ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. During pregame stretch Tuesday, shortstop Erick Aybar embraced Fernando Rodney and playfully tugged at the Tampa Bay Rays closer's goatee. Rodney shook hands with Albert Pujols and hugged several Angels relievers.
There were no such pleasantries between Rodney and Angels Manager Mike Scioscia, not after Rodney, the former Angels reliever, fell out of favor with Scioscia and was buried on the bench in August and September.
"I haven't talked to him, I won't seek him out," Rodney said of Scioscia. "There's nothing to really say about last year. All I can say is I'm here, I have an opportunity, and I'm doing great."
Indeed, Rodney has a 1.23 earned-run average and five saves in nine games, limiting opponents to an .083 average in 713 innings. Only four of 26 batters he has faced have reached base, two on singles and two on walks.
This will come as a surprise to Angels fans who remember Rodney as the hard-throwing right-hander who couldn't find the strike zone a...