When Mariano Rivera was asked on the day he announced his retirement about what the perfect ending to his career would be, he talked about being on the mound for the World Series -- and even at the time he said it, that seemed unreachable, given all of the personnel issues that swirled around the Yankees.
But now it's official that the Yankees' season, and Rivera's career, will end Sunday, before October begins, and next week, the front office begins its dive into what will be as close to a complete makeover of the roster since the days when Gene Michael and Buck Showalter ran the franchise in the early 1990s.
The changes could start with the team's best player. The Yankees have never had a time in their franchise history when their centerpiece walked away of his own volition. Babe Ruth and Joe DiMaggio were pushed out, Lou Gehrig was taken down by disease and Mickey Mantle lost his race against age in 1969. But Robinson Cano may leave the Yankees this winter, in search of greater compensation elsewhere.