Scott Boeck, USA TODAY Sports
What was highly anticipated is becoming a reality. New York Yankees legendary closer Mariano Rivera is expected to announce his plan to retire after the 2013 season on Saturday.
A press conference is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday at Steinbrenner Stadium.
Rivera, 43, enters the 2013 season as the all-time saves leader with 608.
After a 25-pitch bullpen session today, Rivera would not confirm that he was going to announce his retirement on Saturday.
"If you hear that from me, that will be confirmed," Rivera told The New Post. "It's only a rumor until I talk."
Rivera entered camp not ready to make an announcement but said his decision was made.
"Yes, I have (made a decision)," Rivera said on Feb. 13. "I won't give it up until I'm ready for that. Yes, I have. Yes, I have. But again, I will tell you guys when I think it's the right moment."
That moment has come. Rivera is expected to make his announcement Saturday, which is also the day he is scheduled to make his spring training debut.
Many suspected Rivera would retire after the 2012 campaign. His season was cut short when he suffered a season-ending knee injury in May while shagging fly balls in Kansas City. Rivera had ACL surgery in his right knee in June. He vowed a comeback and said he didn't want to end his career that way.
Rivera became the most dominant closer in baseball when he took over the closer's role in 1997. Since then, he saved at least 30 games a season until last year.
He became a legend in October.
"I admire his ability to compete in an almost relaxed state in the highest-pressure situations," Hall of Famer Cal Ripken said.
In the postseason, he saved 42 games and had a 0.70 ERA while winning five World Series titles.
Contributing: Gabe Lacques in Sarasota, Fla.