14-time All-Star Ivan Rodriguez to announce retirement

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MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan has the scoop: Ivan Rodriguez will retire a member of the Rangers as part of a pre-game ceremony prior to Monday’s game with the Yankees.

Rodriguez, 40, didn’t want to go out yet, but no one offered him a starting job or anything close to it after he hit .218/.281/.323 in 124 at-bats for the Nationals in an injury-plagued 2011 season. Rodriguez was hoping to play another two or three seasons and get to 3,000 career hits. He’ll finish his career at 2,844.

Of course, Pudge didn’t need 3,000 hits to add to his Hall of Fame qualifications. Rodriguez was the 1999 AL MVP, he was named to 14 All-Star teams and he won 13 Gold Gloves. He finishes his career with a .296/.334/.464 line, 311 homers and 1,332 RBI. His 2,427 games caught is a major league record.

Slideshow: Baseball’s greatest catchers

The Angels were the first team to use up all of their mound visits

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Last night’s Angels-Astros game was a long affair with a bunch of homers and the use of 11 pitchers in all. The Angels used six pitchers and all of that business led to plenty of conferences. Six, in fact, which is their allotment under the new rule capping mound visits. As far as I can tell, that makes the Angels the first team to use up all of their mound visits since the advent of the rule.

Sadly, they did not try to go for a seventh, thereby testing the currently unknown limits of the rule. Umpires have been instructed to not allow additional mound visits, but they cannot issue balls or tackle anyone or anything to enforce it. Presumably, if Maldonado had walked out to talk to Cam Bedrosian about the weather or where he was going to dinner after the game, the home plate umpire would’ve simply done the old Robin Williams English policeman’s bit of yelling “Stop! . . . or I shall yell ‘Stop!’ again!” Maybe a fine would issue later, but we’ll never know.

At least until someone breaks the limit. And we know someone will, right? We should have a betting pool on who does it.