By on October 19, 2012

Rocket Sports & Entertainment’s favorite Ray. (photo by USPresswire/Kim Klement)

Back in May Rick Sassone at Rocket Sports & Entertainment talked about Fernando Rodney… Rick would say, “Kids if you win, never mind Ben Zobrist, take Fernando Rodney to school.”

Rocket Sports & Entertainment Network congratulates FERNANDO RODNEY on his comeback and the Delivery Man of the Year Award.  We really enjoyed watching you close the door.

In his first year with the Rays, Rodney went 2-2 with 48 saves and a 0.60 ERA in a career-high 76 appearances, one season after going 3-5 with a 4.50 ERA in 39 games for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. In 74.2 innings pitched in 2012, he permitted 43 hits and just five earned runs with 15 walks and a career-best 76 strikeouts. The right-hander’s 0.60 ERA set a Major League record for a relief pitcher with a minimum of 50 innings pitched, eclipsing the previous record of 0.61 (five earned runs in 73.1 innings pitched) set in 1990 by Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley of the Oakland A’s. His 48 saves, which ranked second in the Majors, were a career-best and set a new Tampa Bay club record, surpassing
the 45 saves by Rafael Soriano in 2010. In addition, the 35-year-old joined Eckersley (48 saves, 0.61 ERA) in 1990 as the only pitchers in Major League history to post 40 saves and an ERA below 1.00.

Rodney, who was named an All-Star for the first time in his 10-year career, pitched a perfect ninth inning in Kansas City at the Midsummer Classic while also becoming the oldest first-time All-Star in Rays history. The Samana, Dominican Republic native led the Majors with a 96.0 save percentage (48-for-50) and ranked fourth in the A.L. with a .167 (43-for-258) opponents’ batting average. In 42 appearances at home at Tropicana Field, Rodney allowed just two earned runs, posting a 0.44 ERA (41.0 innings pitched), the best among all Major League relievers. Rodney becomes the second Ray to win the Comeback Player of the Year Award, joining Carlos Peña in 2007, and he joins Cliff Lee (A.L., 2008), Brad Lidge (N.L., 2008), Chris Carpenter (N.L., 2009), Francisco Liriano (A.L. 2010) and Tim Hudson (N.L., 2010) as the only pitchers to win the award.

The 30 Club beat reporters from, the official web site of Major League Baseball, selected the winners for the 2012 Major League Baseball Comeback Player of the Year Award. Past winners of the Award include: Jason Giambi and Ken Griffey, Jr. (2005); Jim Thome and Nomar Garciaparra (2006); Peña and Dmitri Young (2007); Lee and Lidge (2008); Aaron Hill and Carpenter (2009); Liriano and Hudson (2010); and Jacoby Ellsbury and Lance Berkman (2011).

Other relievers who received votes for the Delivery Man of the Year honors were Atlanta Braves All-Star right-hander Craig Kimbrel (3-1, 1.01 ERA, 42 saves, 62.2 IP, 27 H, 116 SO, 14 BB) and Baltimore Orioles All-Star right-hander Jim Johnson (2-1, 2.49 ERA, Major League-high and Orioles’ record 51 saves, 68.2 IP, 55 H, 41 SO, 15 BB).

The past winners of the Delivery Man of the Year Award are three-time recipient Mariano Rivera (2005-2006 and 2009); Jonathan Papelbon (2007); Lidge (2008); Heath Bell (2010); and Jose Valverde

American League Jason Giambi, NYY (.271, 32 HR, 87 RBI)
National League Ken Griffey, Jr., CIN (.301, 35 HR, 92 RBI)
American League Jim Thome, CWS (.288, 42 HR, 109 RBI)
National League Nomar Garciaparra, LAD (.303, 20 HR, 93 RBI)
American League Carlos Peña, TB (.282, 46 HR, 121 RBI)
National League Dmitri Young, WSH (.320, 13 HR, 74 RBI)
American League Cliff Lee, CLE (22-3, 2.54 ERA)
National League Brad Lidge, PHI (1.95 ERA, 41 saves)
American League Aaron Hill, TOR (.286, 36 HR, 108 RBI)
National League Chris Carpenter, STL (17-4, 2.24 ERA)
American League Francisco Liriano, MIN (14-10, 3.62 ERA)
National League Tim Hudson, ATL (17-9, 283 ERA)
American League Jacoby Ellsbury, BOS (.321, 32 HR, 105 RBI)
National League Lance Berkman, STL (.301, 31 HR, 94 RBI)
American League Fernando Rodney, TB (0.60 ERA, 48 saves)
National League Buster Posey, SF (.336, 24 HR, 103 RBI)
Mariano Rivera, NYY (7-4, 1.38 ERA, 43 saves)
Mariano Rivera, NYY (5-5, 1.80 ERA, 34 saves)
Jonathan Papelbon, BOS (1-3, 1.85 ERA, 37 saves)
Brad Lidge, PHI (2-0, 1.95 ERA, 41 saves)
Mariano Rivera, NYY (3-3, 1.76 ERA, 44 saves)
Heath Bell, SD (6-1, 1.93 ERA, 47 saves)
Jose Valverde, DET (2-4, 2.24 ERA, 49 saves)
Fernando Rodney, TB (2-2, 0.60 ERA, 48 saves)
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