Fernando Valenzuela appears to be at the forefront of another mania in Los Angeles – only this time it’s not about him.
As the legendary lefty took the stage at the Dodgers FanFest on Saturday to address the estimated 25,000 fans in attendance, he mocked starter Zack Greinke for choosing to not return to the Dodgers and instead sign a lucrative deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
From Dodgers Nation:
Fernando on Greinke: "a better pitcher wouldn't leave." #DodgersFF
The D-backs stunned the baseball world in December when they inked Greinke to a six-year deal worth a whopping $206.5 million.
The Dodgers were in the mix for the 2015 NL CY Young runner-up, but reportedly balked at granting him a sixth year on his deal through his age-37 season in 2021.
Needless to say, Dodgers fans were quite upset upon learning of the shocking news, particularly because of Greinke’s decision to sign with an intradivisional team.
Although the diligent right-hander was spectacular during his time in Los Angeles (51-15, 2.30 ERA, 1.03 WHIP), that he chose to join a different team – as opposed to being traded, a situation over which he would’ve had no control – didn’t sit well with the fans who cheered him to victory over the past three years.
While the fervor behind distaste for Greinke won’t be nearly as strong as the support for Valenzuela was when he swept the city off its feet in his rookie year in 1981 with Fernandomania, it’s safe to assume Greinke won’t be welcomed with open arms when he returns to Chavez Ravine this season.