Future Hall Of Fame catcher Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez, signed to a quick one-year contract by the dis-Astros at the end of spring training in April, was dealt to the Texas Rangers yesterday for two mid-level minor leaguers. The Rangers are deep into a playoff race (remember those?) and were looking to bolster their depth at the backstop position. Rodriguez will actually be the back-up catcher on the roster, behind daintily named UT ex Taylor Teagarden. (Seriously, open up a bed and breakfast in the Hill Country why don't you?)
The Astros, on the other hand, were looking to shit the bed by taking away one of Hair Balls's favorite catchers ever from Houstonians' loving arms. Each game we watched with Pudge starting behind the plate was a gift. It was a pleasure to see him bring some class to a team that could blow eight-run leads regularly and lose masterfully against an autistic tee-ball team. While in an Astros uniform, he also surpassed Carlton Fisk as the all-time leader in games caught by a major league catcher.
Seriously, P-Rod made our fat little asses want to be a major league catcher when we "grew up," long before we decided that going to concerts every night and drinking bathtub gin would be way more fun. Somewhere at the parents' house is an official P-Rod catcher's mitt. Rodriguez is heading back to the organization he began his major league career with in 1989, catching numerous Nolan Ryan heaters in the process. He left the team in 2003 and subsequently did time with the Florida Marlins, Detroit Tigers and goddamned New York Yankees. This song above stresses why Pudge left us. We should have put a ring on him -- a World Series ring that is. No doubt by mid-October the Astros won't be playing baseball and Hunter Pence will be in Amsterdam looking at all the cool museums.
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