Saturday, February 8, 2014
Lost Customs of 2009: Ivan Rodriguez
When I think about people who should have been on a team I was rooting for long before they actually were, two people usually come to mind: Randy Johnson and Ivan Rodriguez.
By the time Pudge actually got to the Bronx, he was good enough to be a DH at best. No offense to Jorge Posada, but the Yankees would have kicked serious ass with Pudge. Hell, he would have been great on the Phillies as well. Can you imagine if it was Ivan Rodriguez instead of Mike Lieberthal back there for a decade?
But alas, all he amounted to for me was a half-season with the Yanks, and countless seasons playing for teams I despised, including the Marlins, Tigers, and yes, the Rangers. This was in the part of his career where I thought it was graceful landing back in Arlington on the later half of his career, but Pudge would spend two more seasons playing for the Nationals. Even more graceful than landing at your old team: landing at an awful team that'll praise you as their star.
Topps never made a 2009 card of Ivan on the Rangers, because he landed there as part of a waiver deal that shouldn't exist, as they mess up the update set. But they at least manage to ignore his signing with the Nats by giving him a 2010 card as a Ranger. Which...is...nice?
I make these as inconsistently as possible. So expect another one in July.