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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

First Question: Why isn't he called "F-Rod"?
Posted by Jill | 6:42 AM
Why "K-Rod"? And what's the catch? How on earth did the Mets land someone who on paper looks like a real closer? And why wasn't there that much interest in him? When my mind is troubled about All Moves Mets, I find myself going to the Grand Oracle of Baseball, Mike Lupica, who can set my mind at ease if anyone can:
The Mets make a great deal here, by the way, getting Rodriguez on a three-year deal, for what averages out to be about $12 million a year. They say that Frankie Rodriguez's velocity has gone down. Right. It didn't keep him from getting 62 saves on a team that was supposed to go to the World Series this year until bad things happened to Rodriguez and the Angels in the first round against the Red Sox.

Of course something could happen to Rodriguez, because something can always go wrong with a pitcher's arm. But Rodriguez is 26 years old today and will be 27 when next season starts and you tell me how many top-of-the-line closers are out there who are this young and this good, even if he does have a whole lot of miles on him for a kid. You tell me how many closers like this ever came on the market at this age.

Now they have to hope that Rodriguez does something they want Johan Santana, another Venezuelan, to do, something Pedro Martinez didn't really do and Billy Wagner sure didn't do: They want him to close out a big contract the way he closes out baseball games. Pedro was a shell of himself by the end of his contract with the Mets and Wagner probably won't be pitching at all. They want it to be different three years from now with the kid known as K-Rod. They want him to be still saving games in New York and want very much for him to have gotten the last out of the World Series.

You can look at it this way: If Frankie Rodriguez is the Mets closer in the 2006 National League Championship Series, the Mets go all the way to the World Series. And they hang on in 2008 and they might have won the National League East going away instead of watching as their bullpen, without Wagner, a shot case by then, gone, hand the division and the National League season over to a team, the Phillies, that would end up winning it all.

Well, let's not get ahead of ourselves here. We all know what statements like "If the Mets get [blank], they go to the World series" mean, especially as long as Jimmy Rollins is playing baseball. But I'm a Mets fan after all, which means I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop. So why was a closer this young so available without a fight?


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Anonymous Anonymous said...
"K-Rod" refers to his strikeouts (Ks); he averages somewhere upwards of 11 strikeouts per 9 innings.

I'm not entirely sold -- he has a rough delivery, of the sort that implies injuries, as well as having lost a couple of miles per hour off the fastball last year. There are other good options they could have gone with (signing Brian Fuentes or Kerry Wood, or trading for JJ Putz or Huston Street), but K-Rod is probably the best of the bunch.

Still, they had to do something with Wagner down, and now they can rebuild the pen around this guy (plus, when/if Wagner returns from his surgery in 2010, they'll have a nasty 1-2 punch at the end of the pen).

Go, Mets!

Blogger D. said...
They can't sign Huston Street onaccountabecause the pronunciation problem. They can't sign Putz because In New York? Are you serious?! (I'm not familiar with Fuentes, and Wood gets injured a LOT.)

Personally, I suspect that the Mets have been cursed in the pitching department since they traded Seaver in his prime (and Ryan after his rookie season), but that's just me.

Hoping he isn't the, what, third? coming of Saberhagen.

Blogger George said...
Why did no one go after him?

Two words: Bobby Thigpen.

K-Rod smashed Thigpens record of 57 saves this year. Thigpen was out of baseball 4 years after he set the record.