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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Free agent Ivan Rodriguez hoping for another shot

Shiit, now the players union will be screaming…“COLLONOSCOPYUSION!”

Ivan Rodriguez is working out daily to keep his 40-year-old body in shape, hoping he’ll get a chance to play this season.

The 14-time All-Star and 13-time Gold Glove catcher insists he’s not ready to retire - yet.

“I can still play,’’ Rodriguez said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press on Monday from his home in Miami. “But it has been a tough market for veterans.

“There are a lot of guys who have won championships and have playoff experience to offer teams with no jobs. It’s hard to believe.’‘

Rodriguez, Roy Oswalt, Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui, Vladimir Guerrero, Magglio Ordonez and Jason Varitek are among the big names available.

...He has 2,844 career hits - another record for a catcher - and said being in the 3,000-hit club is “absolutely’’ important to him, saying the milestone motivates him to work out harder.

“Of course, I would love to get 3,000 hits and win another World Series before I hang up my spikes and glove,’’ said Rodriguez, who helped the Marlins win it all in 2003. “But I am not a person to just follow numbers. I just want to go to the ballpark every day to help a team win and to work with a pitching staff.’‘

Repoz Posted: February 21, 2012 at 12:05 AM | 26 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 21, 2012 at 12:41 AM (#4065255)
Rodriguez was teammates with Rich Gossage who was teammates with Moe Drabowski who was teammates with Clyde McCullough who was teammates with Charlie Root who was teammates with Jimmy Austin who was teammates with Wee Willie Keeler who was teammates with Jim O'Rourke who began his career in 1872.

Rodriguez was also teammates with 23 year old Wilson Ramos.
   2. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: February 21, 2012 at 12:46 AM (#4065260)
Stick a fork in him.
   3. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: February 21, 2012 at 12:49 AM (#4065261)
He only needs 156 hits...but would any team give him enough ABs to get there - even in the next two years?
   4. tshipman Posted: February 21, 2012 at 01:09 AM (#4065271)
He only needs 156 hits...but would any team give him enough ABs to get there - even in the next two years?


If you figure Pudge to hit .200, he needs 780 ABs. If you assume his career walk rate, that means something like 840 PA.
The average backup catcher picks up around 200 PAs, so that won't do it for Pudge. He needs a starting job.

The good news for Pudge is that there were plenty of teams with horrible starters in 2011: Houston, Pirates, Twins, Mariners, Angels, etc. The bad news is that none of those teams seem to want him.

So, let's throw that out and assume that he gets a backup job. Let's further assume that he finds new life and averages .300 as a backup. Can he get there? Probably not in 2 years. He needs to get 520 PA.

Sorry Pudge. Pretty unlikely you get to 3,000 at this point unless the Twins want to sign up for more veteran leadership (Drew Butera is really bad!)

Edit: Just realized I was forgetting Mauer. Well, best case scenario for Pudge is that he signs with the Twins, does a weird platoon with Mauer and picks up 300 ABs a year and hits .275 for two years.
   5. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: February 21, 2012 at 01:18 AM (#4065274)
Who would have thought, when Joe Mauer signed his 8-year contract extension, that 2 years later the Twins would be the third team to come to mind for someone trying to think of teams in desperate need of a catcher.
   6. Willie Mayspedester Posted: February 21, 2012 at 01:30 AM (#4065275)
Paging the A's...
   7. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: February 21, 2012 at 02:03 AM (#4065282)
It would be neat (and quite possibly depressing, but hey) if the veterans who no one wanted who invariably turn up every year could form their own team. Maybe some of them decide to retire after a year or two on the veteran team, opening up spots for new veterans who no one else wants. Rough shot at this year's inaugural lineup (perhaps some of these people have already been signed, I don't know):

C Ivan Rodriguez
1B Derrek Lee
2B Aaron Miles
3B Eric Chavez
SS Miguel Tejada
LF Hideki Matsui
CF Johnny Damon
RF Vladimir Guerrero
DH Magglio Ordonez

C Jason Varitek
IF Edgar Renteria
OF Milton Bradley
OF Pat Burrell

SP Roy Oswalt
SP Javier Vazquez
SP Rich Harden
SP Doug Davis
SP Scott Kazmir

SP/RP Tim Wakefield

RP Jason Isringhausen
RP Taylor Buchholz
RP Arthur Rhodes
RP Mike Gonzalez
RP Ramon Ortiz
RP John Grabow

Probably should swap out one of the outfielders for an infielder, but nobody's really jumping out at me... Julio Lugo, maybe?
   8. charityslave is thinking about baseball Posted: February 21, 2012 at 02:26 AM (#4065288)
With that much leadership, how could they not win?
   9. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: February 21, 2012 at 02:59 AM (#4065296)
They might be better than Houston. The lineup's not horrible (while batting), and if Rich Harden miraculously is injury free then Oswalt / Vazquez / Harden is not too shabby of a top three.

(Is Harden already injured?)
   10. Something Other Posted: February 21, 2012 at 03:47 AM (#4065304)
It seems impossible to me that guys like Pudge and Ivan last as long as they do. How many squats is that during a career that, including high school, runs as many as 30 years?

Pudge must have gotten into and out of a crouch something close to one million times.
I blew out my knee just doing the math.
   11. Justin T., Director of Somethin Posted: February 21, 2012 at 09:32 AM (#4065339)
(Is Harden already injured?)

Yes. He is not pitching this year.
   12. fra paolo Posted: February 21, 2012 at 10:14 AM (#4065352)
I suspect Pudge wants too much money, for what he offers on paper. He signed for $3m per annum last time out. If he doesn't want to take a pay cut, he's going to have to do without the 3000 hits.
   13. flournoy Posted: February 21, 2012 at 10:35 AM (#4065364)
The good news for Pudge is that there were plenty of teams with horrible starters in 2011: Houston, Pirates, Twins, Mariners, Angels, etc. The bad news is that none of those teams seem to want him.


All of those teams have already replaced their 2011 catchers, I think, except for the Mariners. Houston: Chris Snyder, Pittsburgh: Rod Barajas, Minnesota: healthy Joe Mauer / Ryan Doumit, Anaheim: Chris Iannetta. Seattle still has Miguel Olivo, I think.

Most of those guys aren't very good, but I'd rather have them starting for me than Ivan Rodriguez, who is truly terrible these days.
   14. Good cripple hitter Posted: February 21, 2012 at 11:03 AM (#4065378)
Seattle still has Miguel Olivo, I think.


They still have Olivo, but they also traded for John Jaso and Jesus Montero.
   15. JJ1986 Posted: February 21, 2012 at 11:16 AM (#4065393)
The Mets platoon catcher right now is Mike Nickeas so they could certainly offer Rodriguez that job. They probably can't pay him, though.
   16. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: February 21, 2012 at 11:17 AM (#4065395)
OK, move Harden to the DL, and call up... hmmm... Chris Young? Is his injury supposedly healed yet?
   17. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: February 21, 2012 at 11:21 AM (#4065400)
Ah ha!:
Young also told Crasnick that his arm is feeling "the best it has felt in quite a long time."
Good enough for me!
   18. DL from MN Posted: February 21, 2012 at 12:00 PM (#4065446)
Keep working out. Catchers get hurt pretty often. Pudge might not crack an opening day lineup but he's still better than most options in AAA.
   19. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: February 21, 2012 at 12:49 PM (#4065489)
I rarely hear Rodriguez discussed as an all-time great, but he's got to be near the Top 5, right? Behind Berra and Bench to be sure, but the Gold Gloves combined with pretty good offense, an (undeserved) MVP and a long career have to put him not far behind.
   20. Vance W Posted: February 21, 2012 at 12:56 PM (#4065494)
I would think top ten, easily.
   21. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: February 21, 2012 at 01:36 PM (#4065523)
Top 3-5 with any kind of timelining.

I-Rod caught Nolan Ryan, who also pitched to Willie Mays, who batted against Dutch Leonard the Knuckler, who in his first MLB start faced Waite Hoyt, who pitched 12 innings of one-run ball to win his first MLB start, defeating the Tigers and Ty Cobb.
Bless you, Sean Forman.
   22. DL from MN Posted: February 21, 2012 at 01:49 PM (#4065530)
Pudge or Piazza is a pretty good debate.
   23. Random Transaction Generator Posted: February 21, 2012 at 01:54 PM (#4065532)
I-Rod caught Nolan Ryan, who also pitched to Willie Mays, who batted against Dutch Leonard the Knuckler, who in his first MLB start faced Waite Hoyt, who pitched 12 innings of one-run ball to win his first MLB start, defeating the Tigers and Ty Cobb, who once charged the mound at Jamie Moyer.

   24.   Posted: February 21, 2012 at 01:56 PM (#4065533)
I just want to go to the ballpark every day to help a team win and to work with a pitching staff.’‘


So become a coach.
   25. Something Other Posted: February 22, 2012 at 03:28 AM (#4065935)
I suspect Pudge wants too much money, for what he offers on paper. He signed for $3m per annum last time out. If he doesn't want to take a pay cut, he's going to have to do without the 3000 hits.
He and Damon would have done well to realize early in the offseason where they were, what they wanted, and what they had to offer. They're the kinds of players who get hurt the most by waiting (see Dye, Jermaine)

Pudge or Piazza is a pretty good debate.
Which Pudge?
   26. AROM Posted: February 22, 2012 at 10:41 AM (#4065989)
Rodriguez might be #6 among greatest catchers, behind Berra, Bench, Fisk, Piazza, and Carter. Or he might be in the top 5, just depends on what methods you use to rank them.

The great catchers before WW2, Dickey, Cochrane, and Hartnett, didn't last nearly as long as the guys above. I should at least mention guys like Roger Bresnahan, who's in the HOF for more than inventing shinguards. His 126 OPS+ is the same as Johnny Bench's (in many fewer PA of course) and when he retired he had more career WAR than any catcher up to that point. Plus Charlie Bennett, who was a good hitter (118 OPS+) playing under the abusive catching conditions of the 1800s.

Looking beyond guys who played in the majors, it seems obvious to me that Josh Gibson was the greatest catcher who ever lived. And probably the greatest who ever will live, since uber-prospects at the position are likely to move off the position before they even get to the big leagues, as Bryce Harper has done.

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