|Tigers release reliever Mesa|
|Written by Admin|
|Sunday, 03 June 2007 12:30|
Right-hander Fernando Rodney, sidelined since May 21 with tendinitis in his right biceps, is expected to be activated Tuesday before the Tigers open a three-game series in Texas against the Rangers.
Mesa, signed as a free agent in December, went 1-1 with a 12.34 ERA in 16 appearances for Detroit, his eighth club in a major league career that began 20 years ago with the Baltimore Orioles.
``They gave me a chance and I didn't do my job,'' Mesa said, adding that he would like to continue pitching. ``I'll see what is out there and if there's nothing, I'll go home and relax. If this is it, I'm happy with (my career).''
The release came in the city where Mesa achieved his greatest success more than a decade ago.
Traded to Cleveland by Baltimore in 1992 and converted into a reliever two years later, Mesa finished second in voting for the Cy Young Award and fourth in MVP voting in 1995. He was 3-0 with a 1.13 ERA and franchise-record 46 saves to help the Indians advance to the World Series for the first time in 41 years.
In 982 career games, the 41-year-old is 79-107 with a 4.33 ERA and ranks 13th on the career list with 320 saves.
``This guy has been a tremendous pitcher,'' Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. ``I'm proud I got a chance to manage him.''
Mesa began to fall out of favor with Cleveland fans after failing to hold a 2-1 lead in Game 7 of the 1997 World Series against the Florida Marlins - managed by Leyland. By mid-1998, with a 5.17 ERA and only one save, and being booed at Jacobs Field, he was traded to the San Francisco Giants.
The native of the Dominican Republic signed with Toronto as a 15-year-old in 1981. Dealt to Baltimore in 1987, he made his major league debut as a starter for the Orioles at Boston's Fenway Park on Sept, 10, 1987. His first career win came at old Tiger Stadium 20 days later.
Rodney, 30, is 1-4 with a 4.71 ERA and one save in 19 games this season.