The Seattle Mariners’ history is one long tale of woe studded with infrequently dazzling displays of capability, with all of it adding up to exactly zero championships. I say this as someone who has counted several Mariners as his favorite players. There’s no logic to this, just as there’s no relief from the routine cruelties of time and money. It just is.
— “Every Fifth Day,” the last entry in the season-long The Bottom of the Order series, for Hobart
When he collected his first strikeout, as a 19 year-old in 2005—it was Pudge Rodriguez—Hernandez was all braun, firing fastballs like unguided ordnance. He’s since become a fair bit brainier, and notably more virtuosic; Hernandez seemed, for the bulk of last season’s 248 strikeouts, to be several strategic steps ahead of every unfortunate facing him from in the box. On Mother’s Day, two pitches before the 92mph heater that claimed Fuld, Hernandez dropped in an 80mph curve of giggle-inducing perfection. It was unfair.
— “The Man Who Would Be King Felix,” for Vice Sports