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Hernandez finalizes $78M, 5-year deal with Seattle

Updated: January 21, 2010, 10:05 PM ET
Associated Press

SEATTLE -- His fans from Seattle to Venezuela call him "King Felix."

Yet it's another, more personal title that Felix Hernandez cites as the reason his career took off last year, when he went from maddening inconsistency and unfulfilled potential to dominant pitching that earned him a $78 million, five-year deal with the Mariners.

Dad.

"It's the maturity, man. I had my kids and it made me grow up," the 23-year-old ace said Thursday after finalizing his first big contract.

The ...

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