- (Photo: Reuters / Ray Stubblebine)
Mariano Rivera, the star closer of the Yankees, has turned 42 and with his age has now come health concerns – except his ailment is non-baseball related.
Rivera has been struggling with his vocal chords recently and has seen his voice fall to a raspy whisper over the last month.
The Yankees and Rivera have been relatively quiet about the situation because of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act which doesn't disclose injuries if not related to baseball play, reports the NY Post.
"When you are talking about surgery there is nothing simple," Rivera said to the Post. “Every time I talk it gets worse and worse,’’ he said at his restaurant, 42 Clubhouse.
He went on to talk about potentially getting his vocal chords shaved as a cure for the problem.
A video by the Daily News shows a voice weakened Rivera speaking around the 38 second mark.
The Panamanian born 17 year MLB veteran, is a professed born again Christian has enjoyed immense success in his career with the Yankees, which he attributes all to God.
He's a 12 time all-star, a five time World Series champion, and the all time leader in saves with 603.
Upon retiring, Rivera is a guaranteed first ballot Hall of Fame inductee.
Originally a starting pitcher in 1995, Rivera moved to the setup position in 1996 where he excelled. By the following season he was New York's full time closer, and has been the most dominate player at his position since.
His dominance bewilders all batters who face him and frustrates Major League managers across the game because Rivera only throws one pitch, and even at the age of 42, it's still as effective as ever.
Rivera is one of two players left on the Yankees who were part of the core four (a group of young rising stars that lead NY to four World Series wins). The other player left is Derek Jeter, with Andy Petitte now retired, and Jorge Posada not likely to return with the team this year.