WASHINGTON, DC: Ivan Rodriguez #7 of the Washington Nationals watches the game against the Florida Marlins at Nationals Park in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
4 Total Updates since April 23, 2012
about 1 year ago Article 31 comments
ESPN's Tim Kurkjian ranks the freshly retired Iván Rodríguez as the ninth-greatest catcher in major-league history. So who are the eight catchers ahead of Pudge?
about 1 year ago Update 0 comments
In a Monday news conference in Arlington, Texas, Ivan Rodriguez officially hung up his cleats. Literally he walked into the room, holding a pair of cleats, and then he hung them on the wall and sighed while slumping his shoulders. It was all very symbolic. People cried.
Most will remember Rodriguez for his achievements with the Texas Rangers, since it was with the Rangers that Rodriguez rose to stardom. Fewer will remember Rodriguez with the Washington Nationals, the team with which Rodriguez finished his career. But one group of people who will never forget that Ivan Rodriguez played for the Nationals is the Nationals. Amanda Comak writes:
Now, a few feet away from where Rodriguez's locker sat for two years in the Nationals' clubhouse is the man who essentially took his job - the man he helped train to do so. Rodriguez was the Nationals' starting catcher for much of 2010, the man behind the plate for Strasburg's electric debut, but the acquisition of Ramos that July made it all but certain Rodriguez's role would transition to that of a backup eventually. It was a conversation then-manager Jim Riggleman dreaded having with Rodriguez. And Davey Johnson, too, when Flores supplanted Rodriguez as the team's backup and he started just two games after July 6 last season.
"It could have been ugly," Rizzo admitted. Instead it was anything but.
Of course, what goes without question is that no one will ever remember Rodriguez with the New York Yankees. Even I don't remember that. I looked that up, I wrote that sentence, and then I forgot about it again. Ivan Rodriguez played for the Yankees, in 2008. They got him from the Tigers for Kyle Farnsworth. What? Does Rodriguez even remember that?
about 1 year ago Update 0 comments
Ivan Rodriguez is 40 years old, and didn't come into the baseball season with a baseball job. It looked to be the end of the line, and late last week, word spread that Rodriguez was retiring. Monday, at a news conference in Arlington, Texas, Rodriguez officially announced his retirement, to the surprise of nobody, which might have taken some of the fun out of it. Stupid reporters, always early with the news.
Some of Rodriguez's statement:
"Today is a very hard day for me," he said. "It's been a great, great run -- 21 years have been beautiful."
"I want to thank the fans here in Texas and all over baseball," said Rodriguez, who also played for the Astros, Nationals and Yankees. "I just want to say thanks to all the organizations I played for."
Ivan Rodriguez might end up in the Hall of Fame for baseball, but he's not going to end up in the Hall of Fame for speech-giving. Maybe he would've given a better speech if everybody in attendance didn't already know what he was going to announce. Hard to psych yourself up to deliver news people knew about days ago.
As a hitter, Rodriguez had a career 115 OPS+ through 2004. After 2004, he had an 85 OPS+. But before 2004, he had a 115 OPS+. And he was a catcher. And he was an amazing catcher. A lot of people have probably forgotten that Ivan Rodriguez was a Yankee, and a lot of people have probably forgotten that Ivan Rodriguez was a Marlin, but few people have forgotten that Ivan Rodriguez was long one of the very best.
about 1 year ago Article 3 comments
Pudge Rodriguez had a storied career, but the most impressive part might have been how (and when) it all started.