Time. Such a frivolous thing. Often, you don’t even realize time is passing by until its already gone. Then, you look back and wish you had appreciated the time you had when you still had it. It goes by so fast that by the time we realize it, it’s already too late.
Now, as we come to the end of the 2019 Mariners season, we also are nearing the end of the line for Felix Hernandez in a Mariners uniform.
Years ago, when Felix signed his massive contract extension, it seemed like we had so much time with the former Cy Young Award winner. The ace of the Seattle Mariners was here to stay. However, a few years later, we began to see the King struggle.
Like a snowball effect, Felix was never able to find his footing and has since suffered countless injuries. In a world of “What have you done for me lately”, Felix has seemingly become a liability in the Mariners rotation.
So what? Why should people still care how Felix performs for the rest of the year? The short answer is: They shouldn’t. It doesn’t matter if Felix goes out and gives up 10 runs a game. Of course, you’d love to see the King go out and show flashes of his old self for the sake of his future, but for now, Mariners fans need to live in the moment. I’ve written time and time again about trusting Felix and respecting him, and as our time with him comes to a close, we have nothing left to do but to cheer him on.
In what has become a lost year, the Mariners have no reason to not give Felix the curtain call he deserves. In the last few years, when the Mariners were looking to contend, it was hard to send him out there every five days and watch him struggle with playoff hopes on the line. With playoffs out of the question in 2019, the Mariners can afford to watch Felix one last time.
You can basically compare Felix’s career to a typical 9-5 workday. At 9 o’clock. you’re just getting started with your day and you’re a bit tired. That would be when Felix was just entering the league back in 2005 at the age of 19.
By noon, right around lunchtime, you’ve got going with your day and productive. That would be Felix from 2009-2014 where he was a 5-Time All-Star and a Cy Young Award winner. Then you get back from your lunch break. You’re sluggish, tired, and ready to go home.
That would be Felix from 2015- current day. I don’t need to tell you about his struggles over that time period. His best ERA in that time is a 3.53 in 2015, which was his last season with an ERA below 4.00.
You get the point. Things have been rough. It has been told time and time again about how messy this breakup between Felix and the Mariners is. It’s straight-up ugly. It’s no secret that Felix and the Mariners front office don’t get along. It’s really a shame because Felix could be a huge part of this team in terms of leadership during the rebuild.
Surely, by now, you know all about everything I’ve already said. For the last month of the season though, I urge you to flush all of it. Forget everything that has happened with Felix in the last few years. It doesn’t matter.
When we look back on the legacy of Felix Hernandez, we will look to the Perfect Game on August 15th, 2012 against the Tampa Bay Rays. We will look back on the 2010 season where Felix owned a 2.14 ERA and winning the Cy Young Award. We will look back on the “This Is My House” game against the Blue Jays.
We will look at the statue that will eventually be built outside T-Mobile Park. We will not look at the 5.55 ERA he posted in 2018. None of it matters. We have to appreciate what we have received from the King over the years while we still can.
Being a Mariners fan has made all of cynical. We only see the bad in a situation and hardly ever look at the silver lining. Felix’s start on Saturday may be one of his last at T-Mobile Park. Before we know it, the one mainstay in the Mariners rotation for nearly 15 years will walk away.
This weekend, and for the rest of the season, I could care less about how Felix has performed the past couple years. I’ll only be focusing on how important he has been to this organization. I’ll just be grateful for the time that we have gotten to watch him pitch at the top of his game.
I’ll be thankful for every King’s Court, all the shenanigans with Adrian Beltre and every tear that he shed when he signed that extension all those years ago.
At 4:55 in the afternoon, you’re getting ready to go home after work. That’s where we are in his time with the team. I’m not sure what the future holds for the King. I’d love to see him latch on somewhere and make a difference for a team.
But for everything he has given us over the last 15 years, we owe it to Felix to show him he didn’t make a mistake signing that extension. Thank you, Felix. For everything.