Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Dennis Eckersley says he rooted for Rays' Fernando Rodney to break his ERA record

DETROIT — Dennis Eckersley has a plaque in the Hall of Fame, MVP and Cy Young awards, a World Series ring, a high-profile analyst's job with TBS and some of the best hair in baseball.

But with his seemingly untouchable reliever record 0.61 ERA in peril as the season wound down, he found himself pulling for Rays closer Fernando Rodney to break the 22-year-old mark — which Rodney did, finishing at 0.60.

"I was happy for him," Eckersley said before ALCS Game 3 Tuesday. "It goes to show how tough it is. And no one would have gave a (darn) until that happened, then people say, he did that once. So at least I got some attention for something that happened so long ago. I don't think anyone even knew. So he should be proud of it."

In his 1990 season, Eckersley allowed five earned runs in 731/3 over 63 games and converted 48 saves in 50 chances; Rodney allowed five in 742/3 over 76 games and converted 48 saves in 50 chances.

"That is a great year," Eckersley said. "What it is is being good and a little lucky, which you have to be. And that makes for magic."

Which season was more impressive? Given that Eckersley did so in Oakland for a team that won 103 games and coasted to the AL West title while Rodney pitched for a Rays team that battled until the final week for a wild-card spot and ended up with 90 wins, Eckersley said Rodney's was:

"Pitching in that ballpark for that club, they needed him so bad, I think there was more pressure on him, absolutely."

Dennis Eckersley says he rooted for Rays' Fernando Rodney to break his ERA record 10/16/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 16, 2012 10:14pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Warren Sapp has firsthand advice as Bucs try to toughen up

    Bucs

    TAMPA — It was a molten morning, surface of Mercury, on the football field at Skyway Park, near Tampa International Airport. Bucs Hall of Fame defensive tackle Warren Sapp was working with some Bucs defensive linemen. HBO Hard Knocks crews followed them. Training camp was a week away. Sapp pointed to Bucs …

    Bucs defensive tackle Warren Sapp made it clear as a rookie that he wasn’t backing down from anyone, mixing it up with the Dolphins during summer scrimmages. [Times file]
  2. Rays Tales: With Rays surprising buyers, a look back at previous deadline deals

    The Heater

    The buildup to this July 31 trading deadline is different for the Rays, for the rudimentary reason that they are working — feverishly, from what we hear — to add on to a team they feel has a legitimate chance to make a playoff run.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher David Price (14) throws a strike to open up the first inning of the Pittsburgh Pirates at the Tampa Bay Rays in Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, June 25, 2014.
  3. Former Rays/current Cubs manager Joe Maddon featured on NBC Sunday news show

    Blogs

    Former Rays and current Cubs manager Joe Maddon will be featured on this week's "Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly" show at 7 p.m. on NBC, the Harry Smith interview covering not just Maddon's on-field accomplishments but his extensive efforts to help his hometown of Hazleton, Pa.

    "Here's what's so …

    Joe Maddon talking with NBC News' Harry Smith.
  4. For starters: Souza returns to lineup

    Blogs