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The Corner


September 11, 2009 9:37 AM

Another Opinion On the Rodney Saga

By: MELISSA HEYBOER

Forgive me for the delay, but let's just say I needed a few days to cool off.

 

After all, watching Fernando Rodney pitch from anywhere other than the bullpen can take a lot out of a girl. So I'm glad to say Thursday's game, albeit a loss, was Rod­neyless and for that, I'm happy.

 

You can forget all this nonsense Sean writes about how he's "proud" of him. Bologna. Don't get me wrong, I'm all about passion and drive and yadda, yadda, yadda, but unfortunately passion and drive aren't all you need to throw strikes. Otherwise, Todd Jones would've been a force to be reckoned with in his last years as a Tiger.

 

But I digress.

 

I was going to write about how Rodney's three-game suspension, following last Friday night's momentary lapse of common sense, was, well, a bit harsh. Now, I'm not so sure I still feel that same way.

 

Let's pause for a brief venture into fantasyland...

 

In my fantasyland, Fernando all-I-do-is-blow-games-Rodney, would get suspended and the entire Tiger's nation would spend three blissful days without worrying about whether "F-Rod" is going to "F-up" and give up two, three, or 15 runs in a game.

 

I like fantasyland.

 

Unfortunately, I have to be realistic about this. And Rodney's three-game suspension was nothing short of unfair. All joking aside, he didn't warrant it and doesn't deserve it. And as much as I hate to say it, with October closing in, the Tigers can't afford to lose its closer, Rodney or not. We're in a pennant race, folks. You want your best, and worst, players along for the ride.

 

I'm definitely not condoning Rodney's behavior Friday night, but let's be honest, he didn't do anything that nine out of 10 baseball players don't do on a daily basis.

 

Was it inappropriate? Yes. Did it warrant a fine? Maybe. Does he deserve to miss games for it? Absolutely not.

 

Does anyone actually believe he was trying to hurt anyone when he threw a ball into the stands? I can't see how they would. Just take it for it was. It was Rodney pissed off at himself for his own lack of, well, awesomeness on the mound.

 

Yes, I said awesomeness. And, yes, I meant it.

 

What really grinds my gears, however, is that now there's talk about a letter written by the Rays beat writer for the St. Petersburg Times, Marc Topkin. According to Tiger's president and general manager Dave Dombrowski this letter had more pull in the suspension than Rodney's actual actions.

 

Yeah, that makes sense. Maybe if our friends over at the Detroit Free Press whine enough, we can get other players suspended too when they slide into second to forcefully. 


Seriously?

 

The point is, with no Tiger's bullpen pitcher being a stable Tiger's bullpen pitcher, losing Rodney for even three games could be bad for a team who's merely 5.5 games ahead of Minnesota and a scary six games behind the wild card leading Red Sox.

 

So, as much as I'd love to take a ride on the fantasyland train, I think I'll stick with the Rodneyville clunker.


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