Mo throws out first pitch

Mariano Rivera threw out the ceremonial first pitch before Game 3 of the ALDS. William Perlman/THE STAR-LEDGER/US PRESSWIRE

He actually did take the mound again in 2012.

All season long, fans and media wondered if Mariano Rivera would pitch again in 2012 after he suffered a torn ACL early in the season.

Well, he threw off of the mound on Wednesday night. But, it wasn't exactly in the capacity Joe Girardi and the Yanks had hoped.

Rivera tossed out the ceremonial first pitch before Game 3 of the Yankees-Orioles American League Division Series, drawing loud ovations from the crowd.

He was also showered with applause during pregame warmups.

Girardi continued to say throughout the season that he was 99.9 percent sure that Rivera was done for the year -- not 100 percent. The remark fueled speculation that Rivera could return in 2012.

Rivera, 40, tore his ACL on May 3 and had surgery June 12. He hopes to return next season.

Rafael Soriano did a tremendous job filling in for Rivera this year.

The crowd in Baltimore, by the way, booed the Yankees loudly during introductions before Games 1 and 2. But the big bad Bronx crowd greeted the O's with mostly silence before Wednesday's game.