There are certain players who you never like when they are not on a team you follow because of their over the top antics. Fernando Rodney is one of those players, with his bow and arrow routine after closing out saves which he has been doing since 2012. Now a member of the Padres, the fans of San Diego have embraced the well traveled reliever.
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When a player has a signature tagline, not unlike the arm dangling of Craig Kimbrel or the Jose Bautista bat flip, it walks that fine unwritten line of baseball etiquette. Showy? Probably. Earned? Usually.
Rodney came up back in 2002 with Detroit. He was a solid reliever for several years (not counting an injured 2004) before being a full time major league closer for Detroit in 2009. I know, a quality closer in Detroit; sounds like an oxymoron. He saved 37 games and was sent to the Angels to be their closer. Things did not work out well in Anaheim. He closed just 17 games in two seasons and left fans with a bad taste in their mouth. Angels fans got some revenge a couple of years ago whenMike Trout
mocked the closer after hitting him hard.
From there he went to Tampa Bay where he was at his best, making the All Star team in 2012 which is when the whole arrow thing started. Says Rodney
: “The key is: Have fun and love it. If you don’t love baseball, you’re not going to have fun, you’re probably not going to play very long. Sometimes you see [players act like], ‘I don’t want to do this today, I don’t want to do that today.’ No! Have fun. Love it. You have to feel like a kid playing with your toys.”
After one good year in Seattle the next year was horrible, when he was released and finished out the year with the Cubs. His signing this off-season to the Padres raised some eyebrows, but so far so good with the 39 year old native of the Dominican Republic. He has pitched in four games with the Padres so far with 1 save and yet to allow an earned run. He has also struck out 5. The arrow has been shot once, and the Padres are hoping that Rodney can bring a lot more to Petco Park throughout 2016.