05/04/2009 1:15 PM ET
Rodney: Enjoying role as closer
Tigers closer grown into role through mentorship, experience
I've pitched in Detroit for a long time. This year, I've been given the chance to be the closer. I'm grateful for that opportunity because I've been working hard toward that goal, and I'm excited to see what I can do in this role.
As the team's closer, I know that phone call to the bullpen late in the game is for me. And I know I will be ready.
During my first closing opportunity this year, the fans were chanting my name. It got me excited, and it got me pumped up. I look forward to that again, and I look forward to doing my best again.
Todd Jones was the closer here the last three years. I learned a lot from him, and I talked to him a lot. He had a lot of experience. He would tell me that I should get ready for the closer's role one day.
I learned a lot about how to prepare from him. I knew that, when I came into the game, I had to be ready. If you are ready, and if you are aggressive by attacking hitters, you will have an advantage.
Todd was a different type of pitcher. I'm more of that power-arm -- that power closer -- while he is a lot like Trevor Hoffman. They don't throw that hard, but they make good pitches in the right location.
In this role, you usually see power guys, guys who rear back and throw hard but you can have success both ways.
A closer I really like and admire is Mariano Rivera. I love to watch him pitch. He goes out there with one pitch and he just gets guys -- one, two, three -- it seems every time he is out there. He seems to make it easy.
Fernando Rodney, who got his sixth save on Sunday, took over the closer role on a regular basis from Todd Jones this season, Rodney's seventh with the Tigers. Previously, the hard-throwing Dominican right-hander had 36 saves, including 13 in 2008.