February 6th, 2014
One of the many good free agents still left on the market, the 36 year old closer Fernando Rodney will be bringing his extreme hat tilt to the Seattle Mariners. The deal is for 2 years and 14 million, so patience pays for Rodney. Last season with Tampa Bay, Rodney closed out 37 games and had a 3.38 ERA. His real breakout season was in 2012, his first year with the Rays, and it one one of the best seasons ever for any relief pitcher. He had 48 saves, walked only 15 in 74.2 innings, but the stat that really stands out is the minuscule 0.60 ERA. He is likely to be Seattle’s closer, avoiding injury.
Unfortunately, Ralph Kiner has passesd away today at the age of 91, and everyone is remembering him for his long reign as a legendary New York Mets broadcaster. But have we forgotten the reason why he is in the hall of fame? Even though his career was not that long (only 10 years) Kiner is one of the best sluggers of all-time. From 1946, his rookie season, to 1952, he lead the National League in home runs each year. He has 369 home runs in his career, and retired young, at age 32. Imagine if his career had more longevity, and he played till he was in his late 30’s. His home run total would be up there, not quite with the Babe and Hank Aaron, but still pretty close. On a side note, and speaking of Ruth and Aaron, it would have been Babe Ruth’s 119th birthday today, and yesterday was Hank Aarons 80th birthday. This is an extreme coincidence that I never even knew. The two real all-time home run leaders have their birthdays on back-to-back days? Insane.