Moore: After years of decline in Seattle, are Mariners fans rooting for Félix?
Are you rooting for former Mariners ace Félix Hernández to revive his career with the Atlanta Braves? Or not?
More often than not in sports radio, you’re supposed to take one side or the other, but on this one I’m straddling the fence. For his own sake, I’d like to see him be a semblance of the King in his prime and do it on a much more consistent basis than he did in the last three years of his Mariners’ career.
But before that’s even a possibility, he has to make the major-league roster, and the competition will be stiff in Atlanta with as many as eight solid candidates for the starting rotation. And Félix merely signed a minor-league make-good contract with the Braves.
If it happens, he’ll make $1 million this year, $24 million less than what he earned on an annual basis in Seattle. So it will be interesting to see if a new coaching staff can coax more out of Félix than the Mariners’ coaching staff could.
I don’t think it was for a lack of effort by Seattle’s coaching staff. Félix, from what we heard, seemed too stubborn to change his approach, still thinking he had the King’s stuff when he didn’t anymore. For that reason, I’m on the fence about him resurrecting his career.
If he turns it around, he will become the latest Mariner to shine after he leaves Seattle, and every time this occurs, it’s aggravating, and it will be even moreso with Félix. If he’s a fixture in the Braves’ rotation at the age of 34, we’ll wonder why he couldn’t rediscover himself here.
The Braves will play the Mariners in a three-game series May 29-31 at T-Mobile Park. Can you imagine if he comes back and shuts out the Mariners on three hits? How would you feel about him then?
I’ll say this about that – if he returns to pitch in Seattle, leftover fans from the King’s Court who chant K-K-K-K when he gets two strikes on a Mariners’ hitter should be escorted out of the ballpark by security and have their yellow T-shirts thrown in a paper shredder.
Félix and the Mariners had a great marriage for awhile, and then it was a good marriage, and then it just seemed like they were staying together because of the kids. I’m glad they’re finally divorced because it was ugly at the end – Félix’s ERA went up for five consecutive years, and the Mariners were pretty much done trying to get through to him.
This spring I’m gonna hope he makes the Braves’ major-league roster and pitches well enough to get a start at T-Mobile Park in May. I want to see how he does against his former team and how he handles his emotions in front of fans who once adored him.
But if we see him here again, I’ll hope he gets knocked around and knocked out of the game because he won’t be in a Mariners’ uniform anymore.
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