Fernando Rodney does it again


photo illustration by Samara Pearlstein

If you treat the phrase “Fernando Rodney does it again” as an algebraic formula, then “it” would be the variable, and in this case “it” equals “blows a game by failing to keep a small baseball in a very large ballpark.”

I’m bringing back this tiger, because I think he’s the only thing that can make me crack a smile after Fernando does his little “whoops I’m bad at basball!” dance yet again.

Have I mentioned how much I dislike Fernando Rodney? I’m pretty sure that I have. What a loathsome pitcher. I think what really rubs me the wrong way is the fact that Fernando has this kind of hard-throwing control-issue-riddled pitching style that seems like it would be perfectly appropriate for a young guy. You know, some punk kid reliever who thinks his mediocre (i.e. Zumayan) flameballing ways are enough to cut it in the majors. Then the kid acts all mad and sulky and outraged when his control deserts him, all, “How DARE my control do this to ME?”

That’s excusable (‘tho still laughable) in a young guy. Not so much in Fernando Rodney, who is 30 YEARS OLD, and definitely still acts like that on the mound. Even if we ignored his results this season (which I am not doing), this would get my hackles up.

In his usual stylish way, Fernando did not just lose the game today; he managed to lose a closely-played game, thus making things much more agonizing. THANKS PANTSLOADS, Fernando.

Mike Maroth threw a pretty damn good game for someone who actually threw a fairly awful game. The way he chips at the sides of the strike zone… ugh, it’s like watching a bloody sculptor work on a block of marble. Chip. Chip. Chip. Tiny little flakes… it’s infuriating. You start thinking that you’ve never seen someone chip so tentatively and weakly at the strike zone as Maroth does. But eventually the sculpture takes shape, and if that shape has the form of a 7 inning game with only 1 run given up on 9 hits and 4 walks, well…. that’s not a masterpiece, but that’s not a hideous sculpture at all. Sigh. Again, thanks Fernando.

Now everybody can see why Verlander’s no-hitter was so good for the Tigers on every level. The fact that he was pitching so well meant that Leyland was going to make every effort to throw him out there for all 9 innings, which meant: no bullpen! Which is good! Because the bullpen is starting to make a habit of doing THINGS LIKE THIS.

Anyways! Don’t forget the campaign to get Placido Polanco into his rightful spot on the All Star roster!

The cat’s name is Izzy.

Oh, and if anyone saw a crazy kid in a bright orange Tigers hat suddenly look up to the sky in the PetsMart parking lot today and blow a blatant kiss to a seagull circling overhead… that was me, and I’m not sorry at all.

9 responses to “Fernando Rodney does it again

  1. That is the finest cat photo I have ever seen.
    I’m a Fernando fan, and even I am discouraged.

  2. A few years ago, I was holding something of a contest between Fernando Rodney and Franklyn German for the appropriate nickname of “Four-A”, as at about that time, they would both occasionally go down to Toledo and just blow hitters away, then come up to the bigs and blow chunks. Fernando got a lot better, and German now rightfully has earned the nickname “Four-A”, but that’s not to say that Rodney isn’t maddeningly inconsistent, because he is. Even last year… Hell, go look at his game log on his espn.com page:
    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/players/gamelog?statsId=6922&year=2006
    Just peruse that for a while… A number of appearances that make you shake your head and mentally, if not verbally, give Rodney a “niiiiice”. Then, for a couple of outings in a row, its like, WTF? His line in the July 2 game at Pittsburgh that we eventually won 9-8 particularly jumped out at me. This is what Rodney is, and it’s time we just accepted it. Get well soon, Zoom.

  3. Placido has gone from 8,000 votes behind Cano to 50,000 votes ahead of him! But keep voting, everyone!
    Next, we need to get Maggs in the top 3 outfielders, where he Oh-so deserves to be. He’s currently 115,000 out of 3rd place. Go to the polls for ORDONEZ!!

  4. ivantopumpyouup

    Did you see Rodney’s interview, post-game? That was the most incomprehensible bit of nonsense I’ve ever witnessed. I feel dumber just for having witnessed that.

  5. Izzy is indeed a fine cat.
    Jeff, I always called Franklyn German “The Fattest Tiger”, so Fernando could be Four-A unimpeded in my books. And Rodney is not rollercoaster in the same way that Todd Jones is; Jonesy has quick mental bounceback, while Fernando seems to get crazier and more enraged when he gets hit. I do not accept that.
    tiff, I’m voting as hard as I can! :)
    ivan, I didn’t see it, and I’m not sure whether I should be happy or upset about that.

  6. Well, I don’t think of Fernando in a roller-coaster kind of a way… What I mean is that there are times he goes out there and you could easily come away convinced “WOW… *That* is some major league stuff… It’s a wonder anybody gets a hit off of him EVER.” And he can do that for 6 or 7 outings in a row. Then there are other times when you could easily come away convinced that he is the worst relief pitcher of all time and will never get another major league batter (even a pitcher in the case of interleague) out again as long as he lives. And he can do *that* for 6 or 7 outings in a row. Just maddening in that you have no idea on any given day if it’s the good Fernando or the bad Fernando who trudged out of the bullpen and out to the mound.

  7. OK, that I can readily agree with. When he’s controlling his fastball, it’s pretty filthy. But he has some issues…
    1. That lack of consistency. Whether this is due to lingering injury (neck? shoulder? whatever he had earlier this year?) or simply is something he never learned to do, pitching-wise, we may never know.
    2. Lack of height. He’s listed at 5’11 and I would swear is actually shorter than that. You do not have to be tall to be overpowering (see: Pedro), but Fernando’s style of pitching seems much more suited to a tall pitcher who can glare downslope off the mound at the batter, and send his stuff screaming in downhill, if that makes any sense. He doesn’t have good enough control, so he wants to overpower and confuse, and his wee-ness makes that harder on him.
    3. Mental gidgetry. One hits sends him into a tailspin sometimes, and it’s because it starts making him crazy.

  8. I think you’re dead-on about the mental part. Good thing he K’d the first batter yesterday, got him in a good mood, so to speak, and helped him get through the next inning, even with the grounder-thru-the-wickets thing.

  9. I can’t believe Leyland doesn’t give Rodney the boot. He is ridiculous and dangerous. After his teammates work their butts off to get the lead, he strolls in and blows it. And then his expression is like he had nothing to do with it. I can’t believe they don’t want to punch his lights out. And don’t the fans deserve better? After this year, I don’t think much of Leyland as a manager.

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