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September 30, 2010 at 5:34 PM

Felix Hernandez’s reaction to being shut down

Here’s what Felix Hernandez had to say about the Mariners’ decision to not pitch him on Sunday. He seemed to be in a real good frame of mind, with lots of smiles and good body language:
INITIAL REACTION: “I understand what they’re trying to do. They want me here for five more years, and I understand. I mean, I want to pitch. I just want to pitch. I said, “You know, Jack, I want to pitch,” but he’s the boss. He made the decision.
“I’m healthy, so I want to be healthy for four more years and the rest of my career. That’s what he’s trying to do is to keep me healthy. It’s for next year. I’m not going anywhere. So we just want to be careful.
HOW DOES YOUR ARM FEEL? “I feel great, man. My body feels good and I’ve been pitching in 34 starts and I feel great.”
DISAPPOINTING?“It was a disappointment for me because I want to pitch, but I understand what he’s trying to do. It’s true. Why do I have to pitch?”
HANDLE IT BETTER NOW? MORE MATURE?“I’ve been maturing a lot. All this year, I’ve been here and I know this league better and I’m just trying to be calm all the time.”


HAVE YOU DONE ENOUGH (FOR CY YOUNG)? “It could be better if I throw one more game! (laughs) But what are we going to do in my next start? I mean, look at my numbers.”
HOW BADLY DO YOU WANT THE CY YOUNG?“We all want the Cy Young. Every starting pitcher wants the Cy Young. But it’s not in my hands.”
DO YOU FOLLOW THE CY YOUNG?“Nope. I just go out there and do my job. That’s all I gotta do.”
WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?“Innings, ERA and strikeouts. And starts, 34 starts. All the numbers, though. I’m proud of the season I’ve had.”
MORE EFFICIENT AFTER TEAM STARTED LIMITING PITCH COUNT, DO ANYTHING DIFFERENT?No. I tried to do the same thing and was trying to thorw more sinkers, get quick outs, and when they told me they were going to try to cut down on my pitch count to 100 pitches, every time I was in the seventh inning I was at 90-something pitches, and that was good for me.”
LOOKING TOWARD NEXT SEASON ALREADY? “I’ve got to take a couple weeks off, man. (I’ll be) probably just watching the games (the rest of the year). I’m going to be bored, though. I’ll tell you this. And no playing catch out there. Because I enjoy doing this. I enjoy pitching and I enjoy playing catch. I’m going to be relaxed.
I’ll be a coach. I’ll probably do the lineup. Just kidding.”
HOW HARD HAS SEASON BEEN?“Not just for me but for the whole team, the whole organization. It happens, but this is baseball. You have to be prepared for next year. A lot of stuff went wrong, but it’s baseball. Sometimes you have great expectations, sometimes you’re not going to do it. But we have to prepare for next year and we’ve got to do it.”
HOW CAN YOU DO BETTER? “More wins.”
WILL WRITERS OVERLOOK THE W-L NUMBERS IN VOTING? “They have to look at all the numbers. Wins is not in my hands. The other numbers I’ve got, I think I’ve got a chance.”
IF HE CAN’T PICK HIMSELF WHO WOULD HE PICK FOR CY YOUNG: “I don’t know. It’s hard. CC has good numbers. Twenty-one wins, that’s hard to do. Price has been good. Lester’s been doing good. I’ll go with CC, man. Excluding myself, CC.”

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