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 Tigers will miss Fernando Rodney

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PostSubject: Tigers will miss Fernando Rodney   Tigers will miss Fernando Rodney Icon_minipostedThu Dec 24, 2009 6:45 pm

Last Updated: December 24. 2009 1:32PM
Tom Gage
Tigers will miss Fernando Rodney

Detroit -- Unusual guy, Fernando Rodney.

But he wasn't the world's worst closer.

He would sing in the clubhouse and make bird sounds.

He wore such a lethal-looking tooth around his neck last spring that the Tigers worried he might accidentally stab himself with it.

Eventually he got the hint and stopped wearing it while in uniform.

But he still wasn't the world's worst closer.

He had several voices -- his own deep baritone, but also one that sounded like a frog, which he used often.

And he once saved three bags of hair to give to his own mother after teammate Freddy Dolsi gave him a haircut in Baltimore.

As we said, unusual guy, Fernando Rodney.

Fun to be around, a true character -- and, one last time, not the world's worst closer. At times, in fact, he was quite good.

But Rodney, 32, agreed to a two-year contract for $11 million with the Angels on Wednesday. There was a report the Phillies would have given him a little more, but the Angels' offer might have been more attractive because of the better chance to close.

Either way, it's a nice contract for him -- but far from the three-year $30 million he was rumored to be seeking when his free agency began.

Suffice to say, he'll be able to purchase a lavish box in which to keep his hair.

And he'll be able to buy more teeth to hang around his neck -- but not while pitching.

Tigers never had a chance

Rodney didn't get big-buck closer money for a good reason. He wasn't a big-buck closer. Not yet anyway, maybe not ever.

But he was the best the Tigers had last year -- and, based on his experience, quite likely the best they might have been able to muster for next year.

Yet when the season ended, and the reality of the "adjustments" set in that president and general manager Dave Dombrowski referred to after the deal that sent popular Curtis Granderson to the Yankees, the Tigers knew Rodney would be gone.

They knew they couldn't afford him.

They knew he'd sign elsewhere.

And when he did, it was no surprise.

When Dombrowski said Monday it was his last day in the office until after New Year's, that didn't mean "some other GM wouldn't call."

But there was no talk of one last pitch to keep Rodney.

The Tigers had offered him arbitration. He had refused the offer. That, not this, was the last nail.

That, not this, guaranteed that Rodney would be singing his songs and making his sounds elsewhere next season.

In return, because of Rodney's rank as a Type B free agent, the Tigers will get a supplemental pick after the first round of next June's draft.

It doesn't fill the void, though.

The replacement is ...

The Tigers are left without a proven closer -- just as, because of their payroll-driven overhaul, they are now without a proven second baseman, a proven center fielder and a proven set-up man to equal the second-half effectiveness (1.77 ERA) of Brandon Lyon.

They have closing candidates -- both new and not-so. Their closer could be Ryan Perry. Their closer could be Joel Zumaya, if medical procedures and rest have worked wonders.

But it won't be Rodney. To borrow a phrase he often used, "he gone."

The next question you're asking, or should be if you aren't, is "who else is out there?"

Jose Valverde is out there. Valverde has saved 116 games the last three seasons, including 25 last year for Houston.

He's a proven closer -- but one who made $8 million last year. Like the cost of the holiday gift you just put back on the shelf because of the price tag, the Tigers are looking for something more in keeping with their downsized budget.

Kevin Gregg? He couldn't even keep his job with the Cubs.

Matt Capps? On the brink of signing elsewhere.

Octavio Dotel? Five years have passed since his 36-save season. He also just turned 36. That's not looking forward.

J.J. Putz? It made sense for the Tigers to show some interest, but they didn't show enough. The White Sox signed him.

So there's not much attractive, if anything, still available.

Perry, come on down. You're probably the guy with help from Zumaya, Phil Coke, Daniel Schlereth, this guy, that guy.

But whoever it is, in honor of your predecessor, talk like a frog, O.K?

Just once.

“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
–Joe Garagiola
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Lakeland Flying Tiger
Lakeland Flying Tiger

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PostSubject: Re: Tigers will miss Fernando Rodney   Tigers will miss Fernando Rodney Icon_minipostedSun Dec 27, 2009 4:44 pm

Yah, I'm very upset with the trades.
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Detroit Tiger

DTF1 MODERATOR Detroit Tiger

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PostSubject: Re: Tigers will miss Fernando Rodney   Tigers will miss Fernando Rodney Icon_minipostedMon Dec 28, 2009 1:15 am

Quote :
But he wasn't the world's worst closer.

Yeah, you keep telling yourself that. Maybe one day it would be convincing.

bow Z. Miner
Tigers will miss Fernando Rodney D0cd_210
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PostSubject: Re: Tigers will miss Fernando Rodney   Tigers will miss Fernando Rodney Icon_miniposted

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