In 2009, following a Tigers win at Tropicana Field, Fernando Rodney “celebrated” his save by firing the ball from the field into the stands. That ball went into the press box and “bounced near several working writers.”

We wrote about the incident in 2009 > “Fernando Rodney Fires Ball At Reporters, Jim Leyland Figures They Wanted A Souvenir

And now Rodney will sign with the Rays today or tomorrow, pending his physical.

Rodney was eventually suspended for three games for the 2009 incident, and some in the Tigers organization believed at the time that the suspension was brought about in large part because of an email sent to the league office by Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.

[Tigers President Dave] Dombrowski said he was told a “very strong” influence for the suspension was a letter from St. Petersburg Times reporter Marc Topkin, president of the Tampa Bay chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America…”I think a lot of it was driven by the letter that was written by the president of the association in Tampa,” Dombrowski said. “Afterwards, he didn’t think that Rodney was at all sorry or remorseful. … I know he was remorseful when I spoke to him. He was very, very sorry.”

Topkin at the time responded to the assertion that he was responsible for the suspension…

“[Topkin said the email] wasn’t intended to prompt punishment but to make sure they were aware of the incident. Even without the email, It wasn’t as if this would’ve gone unnoticed…I said in the email that he did not apologize afterward…nor did he show any remorse that somebody might’ve been hurt, which was a very real possibility…I’m surprised that the issue of the Tampa Bay chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association talking with Major League Baseball is part of the story. Clearly, Fernando Rodney threw the ball into the press box. Clearly, Major League Baseball was concerned enough to suspend him.”

Will Rodney still be upset about this three years later? We don’t know. But some people would be. And you can be sure that it will be awkward.



  1. Don says:

    Well if Rodney is not upset now... he will be when he gets to know Topkin...The only reason Topkin was upset was he was sleeping and didn't know the game was over...They tell fans your responsible for you own safety at a ball game including flying balls and bats....all this doesn't apply to topkin...after all he is "the media"
    This guy is a big boy that likes to kick ass as a reliever, I say let him and farnsworth fight it out for the 9th inning....wouldn't be pretty...

  2. axisroto says:

    Fernando Rodney will absolutely NOT be "bitter" about that 3-year-old incident. It would be crazy not to have some doubts about whether he can regain his command, which was HORRIBLE last season, and he may have been a bit of a "bad apple" in the past but if this quote from him is any indication of what he is NOW, he might at least be a good teammate and positive influence on some younger guys....

    "I signed for one year with Tampa Bay to keep working hard and see if God gives me something better."

    Okay so let's not get all "Tim Tebow" or anything Fernando, but that sure sounds better than "I'm a closer, dammit, give me the ninth inning."

  3. Dave L says:

    If he can get guys out, all will be forgiven. Sportswriters personal experiences with atheletes are like an ocean ripple being being overtaken by a tsunami. If Rodney comes in and lays the equivalent steaming Burrell sized egg of a relief pitching performance early on this may resurface.

    If he comes in and does a typical (of late) rays reclaimation project injury reconstructed taken off the ash-heap, chip on his shoulder ass kicker reliever from who-ville then this becomes a footnote.


  4. axisroto says:

    OR, yeah, what DAVE said 😉

    And if DON's comment has validity, then TOPKIN may be the only one with a "problem."


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