A glimmer of hope for the Yankees

Updated: March 10, 2013, 12:18 PM ET
By Buster Olney

TAMPA, Fla. -- A spring training inning came to an end Saturday, one exhibition inning among thousands that won't count. But this inning had been a little different.

This was the first inning thrown by Mariano Rivera in about 10 months, and it came just a few hours after he had sat with his family in a room crowded by all of his teammates and officially announced his retirement after the 2013 season. He had appeared to be on the edge of tears once, as he glanced at his teammates, but held on to his composure, through some anxiousness. The announcement was anything but a surprise, given that Rivera had planned to retire at the end of last season before his knee injury.

But the scouts who assembled to watch the daily parade of pitches and swings Saturday had no idea whether Rivera would be the same, or if there would finally be signs of age, or if he would look rusty.