Sunday, September 22, 2013
Hawkins: Career will continue in 2014
By Adam Rubin
PHILADELPHIA -- LaTroy Hawkins, who notched career save No. 100 on Sunday afternoon, said he definitely intends to pitch in 2014 at age 41.
"I will play next year," Hawkins said after the Mets' swept the Philadelphia Phillies with a 4-3 win Sunday. "I will play next year if somebody gives me a job."
Hawkins now has 12 saves on the season, his highest total since 2004 with the Chicago Cubs. He never imagined at this stage of his career he would have the opportunity to get to 100 saves.
"I came into this year and didn't think I had a chance to get it," Hawkins said. "I really didn't. Baseball is a crazy game."
Hawkins stranded pinch runner Roger Bernadina at second base and preserved a one-run lead when he struck out Jimmy Rollins to end the game.
"I'm just glad to get him out," Hawkins said. "I didn't want to have to face [Chase] Utley, I'll tell you that much."
Hawkins ascended to the closer's role when Bobby Parnell ended up sidelined with a herniated disk in his neck. Hawkins was not thrilled with taking over the role, but has now tossed 12 straight scoreless innings. He officially is 12-for-15 in save chances on the season.
"The guys always give me crap about my age, just making fun at it," Hawkins said. "I think deep down inside they wish they could still be playing the game at 40, and I hope some of them are. When it's all said and done, that's what they all say -- 'I wish I could be playing the game at 40.' I say, 'Make enough money. You probably won't have to.'"
Terry Collins said he marvels at Hawkins dialing up his fastball to 95 mph.
"When I saw him a couple of years ago, we saw a lot of 91s, 92s," Collins said. "... This guy is throwing 95 here in the ninth inning today. And he's done everything. You're talking about one of the real veteran, real quality professionals in the game. And that's why it's great to have him here. Because I think he's helped a lot of people on this team get through some tough times."