I am not a Yankee fan. I am a Mets fan.
It is often said that what separates the Yankees, and Yankee fans from other baseball fans (Mets fans, in particular) is that they see the Yankees as bigger than the sport of baseball. If you go to the new Yankee Stadium, you are not there to watch a baseball game, you are there to watch a Yankee game. They built the stadium to emphasize this. You will never forget that it’s the Yankee brand first, and baseball second. I bet few Yankee fans would even disagree with this.
So, when I heard that Mariano Rivera blew out his knee during his pregame routine of shagging fly balls in the outfield, it was the first time in a long while where something bad happened to the Yankees and my first instinct wasn’t a “serves them right” smirk or a feeling of self satisfaction. I was genuinely bummed to hear the news. If the Yankees are bigger than baseball, Rivera was bigger than the Yankees. He was a part of the New York sports landscape for half of my life, and it will be weird not having that inevitable constant any longer.
I wish him the very best in his recovery and likely retirement, and the Yankees nothing but pain and heartbreak trying to find a replacement, so that their fans will finally realize how unrealistically good they had it for the last 15 years.