Winter is nearly behind us. As I write this, pitchers and catchers are reporting to camps in the Cactus and Grapefruit leagues, which means Spring Training is almost underway.
Though most teams have already filled out their rosters, there is one catcher that still needs a job. Ivan ‘Pudge’ Rodriguez, beloved Rangers backstop of yesteryear, doesn’t have a team and I really can’t figure out why.
Pudge did a telephone interview with the Associated Press yesterday, some of which can be found here.
He talked about wanting to get to 3000 hits. Wanting to get another World Series ring. Wanting to help a team win.
Most of all, Pudge wants to keep playing.
Personally, I don’t blame him. His work ethic is still there and he still knows how to handle a pitching staff. Even in a part-time role, I think he’s got something to offer.
I’m surprised, quite frankly, that somebody out there isn’t willing to give him a shot. Sure, he’s not an everyday player anymore, but he’s got something left in the tank and he can do a lot for young pitchers in need of a veteran presence.
What does a team really have to lose besides a few bucks?
Seriously, though, don’t call him I-Rod. Ever. For several reasons.
1) It associates him with Alex Rodriguez, who most Rangers fans loathe. We don’t want to be reminded of our greatest villain when you mention one of our most beloved heroes.
2) A-Rod is a dumb nickname to begin with. It did lead to K-Rod, which is kind of clever, but then somebody came up with A-Gon and made things even worse.
3) His nickname is Pudge and he had already been in the league for 3 years when the other Rodriguez joined the Mariners in 1994. Why would you retroactively give him a nickname based on the nickname of a player that’s younger than he is? There’s no sense in it.
4) It makes me not want to be your friend.
I hope I’ve made my point.
Press on, Rangers fans.