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?