Good news for the 2019 New York Yankees ... Mariano Rivera says THIS is the year the Bronx Bombers are going back to the World Series!
"I believe this is the year that we going back," Rivera said at Cipriani in NYC ... "Definitely we NEED to win this World Series."
Of course, the last time the Yanks won the World Series, it was 2009 ... and Rivera was the Yankees closer, playing alongside stars like Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada.
In fact, a bunch of Mariano's teammates from that squad came out for Rivera's Hall of Fame induction speech in Cooperstown earlier this month.
Jeter got a private jet to fly out along with Posada -- and Rivera tells TMZ Sports it meant the world to have those guys in the house for his induction.
"Having them there means a lot to me," Mariano said ... "As soon as I let them know, they were on board."
Joe Torre also made it out to the induction -- and Mariano says his former manager will always have a special place in his heart.
"Mr. Torre was one of the key pieces of the puzzle that was able to keep us together," Rivera said.
"For me, he was a blessing, a father figure, a brother, a mentor ... I mean, so many things. It was a blessing to me."
As for World Series prediction, the 2019 Yankees are currently in 1st place in the AL East by far ... with stars like Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman and Gleyber Torres leading the way.