On Thursday Felix Hernandez established himself as the dominant pitcher in the American league with his selection as the 2010 Cy Young award winner. Unfortunately that distinction did not translate into wins and losses for the Seattle Mariners this season. Fortunately the sports writers were able to separate the brilliance of Felix from the brutal ineptness of the Mariners team. Felix captured the Cy Young award with fewer victories (13) than any pitcher who's ever pitched in an uninterrupted season.
The Mariners did the unthinkable in several ways last season. They fielded a team with 2 gold glove winners, a Cy Young winner, Cliff Lee for half the season, and the baseball god known as Ichiro yet they still managed to lose over 100 games. How is that possible? Seattle was also the worst hitting team since the inception of the designated hitter. Let me re-phrase that. The Seattle Mariners were the worst American league hitting team ever. In the case of Felix Hernandez sometimes your best just isn't good enough.
The Mariners are lucky they signed Felix to a long contract extension when they did. If he could become a free agent after this year (or next) there is no doubt he would be gone. Felix may still ask for a trade and who could blame him? Wasting his talents on a garbage team in his prime years isn't good for him and it isn't good for baseball. Felix is a king with no kingdom. If the Mariners don't rectify this situation soon the big boys (New York, Chicago, Boston, LA) will come calling and make them an offer the Mariners can't refuse. Like so many Seattle sports stars of the past Felix will be gone like the wind. The Mariners are on the clock. Let's see if they can keep King Felix. My prediction? 2011 will be his last as a Mariner. Sad.