Rays closer Fernando Rodney is going to need to find some space on the mantle, after he collected two awards, Friday. Rodney was named as Major League Baseball's Comeback Player of the Year as well as the Delivery Man of the Year (Best Reliever), capping off a historical season in which Rodney tallied the best ERA in league history (min 50 IP).
The two awards are a much deserved honor for Rodney, who posted a 0.60 ERA (2.13 FIP) and saved 48 out of 50 chances, finishing the year at 2-2 and good for 2.4 WAR. Rodney was downright filthy all season long, much to the surprise of nearly everyone outside of Andrew Friedman's office. Perhaps most remarkable was his control. Rodney posted a career best 5.3% BB%, a full 6 percentage points below his career numbers while striking out 27% of the batters he faced, up 6%. Those numbers are in even starker contrast to 2011 with the Angels when Rodney boasted a 4.71 FIP, 17.3K%, 18.7BB%, and recorded just 3 saves.
It wasn't all good news for the Rays however, as long time Rays Senior Vice President Gerry Hunsicker left to join the Dodgers front office. With the dodgers he will apparently be involved in all aspects of the front office including player personnel and scouting. The Rays will surely miss him.
In post-season baseball news, the San Francisco Giants rallied to force a game 6 by drubbing the St. Louis Cardinals 5-0 behind quite possibly one of the best starts of Barry Zito's career. Zito, who notched his first post-season win since 2006, was magnificent, going 7.2 IP and allowing no runs on 6 hits while striking out 6 and walking just one. The series heads back to San Fran for game 6, Sunday night. Buster Posey, Rodney's NL Comeback Player of the Year counterpart, is doing his best A-Rod impression and is just 3-18 in the series. If the Giants hope to win the series, they will surely need Posey's bat to come alive at home.
- Hall of Fame 3B Mike Schmit thinks A-Rod is cursed.
- A guy robbed a bank in Missouri and yelled "Go Cards!" as he made his get-away.
- Jonah Keri asks, What happened to the Yankees?
- Over at Fangraphs, Jeff Sullivan looks at hitters that got more or less strikes than they should have. Ryan Roberts and Chris Giminez are both mentioned.