“Wearing baseball caps sideways is dumber than wearing them backwards which is dumber than wearing the forwards which is dumber than baseball and baseball is pretty dumb.” -nbdyfcnsqnc (Nissan 350Z Forums)
New Seattle closer Fernando Rodney clearly doesn’t have any supporters in the Nissan owners’ community, but can the demonstrative reliever win over notoriously fickle Mariners fans?
He passes the most important prerequisite — not being Brandon League. *shudders*
The rest of Rodney’s antics, including his trademark bow-and-arrow save celebrations, will be easier for Mariners fans to tolerate if he pitches like he did in his breakout 2012 season.
Up to that point Rodney had been a middling reliever for nine seasons, only twice posting an ERA below 4.00 before signing with the Rays and recording a combined 85 saves in 2012-2013. He was nothing short of unhittable in his first year with Tampa Bay, posting a 0.60 ERA, 0.77 WHIP and a SO/BB of 5.07 while finishing 5th in the AL Cy Young balloting. Rodney regressed significantly in 2013 as he blew eight saves (compared to just two in 2012) and saw his WHIP soar to 1.335 — right in line with his career average.
The Mariners, who already have a closer in-house with better peripherals than Rodney and an affordable salary, decided that giving a 2 year/$24 million dollar contract to a soon to be 37-year-old reliever with two good seasons on his 11 year resume is exactly what they needed to climb out of the AL West cellar (oh hi Houston).
It’s possible that 37 and 38 are the new peak ages for relief pitchers, but it’s also possible that the current Seattle regime just doesn’t know how to build a winning ball club. How many games will Rodney even have the chance to close with a lineup full of question marks?
Not enough to earn $12 million a year. Not enough to earn $1 million a year. Certainly not enough to mollify Nissan owners.
Rodney would be a great final piece for a club on the cusp of contention. That team is not the Mariners, and at this rate, may never be…