Pudge Rodriguez: Gearing High For The World Baseball Classic

Special For The Puerto Rico Daily Sun

 MIAMI- There is no doubt that if Ivan Rodriguez calls it quits right after the upcoming World Baseball Classic he will be a shoo-in to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. Without doubt he can be called the greatest catcher ever to play as a Major Leaguer. He is considered by many fans to be the best catcher in the current era and many of those rank him as one of the best catchers of all-time. The proof is in the record books.
The dilemma is that Pudge have make clear is not time yet to hang on his spikes. He wants to extend his career one more to his 20th season. The problem is there is no employer in the distance calling for his services and with spring training already started there are no bright lights in the horizon.
“We’ve gone around and around with it”, Larry Beinfest said. “This guy’s available. Does he fits in our club ?
Since the long gone winter time, rumours have fly over and over that the best fit for Rodriguez is the Florida Marlins. However according to Beinfest, Marlins’ President of Baseball Operations, he is pretty convince that the realistic scenario for the 2009 season in charge of the catching duties will be the young tandem of John Baker and Mike Rabelo.
“That’s kind of the way we’ve tried to filter it out. I can say right now I would not rule anything out”, Beinfest said.
However in the South Florida spring breezes, the winds are blowing that the only way possible Rodriguez will be sign by the Marlins is if he accepts a second-string job as a platoon for prospect Baker and take a huge cut in his salary base. Money talking  no more than a million a year.
For Marlins fans, the Vega Baja native have never been forgotten. In 2003 he was one of the main pillars of the World Championship team. Not forget he was the MVP of that National League Championship Series. And more over a mentor to the young staff of such names as Josh Beckett, Brad Penny and Dontrelle Willis. A trio of All-Stars not longer in the Florida teal uniform.
However this is not 2003. It is 2009. The Marlins are as usual in rebuilding process, a young team that possibly can challenge to a wild card berth and as usual crying poor.
For the 1999 American League MVP is not easy news to swallow. After all he is a 14 time All-Star; 13 time Gold-Glover and a .306 carrer batting average player.
On his side are campaigning all his fellow Puerto Rico teammates. They all believe the 37-year old veteran deserves one more season under the major league sun. Most recently Carlos Delgado and Carlos Beltran requested the New York Mets management to give him an opportunity as part of a team that is looking to comeback from two year in a row in total failure of winning the National League East Division.
For Rodriguez the World Baseball Classic will be his Broadway. He have to win a Tony Award. Or in the movie industry, an Oscar preformance. Or for a singer a Grammy Award demostration.
As for Ivan Rodriguez his quest will start on March 7 at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan. Puerto Rico begins play against Panama.


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