Texas Rangers: Pudge Rodriguez

Rangers Rushmore: Nolan, Pudge, Michael, Juan

July, 6, 2013
What if you could take a summer vacation to the Mount Rushmore of the Texas Rangers? Whose faces would you see? Here's our Rangers Rushmore. Give us yours.

Nolan Ryan: You could argue that he saved the franchise twice, first as a player and then overseeing the best years in franchise history. Ryan threw two of his no-hitters in a Rangers uniform, and the first ballot Hall of Famer crossed the 300-win and 5,000-strikeout barriers while in Texas. And yes, he also bloodied Robin Ventura, showing his toughness.

Pudge Rodriguez: He'll go into the Rangers Hall of Fame in August after 12 seasons in Texas that included 10 All-Star Game selections, 10 Gold Gloves and an AL MVP Award. Now with the organization as a coach and consultant, Rodriguez remains one of the most popular players in franchise history.

Michael Young: He was the face of the franchise for nearly a decade and the consummate professional. Young had more than 200 hits six times as a Ranger. He played three different positions and made the All-Star team as a shortstop and third baseman. He won an AL batting title and a Gold Glove. And he stuck it out during some dark times for the franchise before finally getting to the postseason the past three seasons. Young is now in Philadelphia, but his career was defined as a Ranger.

Juan Gonzalez: He played for the Rangers for 13 seasons in two different stints. Gonzalez won two AL MVP Awards and helped lead the Rangers to AL West titles in 1996, 1998 and 1999. They were the franchise's first division titles. He led the AL in home runs twice with Texas and has several of the club's offensive records.

Others who could get consideration (in no particular order):

Jon Daniels: He's still writing his legacy in Texas, but he's already the main architect of the franchise's highest point so far -- consecutive World Series appearances in 2010 and 2011. He pulled the trigger on the Cliff Lee deal, showing a willingness to trade highly touted Justin Smoak to do so, and the move was the difference in the Rangers winning their first playoff series.

Ron Washington: He'll end up as the most successful manager in club history whenever his tenure ends. You can fault him for some of his in-game strategy if you choose, but perhaps no team plays for a manager harder than the Rangers do. And when you have a talented team, that can be the difference between winning and losing a pennant. If we could put a blend of Daniels and Washington on Mount Ranger, we'd do it.

Charlie Hough: The knuckleballer was a critical member of the club's rotation for a decade.

Jim Sundberg: He won six straight Gold Gloves from 1976-81 and is among the club's all-time leaders in games played, at-bats, hits and walks. He's a terrific ambassador for the organization.

Tom Vandergriff: Without the former mayor of Arlington, the Rangers wouldn't be in Texas. He helped get Arlington Stadium built in 1965 and lured the Senators to Arlington for baseball to begin here in 1972. He was also a big part of getting Rangers Ballpark in Arlington built in time for the opening of the 1994 season.

Buddy Bell: Three-time Rangers player of the year and winner of six Gold Gloves at third base. Was also a four-time All-Star.

Rusty Greer: Few players were as popular with the fans as Greer, who posted a .305 career average in playing his entire career with Texas.

Tom Grieve: He has been a player, GM and now television analyst for this team. He's known as "Mr. Ranger" for a reason.

Johnny Oates: He managed the club to AL West titles in 1996, 1998 and 1999. His No. 26 jersey is retired, the only Ranger besides Ryan to have that honor.

Note: We could have extended this list of others considered but had to stop at some point.

Give us your four Mount Rangers and why you chose them.

Pudge Rodriguez elected to Rangers Hall of Fame

June, 7, 2013
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Catcher Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez will be 16th member of the Rangers Baseball Hall of Fame, the club announced on Friday afternoon.

ESPN senior MLB analyst Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to share his thoughts on the penalty for PEDs and says it's time for the Rangers to move on from Michael Kirkman.

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Rodriguez will be the lone inductee this year. The pregame ceremony will take place before the Rangers host the Baltimore Orioles on Sat., July 20.

"It means a lot to me," Rodriguez said on a conference call. "I appreciate it. It was a great honor for me when I heard the news from Nolan (Ryan) and Jim Sundberg and the Rangers' organization. It's big part of my career and success that I started here. The Rangers gave me the opportunity to be a professional baseball player."

Rodriguez played the first 12 of 21 major league seasons with the Rangers. He also spent the 2009 season with Texas. He had a career .296 batting average with 311 home runs. Known for his big arm behind the plate, Rodriguez threw out 46 percent of the runners who tried to steal against him.

With the Rangers, Pudge is second in club history in hits (1747), doubles (352), and multi-hit games (490). He ranks third in at-bats (5754), triples (28) and homers (217). He's fourth in games (1,507), runs (866), RBI (842), total bases (2,806) and extra base hits (597).

Rodriguez helped the Rangers finally get to the postseason, winning their first division title in 1996. They also the American League West in 1998 and '99.

"Each year we put a better team on the field," Rodriguez said. "Making the playoffs was exciting."

Rodriguez will be the team's 16th inductee. He'll be joining Charlie Hough, Johnny Oates, Nolan Ryan, Jim Sundberg, Buddy Bell, Ferguson Jenkins, Tom Vandergriff, Mark Holtz, John Wetteland, Rusty Greer, Toby Harrah, Ruben Sierra, Tom Grieve, Kenny Rogers and Eric Nadel.

Rodriguez may be the all-time Rangers' fan favorite, even topping Ryan, because of his passion for the game and his off-the-chart skills behind the plate.

"The fans were great to me," Rodriguez said. "I respect them very much. Every time I come here, it feels like home for me. The support for me. It's great especially here. As a visitor, Detroit, very warm standing ovation, it was a great time."

Is Elvis Andrus next face of the franchise?

April, 4, 2013
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Texas Rangers general manager Jon Daniels won't put a "face of the franchise" tag on any one player. The fans, he said Thursday, decide that.

For the Rangers through the years, that has been Nolan Ryan, Pudge Rodriguez and Michael Young, in chronological order. That's this 41-year-old franchise's Mount Rushmore.

Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss his new contract extension, why it was so important to stay in Texas and his expectations for the season.

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There's room for one more.

Maybe, just maybe, that player is 24-year-old shortstop Elvis Andrus, who on Thursday afternoon had an eight-year, $120 million contract extension through 2022 formally announced at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. It came on the eve of the Rangers' home opener against Josh Hamilton and the Angels.

It's ironic; this could have been Hamilton. The big contract. Face of the franchise. Now it might be Andrus.

Andrus' smile and charisma endeared him to Rangers fans a long time ago. His style of play, his fearlessness on the basepaths, his glove, his clutch hitting, his two All-Star appearances -- fans like that, too.

Eric Nadel joins Galloway & Company to discuss the Rangers' home opener against the Angels, Elvis Andrus' contract extension and much more.

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What they'll really sign up for, what they'll always vote on for face of the franchise, is a player who puts winning above everything else. The Rangers were twice a strike away from winning the World Series in 2011. The 3.5 million fans who showed up at the ballpark last year thought about that every day.

So did Andrus. And he still does. He said it Thursday after becoming a very wealthy 24-year-old.

"I'm not going to rest or sleep until I get a World Series," Andrus said. "As a player, I treat myself as a winner. If I don't get a ring, get this organization a ring, I won't sleep."

The Rangers see Andrus as a critical piece to getting that last strike. He plays a premium defensive position. He hit .350 with runners in scoring position last season. No current Ranger embodies the style of play manager Ron Washington wants and asks of his players each day more than Andrus.

As Daniels said Thursday, the Rangers are built to be an up-tempo, aggressive team, something they believe got lost last year. The Rangers made it to the World Series two straight seasons because of tough at-bats, solid pitching and defense.

Andrus can't pitch, but he does the other two things at a very high level. And he should only get better in his prime years.

"He epitomizes all of those things," Daniels said. "In a lot of ways, he is everything we're all about: the charisma, the smile, the connection with our fans, the connection with our teammates. At 24 years old, with the things he's accomplished to this point, with the multiple All-Star Games and the World Series and the other personal accolades. And the way he leads the charge when we take the field every night."

Sounds like a franchise player, doesn't it?

Another focal point Thursday was the close relationship between Andrus and Washington.

Andrus and his agent, Scott Boras, gave major credit to Washington for the shortstop's development, taking on a 20-year-old rookie straight from Double-A and molding him from a player who drove Washington crazy with routine errors in 2009 into a player the manager said he was able to back off last season for the first time. No player has endured Washington's teaching and scolding more than Andrus.

"As a player, especially a young player, that's what you want," Andrus said of the manager's constant pushing and prodding. "You want, as soon as you make a mistake, to be that lucky to have somebody that wants to teach you, wants to make you get better, make you do the job that you're supposed to do. I always say I really appreciate that, I will never get mad at that. I always appreciate him personally and thank him for being there for me."

Andrus is here for the Rangers, at least until the end of the 2018 season, when he has an opt-out in his contract -- the key to getting the deal done.

Andrus was thought to be headed to free agency at the end of next season because of who his agent is. But Andrus instructed Boras to work out a long-term deal to stay with the Rangers.

Daniels and Boras made a point of spending time discussing Andrus each time the two talked in the past two years about free agents and other baseball topics. The Rangers were very interested in keeping one of their core players.

"As we sat down and looked at things," Boras said, "it became clear to me and Elvis -- and I think to [Daniels] -- that we had some very workable and common thoughts that would allow us to reach an agreement. It was a very collaborative effort and one that worked out well for all sides."

Andrus said his family jumped for joy upon hearing the contract was done. Andrus said he wanted security in his life, for his family. The contract getting done is a relief, he said.

Now he can focus on his main goal of winning a championship. Andrus talked about it over and over during his news conference and afterward.

Time will tell on the face of the franchise tag.

"Those things happen on the field," Daniels said. "Those are natural connections made to the fan base. In a lot of ways, Elvis and a lot of his teammates have already become that."
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Part of Pudge Rodriguez's new role with the Texas Rangers organization is as an instructor. That includes working with the younger players in every part of the minor-league system.

As the Rangers work toward Opening Day, Ben & Skin discuss what's happening at spring training and Ben gives his confidence meter.

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Rodriguez got a chance to go to the Dominican Republic with a group of Rangers personnel and talked with one of the club's top prospects, catcher Jorge Alfaro. The 19-year-old hit .261 with five homers and 34 RBIs in 74 games in Class A Hickory last season. He also hit .292 in winter ball. Scouts are high on Alfaro's abilities behind the plate.

"He has great talent," Rodriguez said. "He's a good hitter. Defensively, I think he's going to be great. I talked to him already for a long time and he seems like he's a great kid and likes the game a lot.

"The way I see him is that he's the future of our team. He has major league talent. He's not there yet, but my job is to work with him and do the best that I can to get him ready to be in the big leagues pretty soon."

That's high praise from a guy with 13 Gold Gloves, a 12-time starter in the All-Star Game and the 1999 AL MVP.

Nolan Ryan, Pudge Rodriguez in Hall of 100

December, 12, 2012
ESPN.com has put together a baseball Hall of Fame that ignores character or steroids and simply looks at what a player did on the field.

Ben of Ben & Skin breaks down seven things that are on his mind, including Dez Bryant's finger and the Rangers front office.

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That list includes two Texas Rangers that all fans know. Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez, who played parts of 13 seasons with the Rangers and won 13 Gold Gloves in his career while making 14 All-Star teams, comes in at No. 71.

Rodriguez is one spot behind Juan Marichal and one spot in front of Bert Blyleven.

Rangers CEO Nolan Ryan also makes the list, of course. He's No. 35 with a resume that includes seven no-hitters and the all-time mark of 5,714 strikeouts. Ryan is positioned just ahead of Mel Ott and behind Ken Griffey Jr.

The complete list of the Hall of 100 is here.

2012 Rangers timeline: April-May

October, 11, 2012
We now move into the regular season and go through the first two months as part of our 2012 Texas Rangers timeline:

April 6: The Rangers win their fourth-straight Opening Day game. Michael Young’s RBI single in the bottom of the sixth broke a 2-2 tie and the Rangers beat the White Sox, 3-2.

[+] EnlargeJosh Hamilton
AP Photo/Patrick SemanskyJosh Hamilton became the 16th player to belt four homers in a May win in Baltimore. He tallied 18 total bases on the night -- one shy of the MLB record.
April 9: Yu Darvish makes his big league debut and struggles early but ends up with a victory in an 11-5 win over Seattle. Darvish gave up four runs on four hits with three walks in the first inning but then settled down.

April 11: Texas holds a news conference to make official Ian Kinsler’s long-term deal. He signs for five years at $70 million with a $5 million buyout or a $10 million club option for the sixth year.

April 12: Joe Nathan can’t close out the game and the Rangers lose to the Mariners. Nathan goes on a streak of perfect save opportunities after that.

April 21: The Rangers beat Detroit, 10-4, in the first game of a doubleheader to go 7-0 on the road and 12-2 on the season.

April 23: Ivan Rodriguez announces his retirement at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington and is honored by his former team.

April 24: Darvish dazzles the Yankees, striking out 10 in 8 1/3 shutout innings against one of the top lineups in the game in a 2-0 Rangers win.

April 30: Josh Hamilton doesn’t play on the final day of the month, held out with a sore back. But he finishes April with a .395 batting average, nine homers, 25 RBIs, 64 total bases and a .744 slugging percentage.

May 5: Adrian Beltre hits a three-run, pinch-hit home run in the 11th to give the Rangers a 5-2 win in Cleveland.

May 8: Hamilton makes history, belting four home runs at Camden Yards in Baltimore. He becomes the 16th player to hit four in a game and the first since 2003. His 18 total bases are one shy of Shawn Green’s big-league record set in 2002.

May 11: The Rangers defeat the Los Angeles Angels in the first meeting between the two teams in 2012. The win pushes Texas eight games ahead of the Los Angeles.

May 13: Texas beats the Angels, 13-6, to take two of three in the series. They end the series five games up on Oakland and eight ahead of Los Angeles.

May 15: The club announces that longtime broadcaster Eric Nadel will be inducted into the Rangers Hall of Fame in August.

May 18: Nolan Ryan said he believes it’s unlikely anything would happen on a long-term deal for Hamilton during the season.

May 19: David Murphy hits the first inside-the-park home run of his career and the 23rd in franchise history in a 6-5 loss to the Houston Astros.

[+] EnlargeRoy Oswalt
Brendan Maloney/US PresswireRoy Oswalt warmed up in Round Rock after signing a $5 million deal for the season with the Rangers.
May 21: Neftali Feliz is placed on the disabled list with an elbow strain. After attempting a comeback, he ends up missing the rest of the season.

May 26: Hamilton, not feeling well and needing an IV and oxygen after the game, hit a two-run homer in the 13th inning to help the Rangers to a come-from-behind win over Toronto.

May 29: Roy Oswalt agrees on a contract with the Rangers for $5 million plus incentives for the rest of the season. He heads to the minors to get some work in before he’s ready to come to the big leagues.

May 30: The Mariners beat the Rangers 21-8 in a score that looks more like one you’d find across the street at Cowboys Stadium.

Pudge Rodriguez throws first pitch to 2B

April, 23, 2012

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers and Ivan Rodriguez put a nice twist on the ceremonial first pitch prior to Monday's game.

Rodriguez went to the mound, but had his catcher's mitt on. Instead of throwing a pitch off the rubber, he trotted back behind home plate and former teammate Michael Young went to second base. Rodriguez's throw was, of course, on the money.

It was the end of a nice ceremony for Rodriguez. Wearing a blue Rangers golf shirt and red Texas cap, Rodriguez rode into the stadium on a convertible and was given a standing ovation as he waved to fans.

The current Rangers and coaches lined up and watched the ceremony from the dugout as did many Yankees players, along with manager Joe Girardi.

Tom Grieve, the general manager who signed Rodriguez as a teenager in 1988, presented Rodriguez with a framed white No. 7 Rangers jersey with his name on it. Rangers CEO and Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan, who played with Rodriguez for a few years, spoke a few words and gave him a crystal memento to commemorate his years with Texas. The Rangers also prepared a video montage of Rodriguez’s greatest moments as a Ranger.

Rodriguez made some brief remarks, thanking the Rangers, his family and the fans for his time in Texas. Then he threw his "pitch" to second base.

Read more here.

ESPN Classic runs tribute to Pudge tonight

April, 23, 2012
ARLINGTON, Texas -- For those of you wanting to see some bonus Ivan Rodriguez moments, be sure and tune in (or set the DVR) to ESPN Classic tonight.

From 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. CST, it will be some of Rodriguez's classic games, though neither involves him in a Rangers uniform. Still, they are good moments. Here's the list:

10 p.m. to midnight: Astros vs Rangers, June 17, 2009 - Ivan Rodriguez passes Carlton Fisk to become the all-time leader in games caught with 2,227. The Astros end up losing in 10 innings 5-4.

Midnight to 2 a.m.: Brewers vs Tigers – June 12, 2007 – Justin Verlander threw a no-hitter vs, the Brewers while Rodriguez was behind the plate.

Pudge likely to have future role with Rangers

April, 23, 2012

ARLINGTON, Texas -- There hasn't been any talk yet of retiring his No. 7, but Pudge Rodriguez and the Texas Rangers have talked about a future role in the organization for the now-retired catcher. That could mean working with the club's catchers.

"We've talked to Pudge about continuing a relationship with us and I think there's interest on both sides of him being involved in our organization, so we're excited about that," CEO and Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan said. "It would be good for our organization and he wants to stay involved in baseball, so we're looking forward to working something out."

Ryan said Rodriguez wanted to take a few months to get away and spend some time with his family before figuring it all out.

"With the success that he's had and the way he's been received in the community, I think he could be a very positive influence on a lot of our young Latin players that are coming into our system and help them make that transition," Ryan said.

Ryan was asked if Rodriguez was a first-ballot Hall of Famer.

"If I was voting, yeah he would be," Ryan said. "You look at his career and the impact that he's had and the postseason success ... at least how I view the voting, that's the way I see it."

Week ahead: Rangers face NYY, Tampa Bay

April, 23, 2012
DETROIT -- The Texas Rangers return to Arlington for a six-game homestand that begins tonight with three games against the New York Yankees and three versus Tampa Bay. A few things to look for:

* Pudge Rodriguez will retire prior to Monday's game with the Yankees, doing so as a Ranger. The pregame ceremony starts at 5:35 p.m. on the field and will conclude with Rodriguez throwing out the first pitch to Michael Young. Join us here at ESPN Dallas for all of the coverage.

* Texas will face a Yankees team that is 7-3 in its last 10 games and is second to Texas in batting average (.285). The Yankees lead the league in runs per game, though, at six. So watch how the Rangers' pitching staff, which leads the league with a 2.48 ERA, handles the vaunted Yankee lineup.

* It also means former Ranger Mark Teixeira is back as well. He's returned many times since he was dealt in 2007 for a package that included Elvis Andrus, Neftali Feliz and Matt Harrison -- three players who will see action this homestand for Texas. Teixeira is batting .288 with three homers and 11 RBIs.

* Tampa Bay's James Shields is likely to pitch against the Rangers. He is 3-0 with a 2.76 ERA in four starts and was magnificant in two regular season starts vs. Texas last season going 2-0 with a 0.53 ERA in 17 innings with 13 strikeouts and three walks. The Rangers beat the Rays in the ALDS in 2010 and 2011 on their way to the World Series both years.

* It should be six games of nearly full houses. Texas has few remaining tickets to the Yankees' series and could also get sellouts for all three of the Tampa Bay games. That includes another ESPN Sunday Night Baseball game for the Rangers on April 29 against the Rays.

Michael Young to catch Pudge's first pitch

April, 20, 2012
DETROIT -- Michael Young will catch the ceremonial first pitch thrown by Pudge Rodriguez on Monday as part of the club's pregame cermony.

Rusty Greer joins the show to talk about Pudge Rodriguez's legacy with the Rangers and where he ranks among the greatest players in franchise history.

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Rodriguez is officially retiring as a Ranger on Monday and will hold a news conference and be honored prior to the Rangers-Yankees game at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

"I'm happy to do it," Young said. "I was here during part of his first stint with the team and he was a great teammate and a great player. It should be a big day for him."

Other homestand highlights:

Monday April, 23, 2012 – vs. New York Yankees – 6:05 p.m. – ESPN nationally; FSSW-HD locally
* Ivan Rodriguez Retirement Ceremony
* Ceremonial first pitch by Ivan Rodriguez
* Game ball delivery by John Burkett

Tuesday, April, 24, 2012 – vs. New York Yankees – 7:05 p.m. – FSSW-HD
* Pre-game ceremony honoring Jackie Robinson and Tuskegee Airmen presentation
* Negro Leagues Baseball Museum president Bob Kendrick to present awards to Ron Washington and Michael Young
* Ceremonial first pitch by Texas State Senator Royce West
* Game ball delivery by Rusty Greer

Wednesday, April, 25, 2012 – vs. New York Yankees – 7:05 p.m. – FSSW-HD
* Firestone All-Star Balloting pre-game ceremony
* Game ball delivery by John Wetteland
* Dollar Hot Dog Wednesday
* Dr Pepper Autograph Wednesdays – 13 & under
* Ozarka Website Wednesday. Tickets are half price in Upper Reserved, Upper Box, Lexus Club Terrace, and Lower Reserved when purchased on texasrangers.com/specials

Friday, April 27, 2012–vs. Tampa Bay Rays– 7:05 p.m. – TXA21-HD
* Verizon Wireless Fireworks Friday. Tickets are $10 in the Lexus Club Terrace, Upper Box, and Upper Reserved seating areas on texasrangers.com. All cash parking is $5. Fireworks following the game set to Sing-A-Long Theme.

Saturday, April 28, 2012 – vs. Tampa Bay Rays– 7:05 p.m. – TXA21-HD
* Medical Center Arlington Adrian Beltre bobblehead for first 30,000 fans
* Game ball delivery by Mickey Tettleton

Sunday, April 29, 2012 – vs. Tampa Bay Rays– 7:05 p.m. – ESPN
* Snapple Napoli Red Jersey for youngsters fans 13 and under
* Blue Bell $1 Ice Cream Sunday
* Game ball delivery by Jose Guzman

Michael Young chats with Ivan Rodriguez

April, 19, 2012
DETROIT -- A couple of the all-time "faces of the Texas Rangers franchise" talked by phone Wednesday morning.

Veteran Michael Young and retiring catcher Ivan Rodriguez chatted briefly as Rodriguez announced he would retire as a Ranger. The club has planned a ceremony prior to Monday's ESPN game with the Yankees to honor Rodriguez.

"He's excited about coming back and retiring as a Ranger," Young said. "It will be a great celebration. Our fans absolutely love Pudge. Knowing what a competitor he is, I'm sure he thinks he's got some baseball left in him. But it's still a Hall of Fame career nonetheless. I'm happy for him. It will be nice to see him and congratulate him. It will be fun out there Monday."

Young said he knows how much Rodriguez wanted to keep playing.

"Pudge is a gamer," Young said. "When he he was doing his thing in the '90s, not only was he putting up MVP numbers, but he was catching an insane amount of games. You don't see that nowadays. He's a gamer. He wants to go out there and play. But I think he recognized this was best for him and his family at this point. I'm happy for him. He's had an unbelievable career."

Rangers manager Ron Washington remembers advance meetings in Oakland in which they would stress to pitchers not to give Rodriguez anything he could extend on over the plate. And they warned baserunners about what Rodriguez could do, not only throwing them out on steal attempts but throwing behind them for pickoffs.

"He was the best I've sever seen," Washington said. "He had the quickest release and accuracy I've even seen. He was the scariest guy to have back there when you were at first base. He could beat up with the bat bigtime. He was a special catcher."

David Murphy will change number if needed

April, 19, 2012
DETROIT -- Not long after Texas Rangers outfielder David Murphy heard the news that longtime Rangers catcher Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez was going to retire Monday, the outfielder pulled equipment and home clubhouse manager Richard "Hoggy" Price aside and told him he was ready to change numbers if the club retires No. 7.

Murphy currently wears that number, which was Rodriguez's number during his career. Most fans still associate Rodriguez with that number.

"He played a huge role in the history of this franchise and he's the best player in the history of this franchise to wear No. 7, so I'm ready for whatever," Murphy said.

Murphy switched to No. 14 when Rodriguez signed with Texas for the final few months of the 2009 season. He's willing to give it up again should the club decide to take it out of use and hang the number at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

Alberto Gonzalez is currently wearing No. 14 and Murphy said that number didn't hold any special significance for him anyway.

"If I had to switch from seven, I have no idea what I'd switch to," Murphy said. "I'd have to look at my options."

Murphy said he isn't superstitious about numbers. He said he likes No. 7 but wouldn't really worry about what his new number might be if he needs to change.

It's official: Pudge Rodriguez is retiring

April, 19, 2012
DETROIT -- Catcher Ivan Rodriguez will retire as an active player on Monday at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, the Rangers and Rodriguez announced today.

Rodriguez will hold a 2 p.m. news conference before Monday's game with the New York Yankees in the Texas Rangers Baseball Hall of Fame, which is where Yu Darvish was introduced back in January. Rodriguez is not expected to have any comment until Monday.

The Rangers will honor Rodriguez in an on-field ceremony at approximately 5:40 p.m. and the 21-year veteran will throw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the 6:05 p.m. game. The game will be shown on ESPN nationally and on Fox Sports Southwest locally.

You can read more here.

Fitting that Pudge retires a Ranger

April, 18, 2012

DETROIT -- It's difficult to imagine Pudge Rodriguez not retiring a Texas Ranger. He didn't win a playoff series with the Rangers, instead going to the World Series with Florida and Detroit (winning a title with the Marlins). But any quick poll on the greatest Rangers of all time must include Rodriguez. He's a Texas Ranger, first and foremost.


Who's the greatest Ranger of all time?


Discuss (Total votes: 3,526)

He's done a lot in his 21-year career. But it was those years in Texas that he became one of the best catchers in the game. In that first 12-year stint (he came back for the second half of the 2009 season), he hit .305 with 215 homers and 829 RBIs. He was an automatic for the All-Star Game, going 10 consecutive years in a Rangers uniform. Rodriguez won 10 straight Gold Gloves, too, to go along with six Silver Slugger Awards while in Texas.

All of that added to his legend in Texas. But the other thing Rodriguez had was personality and passion for the game. He loved playing, and it was obvious every time he went out on the field. The fans indentified with that and watched a young, up-and-coming ballplayer turn into an elite one that helped the Rangers win their first AL West title in 1996 and then two more in 1998 and 1999.

Some will argue he has a cloud of steroid suspicion around him, but it hasn't altered the feeling of fans in Texas about him.

So it's fitting that Rodriguez will leave the game in a Rangers uniform. He's expected to do that Monday in Arlington.



Colby Lewis
10 5.12 123 158
BAA. Beltre .322
HRA. Beltre 18
RBIA. Beltre 71
RA. Beltre 73
OPSA. Beltre .873
ERAC. Lewis 5.12
SOY. Darvish 182