Category Archives: Baseball

Pudge Rodriguez Gets Ready To Enter The Hall Of Fame

ivan+rodriguez+hall+of+fame

The countdown is on for Ivan Rodriguez.

Next weekend, “Pudge” will take his place among the greats in the game when he enters the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.

So are the nerves kicking in yet the former Rangers catcher?

“No, not really,” Rodriguez said during a conference call on Friday.  “I’m really excited. I’m not going to lie, I’m a little nervous. The days are getting closer to be there in the Hall of Fame. It’s going to be fun.”

Pudge was a first-ballot selection for Cooperstown and will enter The Hall as a member of the Rangers. He played 13 seasons with the team after being drafted by Texas as a 16-year old from Puerto Rico.

The career is full of memorable moments and milestones. Rodriguez was a 14-time All-Star, 13-time Gold Glove winner and 1999 American League MVP. He also won a World Series in 2003 with the Florida Marlins, now known as the Miami Marlins.

As the moment gets closer, he’s had a chance to get some advice from some Hall of Famers who’s been there, done that in Roberto Alomar and Greg Maddux.

“It’s going to be a lot, a lot going on, but at the same time enjoy it,” said Rodriguez. “Have fun. Try to enjoy everything that is going on during that weekend.”

Rodriguez will be inducted along with Houston Astros first baseman Jeff Bagwell, Montreal Expos outfielder Tim Raines, longtime Kansas City Royals and Atlanta Braves general manager John Schuerholz and former major league baseball commissioner Bud Selig.

Also expected to be in attendance is Gloria Oates, the widow of former Rangers manager Johnny Oates. Texas won division titles in 1996 and 1998-99 under the leadership of Oates, who passed away in 2004.

“I have so much respect for Johnny Oates,” said Rodriguez, who played for Oates on those Rangers teams. “Having her there is going to be a very special moment.”

The induction is scheduled for July 30 at 12:30 p.m. CST.

Report: Rangers Gauging Interest in Yu Darvish

Seattle Mariners v Texas Rangers

Courtesy: Getty Images

Will he stay or will he go?

The ongoing saga concerning the future of pitcher Yu Darvish in a Rangers uniform takes another interesting turn. Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan reported earlier this morning that Texas was open to at least discussing possible deals on the table for righty, who’s due to become a free agent after the season.

One team that was said to show some interest is the defending World Series champion Chicago Cubs. According to MLB.com’s Jon Morosi, a trade between the two teams is more plausible now than before the All-Star Break.

The Cubs originally didn’t seem like a spot for Darvish simply because they were looking for controllable pitchers to stick in the rotation for the long term, while Darvish would likely be considered a rental before hitting the free agent market.

On the other side, the Rangers weren’t completely sold on idea of letting their ace go. In fact, Texas wasn’t sold on moving anyone while still in contention for an A.L. wild card. Plus, there was the feeling the club could also sign Darvish to a deal that would keep him in Arlington.

“I think wants to be here,” Rangers general manager Jon Daniels told NBC 5 sports director Newy Scruggs last month. “In his own ways, he’s become a leader on this team. Behind the scenes, you see more than up front, just the way he handles certain personalities and how he interacts with other people.  We would love to have him back.”

Important to also point out that Daniels said he would be open to talks and evaluating where things stand with the entire team leading up the trade deadline.

Now, here we are approaching the end of July. That deadline is right around the corner. A week of decision-making is about to happen.

The Rangers stumbled out of the gate after the All-Star Break, losing five straight, including a four-game sweep at the hands of the Baltimore Orioles. The wild card spot is slowing slipping away. The crazy thing is despite how bad the Rangers have played recently, they’re still in the chase.

Meanwhile in the senior circuit, the Cubs have caught fire, having won six straight games to start the second half and now have the N.L. Central Division title in their sights. The Cubs recently landed pitcher Jose Quintana in a blockbuster deal with the cross-town White Sox and appear to be interested in acquiring more arms for a shot to defend their title.

Let’s just say a deal happens and Darvish is sent to a contender, whether it would be the Cubs or anyone else who gets in the mix. Does that mean his days in Arlington are officially over?

Not exactly.

Take a look at the New York Yankees situation with reliever Aroldis Chapman last season. The Yankees sent him to the Windy City and got a prospect package in return from the Cubs. Chapman helps the Cubs break the curse and win the World Series, and then returns to New York on a free agent deal.

It’s not out of the realm of possibility the same thing could happen with Darvish and the Rangers. That’s just the way baseball go.

However, Darvish may not be the only name floated out there as a trade piece for the Rangers. Catcher Jonathan Lucroy and first baseman Mike Napoli might also be on the move should Texas continue to slip. Just like with Darvish, both Lucroy and Napoli could walk at the end of the season. Even if the Rangers jump back in the middle of the wild card race, Lucroy could still be dealt to shore up the bullpen, which has been a big reason Texas is in this situation. The emergence of Robinson Chirinos at the catcher position has helped make that more of a possibility.

As for the here and now, Darvish takes the mound Friday night against the Rays in what may be the most important series of the season for the Rangers, at least right now. Tampa is one of the teams the Rangers will need to catch in the wild card standings. The good news for the Rangers is that Darvish is 4-0 with a 1.09 ERA in five career starts against the Rays.

Right now, it’s just the business of gauging interest. This time next week, it could be a whole new ballgame.