An excited-sounding Felix Hernandez reached into his locker and pulled out the piece of paper. On it was a "proclamation" signed by King...
An excited-sounding Felix Hernandez reached into his locker and pulled out the piece of paper.
On it was a “proclamation” signed by King County executive Dow Constantine. It declared that on Friday, King County would be known as “King Felix County” in honor of Hernandez’s perfect game Wednesday against the Tampa Bay Rays.
“This is unbelievable, huh?” Hernandez said. “That’s crazy. I love it, man, love it!
“See? I’m part of Seattle. I can’t go anywhere.”
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Hernandez couldn’t go anywhere during Thursday’s off-day without seeing or hearing somebody talking about the perfect game. He estimated he’d had about 120 messages left on his cellphone along with about 300 missed calls in the hours after the game.
Among the callers: former teammates Freddy Garcia, Adrian Beltre, Raul Ibanez and Jose Vidro. Hernandez had gotten hold of his wife, Sandra, in Venezuela right after the game.
Later, he went home, flopped on his bed and told himself “I did it!”
Hernandez was honored on the field prior to Friday’s game against the Twins. Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik was on hand, along with team president Chuck Armstrong and CEO Howard Lincoln, to give him a framed photograph of Hernandez from the perfect-game aftermath with the words “The King of Perfection” on it.
Mariners catcher John Jaso said he’d had a calmer off-day than Hernandez, speaking mainly by phone to family members. But Jaso admitted he still hadn’t come off the thrill of the game itself or his role in it.
• Charlie Furbush was activated off the 15-day disabled list on Friday after missing the past month with triceps tightness in his throwing arm. Furbush has had “Tommy John” ligament transplant surgery on the arm before and said that while he’d initially hoped to get back sooner, he wasn’t taking any chances.
“I just did what I needed to do to get back to 100 percent,” Furbush said. “I’d never had this type of injury before, so I didn’t know if there was a general timetable. It just seemed like, every day, it just kept getting better and better.”
Shawn Kelley was optioned to AAA to make room for Furbush.
• The Mariners began selling T-shirts honoring late outfielder Greg Halman, stabbed to death by his brother last November in The Netherlands. The T-shirts, designed in-part by Mariners outfielder Mike Carp, will be sold in the team’s Safeco Field Team Store. Proceeds will benefit youth baseball in The Netherlands.