When Mariano Rivera showed up early to camp (by his standards) last season and started throwing earlier than he usually did, it was a pretty strong indicator that 2012 was going to be his last season. Those plans got derailed by his ACL injury, but it appears Mo is taking a similar approach this spring as he puts the finishing touches on his comeback from surgery.
Now it could just be a coincidence that he's on almost the same schedule he was last year- arrive the day after pitchers and catchers report, starting throwing bullpens and side sessions weeks earlier than he used to- and the timing of Mo's ST activities could be dictated more by his knee rehab schedule than personal preference, but it's still worth nothing that he's ahead of where he usually is at this point in ST. He faced live hitters for the second time this morning and said the knee felt good. The next step is still pitching in full game situation settings and seeing how he moves when he has to field a grounder or cover first base, but Mo himself talks like he's not worried about that.
Mo said a few weeks ago he had made a decision on his future after this season but that he wasn't going to announce that decision yet. I saw his accelerated schedule last ST as a sign that he was going to hang 'em up after the season, and even if that similar schedule this spring is being driven by the knee rehab and not Mo's own plans I still feel it's that same sign. On the one hand, it's great to see that Mo is progressing nicely and not suffering any setbacks on his road to recovery. On the other, it's never good to have to think about Mo retiring again.