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Ron Washington picks Fernando Rodney as All-Star closer

Jul 10, 2012, 1:18 PM EDT

Fernando Rodney AP

Fernando Rodney simply making the All-Star team at age 35 and after five consecutive seasons with an ERA higher than 4.00 is amazing enough, but apparently he’ll also be asked to close out the game if the American League has a ninth-inning lead.

Rodney told Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times that AL manager Ron Washington has already said he’s in line for the save opportunity, getting the nod over fellow closers Joe Nathan, Ryan Cook, Jim Johnson, and Chris Perez. That’s somewhat surprising considering Nathan is Washington’s closer for the Rangers and is having an incredible season himself with a 1.73 ERA, 18 saves, and a 45/4 K/BB ratio in 36 innings.

Of course, Rodney has a 0.93 ERA, 25 saves, and a 38/5 K/BB ratio in 39 innings, so it’s tough to go wrong either way. And maybe Washington just really wants to see Rodney do his post-save “shooting an arrow” celebration on a national stage.

Mariano Rivera closed out the American League’s last All-Star victory in 2009.

  1. paperlions - Jul 10, 2012 at 1:26 PM

    Congrats to Rodney, now he knows that he’ll only pitch if the AL is up 1-3 runs going into the 9th, but won’t pitch otherwise (since the AL is the home team, and winning run scored in the 9th or later will be a walkoff win and you won’t “need” a closer).

  2. vallewho - Jul 10, 2012 at 1:27 PM

    Another reason not to watch.

  3. crali - Jul 10, 2012 at 1:43 PM

    So, not only do the Yankees miss Mo – the entire AL misses him!

    • madhatternalice - Jul 10, 2012 at 4:56 PM

      If by “miss” you mean “couldn’t care less than he isn’t there,” then you’re probably right!

  4. Detroit Michael - Jul 10, 2012 at 2:14 PM

    Maybe Ron Washington wants to ensure that Joe Nathan pitches only one inning. If a closer blows the save but leaves the game tied, the closer may end up pitching more than one inning, especially given that All-Star Game managers, even after 2002, rarely save very many pitchers for the possibility of extra innings.

  5. kwf1224 - Jul 10, 2012 at 2:47 PM

    I think that’s a excellent choice.

  6. madhatternalice - Jul 10, 2012 at 4:35 PM

    Come on, Aaron. Now you’re just trying to manufacture controversy. This is why the media loves to scrutinize every single managerial choice in the ASG: there’s always a way to spin it as something “unexpected.”

    That’s somewhat surprising considering Nathan is Washington’s closer for the Rangers and is having an incredible season himself with a 1.73 ERA, 18 saves, and a 45/4 K/BB ratio in 36 innings.

    It’s not unexpected at all. It would be unexpected if Washington didn’t pick the most dominant (statswise) closer on the AL team.

    Actually, I take that back. It would be unexpected if Washington picked Adam Dunn to close. It would be homerism if he picked Nathan.

  7. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jul 10, 2012 at 10:37 PM

    after 5 runs in the 1st: point=moot

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