If you watch Tigers game broadcasts on FOX Sports Detroit, you're probably familiar with those polls that run during the game. (You know, the one Brandon Inge always wins, if he's one of the choices.)
Joe Posnanski (a new senior writer at Sports Illustrated, if you didn't know) was recently watching a Kansas City Royals telecast with a poll asking "Who is the best closer in the AL Central?" and couldn't believe the results.
Now, you knew that the viewers — the overwhelming majority of them being Royals fans — would probably pick Joakim Soria, and he’s certainly a defensible choice. I don’t think he’s the RIGHT choice, and I say that as a huge Soria fan. I mean, Joe Nathan — since he became closer of the Twins — is 22-11, 1.81 ERA, a .923 WHIP, 491 Ks in 398 innings, I mean, this is a pretty serious body of work. But Soria has been mostly sensational in his two years as the Royals closer and he gets the hometown discount. Fine.
And Soria did get the most votes. But here’s the thing: Detroit’s Fernando Rodney finished second. Fernando Freaking Rodney. I mean no offense — Rodney can look dazzling at times, and he has great stuff, and he’s had a pretty nice year — but honestly, best closer? Would you trust him to close your car windows in case of a surprise rainstorm? The Tigers have been trying for YEARS to keep him away the closer’s role — they just kept bringing in pitchers like Ugueth Urbina and Troy Percival and Kyle Farnsworth and that guy who is just about MY AGE and throws only slightly harder than me, Todd Jones. Anyone. If Joel Zumaya could stay healthy for more than four innings at a time, he would be the closer.
"Would you trust him to close your car windows in case of a surprise rainstorm?" Hilarious.
The answer for me, by the way, would be no. Not necessarily because I don't think Rodney can close games well for the Tigers. I think he's probably the best they have right now.
No, it's because I always think people don't close my car windows tightly enough. I often hear the air hiss through when I'm driving on the highway and it drives me crazy. Almost makes me want to call the person I know is responsible, because he or she was the last person in my car with me. Close it tight!