We now know what Fernando Rodney has apparently known for over a week: he has a deal with the Tampa Bay Rays. Per Enrique Rojas of ESPN, it’s for $1.75M in 2012 with a $2.5M team option for 2013. If the option is not exercised, it’ll be a $250K buyout.
As D.J. mentioned last night, Rodney is basically the Dominican God of Walks. He has a 4.29 ERA and 87 career saves with a walk rate of 4.9 BB/9, which is not exactly what you like to see late in games. Just ask Tigers and Angles fans. Oh wait, you can’t. Because Rodney gave them all coronaries!
Ah, sorry. Rodney walks a tightrope. He has his uses, though. And the Rays will probably use him as a setup guy.
Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Trump on Monday. The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the highest civilian honor to “individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the security or national interests of America, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”
Babe Ruth was posthumously awarded the medal last year. Yogi Berra got it posthumously in 2015, and Willie Mays and Vin Scully were also awarded it the same year.
Trump and Rivera are close. Rivera, who is from Panama, has been criticized for his relationship with Trump. Defending that relationship, Rivera said on Fox & Friends in July, “Mr. President Trump to me, he was a friend of mine before he became president. So, because he’s president I will turn my back on him? No. I respect him. I respect what he does and I believe he’s doing the best for the United States of America.”
Rivera, 49, served on Trump’s Opioid and Drug Abuse Commission in 2017. In 2018, Rivera co-chaired Trump’s Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition. Rivera also co-hosted a fundraiser dinner for the America First Action PAC, which supports Trump and was also hosted by Donald Trump Jr. and Fox News personality Kimberly Guilfoyle.
This past January, Rivera became the first player ever inducted into the Hall of Fame unanimously. He is the all-time leader in saves with 652 as well as adjusted ERA (also known as ERA+) at 205. He retired with a 2.21 ERA and 1,173 strikeouts across 1,283 2/3 innings, spanning 19 seasons with the Yankees.