Mariano Rivera prefers to close, not start in, All-Star Game


Mariano Rivera would prefer to do what he does best July 16. (Rick Schultz / Getty Images)

Mariano Rivera, baseball’s greatest closer, doesn’t want to start, even in his final All-Star appearance next month.

American League manager Jim Leyland may well choose to honor him by designating him the starter, but Rivera, who has 634 regular-season and 42 postseason saves, would prefer to do what he does best in the July 16 game at Citi Field.

“I’ve been told about it, but I don’t like it,” Rivera told ESPN NewYork.com Sunday. “And the reason why I say that is it’s not what I do. What I do is close the games, I don’t start the games. It’s a privilege and honor, but I’m not contemplating it.”

It would seem more likely that Detroit’s Max Scherzer, 11-0, would start, rather than the New York Yankees’ reliever, who will retire after the season.

“I think the right thing is to do it the way it is,” Rivera said. “I don’t want to start the game and give up 10 runs in the first inning. I’d rather pitch in the ninth than the first.”

Follow @CindyBoren on Twitter and on Facebook.

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.

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Cindy Boren · June 24, 2013