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Hernandez back in Seattle with award

 Seattle Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez smiles as he sits next to his 2010Cy Young Award during a news conference at the team's annual pre-spring tr...
 Seattle Mariners manager Erik Wedge speaks during a baseball news conference at the team's annual pre-spring training media luncheon Thursday, Jan. 2...
 Seattle Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez smiles during a news conference at the team's annual pre-spring training media luncheon on Thursday, Jan. 27...
 Seattle Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez jumps in to mug with his 2010 Cy Young Award following a news conference at the team's annual pre-spring tra...

Mariners Baseball

Seattle Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez smiles as he sits next to his 2010Cy Young Award during a news conference at the team's annual pre-spring tr...

Mariners Baseball

Seattle Mariners manager Erik Wedge speaks during a baseball news conference at the team's annual pre-spring training media luncheon Thursday, Jan. 2...

Mariners Baseball

Seattle Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez smiles during a news conference at the team's annual pre-spring training media luncheon on Thursday, Jan. 27...

Mariners Baseball

Seattle Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez jumps in to mug with his 2010 Cy Young Award following a news conference at the team's annual pre-spring tra...

Felix Hernandez has returned to the Seattle Mariners with the same diamond studs sparkling in his ear lobes, plus a little more hardware _ his American League Cy Young award.
As part of the Mariners' pre-spring training news conference on Thursday, Seattle brought out the one bright spot from an otherwise miserable 2010 season _ its young right-handed star.
Hernandez, who was dubbed "King Felix" after he arrived in Major League Baseball, captured his first Cy Young award despite finishing the season with a marginal 13-12 record. He dominated nearly every other pitching statistic in the game.
"For like two months, I was like really, Cy Young?" Hernandez said. "It means a lot to me. I worked hard for this. But it's not enough. This year I'm going to go out and do my best, I'm going to be the same guy, the same pitcher and I'm going to give a chance for my team to win the game."
He spent most of the offseason in his native Venezuela, where he became just the second pitcher from that country to win the award, joining Johan Santana. The award brought an instant bump in his celebrity and made scheduling a challenge.
"Back in Venezuela it was crazy. I did a lot of interviews, a lot of stuff," Hernandez said. "I had to find time to work, to go to the weight room, to play catch, but I figured it out."
He returns to a franchise that's done a complete 180 from this time a year ago when they were a popular pick to contend for a division title.
Last year, at the same event, the team broke out its slogan of "Believe Big," believing the American League West was vulnerable and the Mariners might finally reach the postseason for the first time since 2001.
Of course, the Mariners collapsed, losing more than 101 games for the second time in three seasons.
"Certainly, last year was a disappointing year," General manager Jack Zduriencik said. "There were issues, things that disappointed all of us. Certainly disappointed me. But that's behind us and we're moving forward."
There might not be a better arm in baseball to move forward with than Hernandez. He's won 32 games the past two seasons, struck out more than 200 batters and pitched more than 200 innings in each of those years.
Asked what he could improve on now, Hernandez paused, rubbed his chin and said, "I don't know. That's a good question."


Updated : 2021-06-15 05:15 GMT+08:00