 
 
In the story, Clemens also talks about Rivera retiring on top of his game and thinks he's stepping away a little too quickly, especially after coming back from such a devastating injury last season. The Yankees don't have a picked out heir apparent to take Rivera's place as the closer next season, although some speculate that it could be David Robertson, but it's not guaranteed the Yankees will trust him to take the closing duties.
 
Clemens will be on hand this weekend in Houston as part of Rivera's farewell from baseball and will take part in the team's pre-game ceremony and gift-giving to Rivera, as Clemens is now a part of the Astros front office as a special assistant. 
 
Photo credit: Keith Allison / Foter / CC BY-SA

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Tags: Andy Pettitte, Baseball, Houston Astros, Mariano Rivera, MLB, New York, New York Yankees, Roger Clemens

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