Benching Felix a Final Fuck You to Mariner Fans

In explaining his decision to have ace pitcher Felix Hernandez skip his final start of the season, Mariner general manager Jack Zduriencik called it a "precautionary move," adding that "one more start shouldn't make much of a difference" in terms of its impact on Hernandez's Cy Young Award candidacy. This is yet another miscalculation in a season filled with them, and adds a final exclamation point to Mariner management's season-long "fuck you!" to the club's too-loyal fan base.

Hernandez is locked in a tight three-way race with C.C. Sabathia and David Price for pitching's highest honor. Sabathia and Price play for the two best teams, the Yankees and Tampa Bay, in baseball, and their win totals -- 21 for Sabathia and 19 for Price -- are indicative of such success. Meanwhile, Hernandez has only 13 wins; again, a reflection of his team's overall success. He's got his rivals licked in every other key category -- innings pitched, strikeouts, earned run average. But don't think for a moment that another win won't help his case, as the fewest ever notched by a Cy Young winner is 16 by Kansas City's Zack Greinke, to whom Hernandez finished as runner-up in 2009.

Hernandez is doing his best to shrug off Zduriencik's "precaution," but you can tell he's pissed, saying "with a laugh" that "his credentials 'could be better if I throw one more game.'" Is sparing the arm of your franchise cornerstone seven to nine innings at the end of a lost season really worth pissing him off when he's the only one in your organization who still has something to lose? If Zduriencik pulls an encore performance in 2011, he'll know what it's like to lose something. And I think we all know what that something is.

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