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. The legacy of Tim Tebow's baseball summer

    Minors

    CLEARWATER — It was about three weeks ago. A Saturday night. I sat behind home plate at a Charlotte Stone Crabs game at Charlotte Sports Park. There was a professional baseball scout sitting just behind me with a speed gun in his hand. He had seen the whole thing.

    Seth Bosch, left, of Punta Gorda, Fla., met Tim Tebow in Port Charlotte, Fla., in late July when Tebow, while in the on-deck circle during a game, shook hands with Seth through the backstop screen. The moment was captured on video by Seth's mother, as was the home run Tebow promptly hit in his ensuing at bat. Seth, who has high-functioning autism and other health issues, celebrated wildly and the video went viral. PHOTO PROVIDED
  2. Cannon Fodder podcast: Previewing Bucs-Jaguars

    Blogs

    Greg Auman previews the Bucs' preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars and talks about the $26,000 Bucs rookie dinner tab that wasn't in our latest Bucs Cannon Fodder podcast. Listen below:

    Charles Sims runs with the ball during the Bucs' game against the Jaguars last season.
  3. Plenty of unfinished business for Mitchell volleyball

    Volleyball Preps

    TRINITY — Their previous trip to New Smyrna Beach turned out to be a joyride, resulting in the Mitchell Mustangs' first spot in the state volleyball semifinals.

    Mitchell High school’s Jessie Mooney serves the ball during the 6A State High School Championship volleyball finals game against  Jensen Beach High School at the Venue on the UCF campus in Orlando.
(11/14/2015  WILLIE J. ALLEN JR.]
  4. Charles Bottoms, right, with his wife, Annie, wore the Tim Tebow Broncos jersey to Steinbrenner Field "only because I didn't want to wear my good (signed Gators) Tebow one." [RYAN ROMANO | Times]