Felix Hernandez, King of Trolls

King Felix is set — later this afternoon — to make his first “start” under the brand new $175m contract extension he signed with Seattle exactly one month ago. His debut will, fittingly, take place just one day after the tragic passing of the the dearly-beloved leader of his home country, Comrade Hugo Chavez. May the King’s performance bring great honor to his memory.

I don’t have a lot to add to what’s already been written on the subject, but I do have a little to add, in the form of my tenuous personal connection to King Felix.

You may recall that I attended his first perfect game in August while wearing a heart monitor. When I heard that Felix would be resigning, I felt a momentary pang of regret — almost as though I had been derelict in my duty — that I was no longer wearing said heart monitor, and so would not warrant another article on MLB.com.

That moment passed, of course, when I realized the fact that I no longer need to wear a heart monitor means I have many more years of watching King Felix throw perfect games to look forward to. Also, heart monitors are annoying to wear, and to put it on they have to shave off small awkward patches of chest hair. And now you know.

Meanwhile, baseball fans across the country felt a pang of regret for altogether different reasons. I speak, of course, of those fans and pundits who long predicted Felix would never agree to stay in Seattle. It would appear he successfully trolled them all — but it’s hard to argue they didn’t deserve it. Here’s a sample:

1. I’ve written a number of posts about the wonderful Youtube comments some of my videos have accumulated. But I’ve never written about the precisely one comment I owe to King Felix. I recorded the last out of his perfect game from the stands and posted the video on the Youtube. Here’s the one comment:

Mordechai, uh, he should be traded. I’m sorry, but the MAriners almost never give him any help. this was a one in a million. If felix was a ranger, a felix no-no would be a common thing in no-no terms

I don’t really know where to start with this comment except to note that it’s not entirely clear how moving from Safeco to the Ballpark in Arlington would increase the number of no-hitters Felix threw. Except, of course, that he would get to pitch four or five times a year against the Mariners.

2. Fellow Penn alumnus Ken Rosenthal has a bit of an unhealthy fixation on the Yankees acquiring King Felix:

If I’m Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik, I’m calling my Yankees counterpart, Brian Cashman, and saying, “Sure, I’ll talk about Felix Hernandez.”

King Felix to Yanks works for everyone, March 14, 2011

Jack Zduriencik knew why I had called before I even asked a question.

“Trade Felix,” I say.

“No,” Jack Z replies.

Trading ace Hernandez would benefit M’s, December 22, 2011

I’ve written before about the logic of the M’s trading ace right-hander Felix Hernandez, prompting a flurry of “Hands off!” missives from the Pacific Northwest — as if King Felix is guaranteed to stay in Seattle beyond the expiration of his contract in 2014.

Well, trading Felix for the right package still would make sense, given the Mariners’ offensive deficiencies.

Dealing King Felix not so crazy, June 22, 2012

And this isn’t even getting into his Twitter account.

Anyway, you might have thought that after Felix signed his extension with the Mariners — a seven-year extension that came complete with a no-trade clause — Rosenthal would let up. Well, here’s how he kicked off his column on the story:

Once the Seattle Mariners refused to trade Felix Hernandez, they were left with little choice.

M’s taking big risk with Felix deal, February 7, 2013

3. So Ken Rosenthal is a troll, but in all fairness, his fixation with Felix to the Yanks might have something to do with the fact that he grew up on Long Island. The day after the deal was completed, this is what the New York Post looked like (photo courtesy of my brother):

WP_000075

This picture alone was probably worth the terms of the contract. Felix is ours and you can’t have him.

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