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Francisco Rodriguez on lack of save chances: “I’m not fine”

Sep 14, 2011, 10:47 AM EST

Francisco Rodriguez Getty Images

Francisco Rodriguez knew he’d be used as a setup man when the Brewers traded for him, but the longtime closer apparently expected to get at least the occasional save chance.

Instead the Brewers have yet to give him a ninth-inning save opportunity, sticking with John Axford at all times, and Rodriguez told Scott Miller of CBSSports.com that he’s disappointed:

I’m not fine. They told me I’d have the opportunity to close some games, and we’ve had 20-some save opportunities since then and I haven’t even had one. I’m a little disappointed in that, but that’s something that’s out of my hands.

Meanwhile, as Miller points out since the trade Rodriguez has made a total of 24 appearances and Axford has had 19 save chances. Axford has stayed healthy and has converted a team record 39 straight saves, which hasn’t left the window open for Rodriguez even a crack.

In fairness to Rodriguez there’s a big difference between expressing frustration about his lack of save chances and actually letting that impact his performance or demeanor. Axford told Miller that Rodriguez “has been great” and there’s no indication that Rodriguez’s unhappiness has kept him from doing his best in the setup role, where he’s thrown 23 innings with a 2.31 ERA and 24/9 K/BB ratio.

As an impending free agent Rodriguez should have little problem securing a multi-year deal to resume closing elsewhere next season.

  1. frenchysplatediscipline - Sep 14, 2011 at 10:54 AM

    Of course winning isn’t enough for this guy. That’s why he took a big payoff from the Mets a few years back. Does anyone still play this game to get a ring anymore?

    • mkd - Sep 14, 2011 at 11:52 AM

      Hahahaha. As if players today are any more or any less focused on their paychecks than they’ve ever been. The golden age of selfless men playing for the love of the game ended in like 1869. Get over it.

      • paperlions - Sep 14, 2011 at 12:23 PM

        Exactly. In the days of the reserve clause, players were motivated to win (or be on a winning team) because of the post-season bonus checks (which was a significant bump in pay for most) at least as much as by winning, per se.

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Sep 14, 2011 at 12:53 PM

        or they were motivated to contact their bookies and ditch games like Chicago in 1919 and (allegedly) 1918 against Boston the year before.

    • JBerardi - Sep 14, 2011 at 4:13 PM

      Revisionist history much? The Mets where a pretty strong contender at the time he signed with them.

  2. proudlycanadian - Sep 14, 2011 at 11:21 AM

    Axford will get tonight off due to the amount of pitches he threw last night. Hopefully Milwaukee will not have a save situation tonight.

    The Jays could use a closer, but they are unlikely to go after this guy because of character considerations.

    • dailyrev - Sep 14, 2011 at 11:39 AM

      Note to Farrell: next Feb., consider trying Morrow. No kidding, just might work. He’s got closer-type stuff but appears to lack the endurance of a starter. The best closers in the open market tend to be more expensive than the Rogers boys might be willing to pay, so developing one’s own is sometimes the only option.

      • Alex K - Sep 14, 2011 at 12:10 PM

        The Mariners tried this. It didn’t really work out all that great.

    • JBerardi - Sep 14, 2011 at 4:11 PM

      Character considerations? This is the team that picked was happy to pick up Yunel Escobar and Colby Rasmus on the cheap because of their perceived character deficiencies.

  3. dailyrev - Sep 14, 2011 at 11:23 AM

    See, that anger-mgt. stuff really works!!!

  4. mojosmagic - Sep 14, 2011 at 11:23 AM

    Selfish ahole. Always was, always will be. Go beat on another old guy you creep.

    • baseballisboring - Sep 14, 2011 at 5:28 PM

      wow i forgot about that. least it wasn’t steroids! that would’ve stuck with him forever…

  5. purnellmeagrejr - Sep 14, 2011 at 1:25 PM

    I’m so glad he’s not a Met … so glad he’s not a Met .. so glad he’s not on the Mets ….

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