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Pudge Rodriguez to catch Nolan Ryan’s first pitch tomorrow. This bugs me a bit.

Oct 29, 2010, 5:03 PM EDT

Ivan Rodriguez, Ian Desmond

Anthony Andro of the Star-Ledger reports that Ivan Rodriguez is going to catch the first pitch thrown out by Nolan Ryan before Game 3 of the World Series tomorrow.

Look, I know it’s Pudge, and that Pudge will always and forever thought of as a Ranger — and yes, I’m fully prepared to admit that I may be overrating — but does anyone else think it’s, well, sorta wrong for an active player under contract to be participating in pregame ceremonies for another team’s World Series game?

This is not like those situations in which a player — say, Derek Lowe, for example — takes part in his old team’s championship ring ceremony on Opening Day the next season. At least those guys were part of what is being celebrated. Rodriguez had nothing to do with the 2010 Texas Rangers’ success. He was the Nationals’ catcher and remains under contract with them for 2011. In very real terms he was competing against the Texas Rangers in 2010, in the same way all teams are competing with one another for the World Series title. Should he really be shaking hands, doing the photo ops and participating in the ceremony for the Rangers when he’s still a Nat?

I know Pudge is loved in Texas, but until he retires, he’s just a guy the Rangers used to know.  And in some way, this feels like a guy inviting his ex-girlfriend to his wedding.

  1. JBerardi - Oct 29, 2010 at 5:14 PM

    “In very real terms he was competing against the Texas Rangers in 2010, in the same way all teams are competing with one another for the World Series title.”

    Technically true, but practically irrelevant in my view. The whole point of this is that Texas fans will enjoy it. If they don’t care that he plays for the Nats now, I don’t see why anyone else should.

  2. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Oct 29, 2010 at 5:14 PM

    Perfect simile. Who knows, Perhaps Pudge is retiring right before game time?

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Oct 29, 2010 at 5:43 PM

      No way, he’s going to play until he completely breaks down.

  3. andrewkw - Oct 29, 2010 at 5:19 PM

    Didn’t Kevin Millar throw out the first pitch at red sox playoff game when he was still active?

    This doesn’t bother me at all. I could see how it would bother The Nats a bit though. While Pudge hasn’t been a Ranger for some time I’m sure he’s happy for many in the organization including Ryan. Obviously the Ranger fans still love him.

  4. Reflex - Oct 29, 2010 at 5:38 PM

    Uh, I have several ex girlfriends who fully intend to go to my wedding, whenever that happens. They all get along very well with my current girlfriend of several years I might add…

    • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Oct 29, 2010 at 5:48 PM

      mormon?

      • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Oct 29, 2010 at 5:49 PM

        He’s not married to his ex girlfriends, Bravo.

      • jeromebadura - Oct 31, 2010 at 4:30 PM

        Get it right … this has nothing to do with Mormons … I am sick and tired of people throwing out the word Mormon when they have no clue what they are saying. I just happen to be Mormon and there was a time in my life that I lost that membership and I have gone through hell in changing my life to conform to the standards I know to be true. I do take offense to people that just throw out the word and have no clue what it mean or no respect for the people that gave there lives for honoring there value and standards. I would do the same.

  5. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Oct 29, 2010 at 5:44 PM

    One word: Meh.

  6. Richard In Big D - Oct 29, 2010 at 6:32 PM

    I kind of see your point here, but, even though he’s still active, he has a legendary aura about him here. Given the steroid-torched images of the other great Rangers of the 90’s, which inexplicably didn’t seem to affect Pudge, he is probably second in the pecking order of all time most beloved Rangers. He’ll be catching a pitch thrown by the one guy above him. I don’t know what to think about this, but I did have three ex-girlfriends at my wedding, which was the beginning of the most excruciating 6 years of my life…

  7. mplsjoe - Oct 29, 2010 at 6:51 PM

    Think about it from the Nats’ perspective. One of your active players – a guy to whom you’re paying millions and expect to be a big part of your team – is catching a ceremonial pitch for some other team? That would bug the crap out of me if I was working for the Nats. Sure, they have bigger problems about which to worry, but it would still bug me.

    • Panda Claus - Oct 29, 2010 at 9:15 PM

      I can see Craig’s viewpoint, and love that he felt strongly enough about it to put that point in the headline.

      I can also see your point, about him still being a Nats player. Personally it doesn’t bother me, but, if he shows up wearing a uniform (either Nats or Rangers), that part would seem out of place. Him wearing a Texas uniform would probably bother fewer fans, given he played there. But wearing a Nats uni would plain be wrong.

      In the end it probably doesn’t matter if he wears a Rangers hat and warmup jacket. He’ll likely be wearing the Rangers uniform in bronze for perpetuity five or six years after he retires.

  8. Mark Armour - Oct 29, 2010 at 7:56 PM

    This is totally cool. Rodriguez caught Ryan for real of course many times. Great story.

  9. David Wilson - Oct 30, 2010 at 12:01 PM

    As a Nats fan it doesn’t bother me at all. It’s gonna be nice to have our team mentioned during a World Series broadcast because there’s really no other way that’s gonna happen any time soon.

  10. Charles L. Freeman - Oct 31, 2010 at 3:31 PM

    Let’s see, the pitcher the Nationals put their future hopes and prayers on is recovering from career-threatening surgery, a teenager they gave millions to this summer is trying to find himself in the Arizona Fall League and they’re trying to compete in the tough NL East. I’m going to gou wayyyy out on a limb and guess that Pudge’s catching a CEREMONIAL first pitch for the team he’ll someday represent in the HOF, while wearing a 2010 World Series commemorative jacket, is nowhere on the Nationals official “Things To Worry About” list. And, I’ll bet either he and/or MLB officials cleared it with the Nationals beforehand.

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