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.