Jobu ponders if Rodney’s breakout season will be rewarded with a trophy.
If you had told me a year ago that I’d be writing an article with this title and subject heading, I would have pointed out that I don’t cover fake video game baseball. That’s literally the only place this could ever have happen before the 2012 season. That’s right, readers. When the votes are tallied for the American League Cy Young Award, it could very well be Fernando Rodney who takes it on home. Baffling.
How did Rodney do it? I really don’t know. Just last year, he was kind of a joke. He was always the last closer on the waiver wire in fantasy baseball. He was the guy who sat on the waiver wires until the finals when someone needed to try to sneak the saves category. In fact, he hadn’t had an ERA below 4.00 since 2006. His WHIP from 2009-2011 was 1.546, horrid numbers for any reliever, let alone a closer.
What did he do in 2012? How about breaking Dennis Eckersley’s 22 year old record for reliever ERA in a season? Rodney’s miniscule 0.60 (!!) ERA just beat Eck’s 0.61 number from 1990, when he led the A’s to the World Series. Rodney put up career bests in practically every category, including WHIP (0.777), Saves (48), Ks (76), H/9 (5.2) and HR/9 (0.2). His BB/9 went from 7.9 in 2011 (28 BBs in 32 Ip), to 1.8 in 2012. I’m not sure there has every been this much of an out of nowhere performance by any player with Rodney’s track record.
Also, I really hated his obnoxious arrow shooting celebration (pictured above) until I really watched it, and saw Rays first baseman Carlos Peña watch the imaginary arrow go all the way out to the outfield with Rodney until it hit its target (yes, the target is also imaginary). I don’t know why, but Peña’s participation won me over.
It seems that Rodney’s only competition is his own teammate, David Price. Price, the ace of the Rays staff, went 20-5 (the 20 wins led the league) with a league leading 2.56 ERA and his second straight 200+ strike out season. It’s hard to argue against Price, but if anyone can wrestle it away from him, it’s Rodney.
Check out Fernando Rodney’s 2012 Statistics.
Featured image courtesy of: Reed Saxon/AP
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