When Felix Hernandez headed down the elevator from the Mariners offices to his press conference at field level, he had no idea what awaited him: Dozens of Mariners staffers all dressed in King’s Court T-shirts, cheering his arrival. Here is the moment he gets off the elevator, his choked-up reaction, and his vow that he won’t change because of the contract – with a proviso, as you’ll see.
It was a precursor to the raw emotion Hernandez displayed during the press conference, when he broke down several times while expressing his thanks his family, his agents, the organization, and just about everyone else, including the media. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a heartfelt statement from any athlete in a situation like this. Yes, he’s getting $175 million, which would make anyone happy, but I think anyone who watched him on the podium would agree that his connection to Seattle and Mariners is sincere.