Mariano Rivera, while he waits to find out if he needs a surgical procedure done on his vocal cords, speculated on Tuesday that 2012 could be the final year of his career.
“I don’t know what will happen,’’ said the Yankees closer, who turns 42 Tuesday and has one year and $15 million remaining on his contract. “I have one year left. I might call it over. I will know more in spring training.’’
Bothered for a month by a condition that has turned his voice into a raspy whisper, Rivera has been to one doctor and Monday will get a second opinion.
“Every time I talk it gets worse and worse,’’ Rivera said yesterday at his New Rochelle restaurant, 42 Clubhouse Grill, where his foundation paired with HOPE Community Services to feed 42 children and their families Thanksgiving turkey meals.
I have one year left. I might call it over. I will know more in spring training.
Rivera did not know what was causing the problem, but vocal cords sometimes sprout blisters or polyps that need to be removed. When it was mentioned that shaving of the vocal cords sounded like a simple procedure, Rivera smiled.
“When you are talking about surgery, there is nothing simple,’’ Rivera said.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman is not allowed to talk about non-baseball injuries and refused comment.
Rivera, who became baseball’s all-time saves leader this past season, said he did not have any feelings on Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon signing a four-year, $50 million deal with the Phillies, which dwarfs the two-year, $30 million pact Rivera signed before last season.
“I have no reaction; that’s the market and he took advantage of it,’’ Rivera said. “He is a good kid, he means well. He is a hard worker. I wish him the best.’’
Rivera said it was special to give back to the New Rochelle community after he spent his first four years in the big leagues living there. He is also involved in rebuilding a church in New Rochelle. It was the first time Rivera partnered with HOPE, an organization that feeds 480,000 people yearly.