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How Seriously Did Mariano Rivera Consider Signing With the Red Sox?

Unlike Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera never appeared on the back page of the Post wearing a Photoshopped Red Sox jersey, but it's no less jarring to imagine the Yankees closer pitching for Boston. The Sox reportedly had made Rivera an offer, and one recent report even said that Rivera's camp might have initiated the contact with the Yankees rival, and not the other way around. The Yankees, of course, have since re-signed Rivera to a new two-year contract. But what about those conversations with Boston? "It was real," Rivera said yesterday, his first public statements since finalizing his new deal. "Nothing that we sat and talked (face-to-face), but it was real."

How real, though? Here, an excerpt from Al Trautwig's interview with Rivera from the stands during last night's Rangers game:

Trautwig: So what's the truth: Did you contact the Red Sox, or did the Red Sox contact you?

Rivera: They contacted me.

Trautwig: And you said?

Rivera: I said, "Well, I'll think about it."

Trautwig: How long did you think about it?

Rivera: Five minutes, ten minutes.

Trautwig: That's too long.

And then, laughter from both men. Of course, it's all only funny because he didn't sign with the Red Sox. That wouldn't have been very funny at all.

Photo: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images