Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Texas Rangers Welcome Home Pudge Rodriguez

Rangers fans, and you can count me as one of them are extremely excited as news spreads around Dallas that the Rangers reacquired All-Star catcher Ivan Rodriguez for two minor leaguers from the Houston Astros On Tuesday. “It’s been a long time,” said Rodriguez, who. “I’m glad that I’m back.

Rodriguez on his first trip with the Rangers played for Texas from 1991 to 2002 and moved on as a free agent. He left when the club refused to offer salary arbitration after the 2002 season. He signed with Florida and immediately won a World Series, then went to another World Series in five seasons with Detroit.

He was voted to the all star game 10-times as a Ranger, 13 times over his career. He helped lead the Rangers franchise only three playoff teams in 1996, 1998 and 1999, where he was the American League Most Valuable Player.

Currently Rodriguez is hitting .251 with eight home runs and 34 RBIs in 93 games and 344 plate appearances for the Astros.

As a Texas Ranger, Rodriguez caught 1,426 games, second in club history to Jim Sundberg’s 1,495. He hit .305 with 215 home runs and 829 RBIs.

If you want to know if the fans are happy, tonight Rodriguez walked out to deliver the lineup card to home plate and you would have thought the Rangers had just won a game 7 in the playoffs. Rodriiguez received a huge ovation. Tonight he is only available off the bench.

Michael Young said “It’s huge for our fan base,” Young seemed very excited about the trade. Young also said “He might be the best player in the history of our organization and probably the most popular. This is just a great move on all fronts.”

Rangers outfielder David Murphy had a decision to make. Murphy has been wearing Rodriguez No.7 jersey since coming to the Rangers. Murphy who has always been a class act said he will give up his No.7 and switched to the No. 14.

Ron Washington the Rangers manager said Rodriguez would back up Taylor Teagarden. Teagarden became the starting catcher replacing Jarrod Saltalamacchia who is currently on the disabled list. “Watching him play when I was a kid, you idolized him,” Teagarden said. “I have a chance to learn some things about how he handles himself on the field.”

General manager Jon Daniels said Saltalamacchia has symptoms of thoracic outlet syndrome, which affects nerves near the shoulder and neck and can cause numbness in the arms. Daniels said Saltalamacchia has a milder form that can be treated with rest and rehabilitation. The team plans to have him back in September.

To make room for Rodriguez, the Rangers designated catcher Kevin Richardson for assignment. They have 10 days to trade, release or outright him to the minor leagues.

I am as excited as I can be about this move, like many long time Rangers fans I watched Rodriguez grow up as a player and a man with the Rangers. He will be nothing but an asset to the Rangers on the field and in the clubhouse. He will make a difference to this team. Welcome Home Pudge Rodriguez!

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