Fernando Rodney and the Wonders of the Plantain

By David Hill

All season, Fernando Rodney just has not looked right. After his dominant season last year, and his excellent pitching during the World Baseball Classic, the first month of 2013 has certainly been troubling. In fact, Rodney was pitching fairly close to what he had been from 2007 through 2011, when he found himself close to being out of the majors.

Then, last night, something wondrous happened. Rodney was firing the ball at 100 MPH. His pitches were moving, and his changeup had life once again. Even though he hit a batter and gave up a bloop hit, he looked like the same pitcher he was in 2012. Had he finally found his groove and was getting comfortable once again?

As it turned out, Rodney had help from a foreign object. No, he was not doctoring the baseball as Clay Buchholz was alleged to be doing, but he did have an advantage on the mound this time. After the inning, Rodney revealed a secret weapon he had tucked away. He may have been happy to be pitching, but he did, in fact, have a plantain in his pants.

Yes, the plantain – first brought to light during the WBC as his lucky charm. Maybe it is not the same fruit that he claimed to have spoken to him, but it certainly appears to have some mystical powers, at least for Rodney. And why not? Wade Boggs ate fried chicken before every game. Gaylord Perry had a complex ritual of touching various places on his uniform so that one never knew where he was keeping the Vaseline or whatever substance he was using for his spitter. Jason Giambi had a lucky thong. Is a talking plantain really that bizarre, comparatively?

Fernando Rodney, at least for one night, appeared to regain his form. And it may not be a coincidence that a plantain was spotted after his outing.