Henry Rodriguez throws hard. He throws hard even by the standards of Major League Baseball pitchers, who tend to throw harder than average people (Livan Hernandez excepted). His fastball has been known to reach 100mph, which means that if he stood on one side of the original 100-square mile-boundaries of Washington, DC and threw a fastball towards the other side, it would get there in…probably about an hour. Assuming no gravity and that it didn’t hit an office building, presidential memorial or homeless person on the way, of course.
Henry Rodriguez has always thrown hard. Henry grew up in Zulia, Venezuela, where there were plenty of things to throw. As a baby, Henry Rodriguez once threw a pacifier through a wall. When he was five, he threw a squirrel through a tree. When he was eight years old, he threw a six-year-old through a five-year-old. That was a very traumatic event in Henry’s life (not to mention the lives of the other children involved). After that, Henry stopped throwing living things and started throwing baseballs.
Henry dominated the youth leagues of Venezuela, striking out most people that he didn’t walk or hit. When he was 12, Henry started being scouted by agents of the new government of President Hugo “Fatter than Eric” Chavez. You see, President Chavez had many political opponents, which he kept locked away in some dank horrible cells under Caracas to keep them from making trouble. He wanted to get some information out of his prisoners about any other potential “supporters of liberal democracy” who might be lurking around his country, but the prisoners were proving surprisingly resistant to traditional methods of interrogation. So Chavez recruited Henry Rodriguez to come down to his underground slime jail and throw things at the prisoners until they talked.
Henry was good at his new job. He was very wild, so the prisoners never knew when they were going to get hit with a baseball/piece of rotten fruit/dagger/child. Most prisoners even survived long enough to spill their secrets. Henry didn’t really like his job, though, and longed to get back on a baseball diamond. Fortunately, at the age of 19 he was once again abducted, this time by an Oakland Athletics scout who stole into Chavez’s ravine in the dead of night, grabbed the young pitcher/torturer, and flew out of Caracas on a helicopter while Chavez shook his fist in rage at the sky and shouted “Billy Beane!”
Henry Rodriguez was traded from the A’s to the Nationals in 2010 and figures to be a key part of the Nationals’ bullpen this season.