The Rangers have announced that they will retire Ivan Rodriguez’s No. 7 on August 12. Pudge will be inducted into the Hall of Fame a couple of weeks before that.
Rodriguez played for six different teams, but 13 of his 21 seasons came with the Rangers and his best seasons certainly did too. In a Rangers uniform he hit .304/.341/.488 with 217 of his 31 big league homers and 10 of his 13 Gold Gloves.
The Rangers have only retired two other numbers: Nolan Ryan’s 34 and Johnny Oates’ 26. Pudge will be the third.
Roger Clemens will be an analyst for ESPN when the defending World Series champion Houston Astros host the Chicago White Sox on opening day.
Clemens made four appearances on last year’s KayRod Cast with Michael Kay and Alex Rodriguez. He will be stepping in on March 30 for David Cone, who will be doing the New York Yankees opener against the San Francisco Giants on YES Network.
“Roger has been sort of a friend of ours for the last year, so to speak, he’s in. He’s been engaged, knowledgeable and really present,” said ESPN Vice President of Production Phil Orlins. “You know, whatever past may be, he’s still tremendously engaged and he really brought that every time he was with us.”
Clemens was a seven-time Cy Young winner but his career after baseball has been tainted by allegations of performance-enhancing drug use. He is a Houston native and pitched for the Astros for three seasons.
Orlins said that with the rules changes and pitch clock, it is important to have a pitcher in the booth with Karl Ravech and Eduardo Perez.
“We don’t feel like we have to have the dynamic of Eduardo with a pitcher, but we certainly think that works. Throw in the added factor of rule changes and it is better to have a batter-pitcher perspective,” Orlins said.
Orlins did not say if this would open the door for future opportunities for Clemens as an ESPN analyst.