Ivan Rodriguez officially put a bow on his 21-year major league career this evening at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
The 14-time All-Star and 13-time Gold Glove winner was honored during a pregame ceremony, after which he was slated to throw out the ceremonial first pitch to former teammate Michael Young. Pudge walked out to the front of the mound while Young crouched behind home plate. Pretty standard stuff. However, the pair decided to call an audible.
Rodriguez instead went back behind the plate and fired one down to Young, who stood behind second base. You can watch the throw here.
The two words that come to mind are “appropriate” and “awesome.”
Not all players coming in to spring training are in The Best Shapes of Their Lives. Some have put on a few pounds, such as Miguel Sano, notes Twins GM Thad Levine:
Sano has been given medical clearance to engage in all baseball workouts with his teammates, his surgically reinforced left shin now completely healed, though the Twins intend to lighten his schedule to prevent any new injuries.
They’d like to lighten something else, too: His “generous carriage,” as General Manager Thad Levine delicately put it last week. Sano’s conditioning understandably lags, after a winter largely spent incapacitated by the surgery.
Sano’s conditioning has often been a topic of conversation among the members of the Minnesota press corps, though not always in good faith. For example, last year when Sano injured his shin by fouling a ball off of it, one member of the The Fourth Estate found a way to make a column out of blaming the freak injury on Sano’s conditioning. At least in this instance his colleague is correctly noting that the poor conditioning is a result of the injury and not the cause.
Still, it’s just another issue facing Sano this spring. He’s out of shape, coming off of an injury, and — not that he’s due any sympathy for it — he’s facing a likely suspension arising out of the allegations of sexual assault leveled against him late last year.
So this spring we’ll be seeing more of Sano, it seems. At least until that time we’ll be seeing less of him.