Here is a letter I just sent to Mike Rizzo, the General Manager of the Washington Nationals. I don’t know if it will generate any results, but I thought I’d share with you all regardless.
I am writing you this letter as an ardent baseball fan, a loyal Nationals follower and a proud Puerto Rican. It has been wonderful following the career of future Hall-of-Famer Iván Rodriguez for the past twenty years, and especially since he signed with the Nationals in 2009. Despite his recent injuries, Iván has been an asset to your team both on and off the field, and has served as a first-class mentor for young catchers like Wil Nieves, Jesús Flores and Wilson Ramos.
One thing you have to accept as a baseball fan is that players are human; they suffer injuries, they get old, and they eventually need to retire. But one of the things that both players and fans deserve is to have their favorite player go out with dignity and respect.
While no one knows if Iván Rodriguez will play next year (it’s clearly evident that the Nationals are not interested in renewing his contract, with Flores and Ramos playing respectably), we “Pudge” followers are preparing for the worst.
We understand Iván’s desire to reach 3,000 hits so he can accompany his fellow countryman, Roberto Clemente, on the short list of baseball players who have accomplished this milestone. Despite Iván assuring everyone that he still has “a lot of baseball left” in him, we are a little pessimistic/realistic and will understand if no one signs him during the off-season.
Davey Johnson has expressed that Iván has “nothing to prove” and will definitely be a “first-ballot Hall-of-Famer,” but this does not make it justifiable to not have Iván start a game or two before the end of the season. If Iván does have to retire, we “Pudge” fans will not have the opportunity to see him behind the plate one last time.
Our last recollection of him catching would be from last June, and it’s not fair to him or to his followers that he not be given one more opportunity to showcase his throwing arm and his command of pitchers.
Therefore, I am asking that you please consider starting Iván Rodriguez one last time, preferably at home, where he can get the recognition and respect that he truly deserves. It would put fans like myself in the seats of NationalsPark and would make us Puerto Ricans proud once again to see a player of Iván’s caliber wearing the curly “W.” Please share my desire with Davey Johnson and help us and Iván finish off this season on a high note.
About the Author
Written by Marien Hornyak
I was born and raised in Puerto Rico but have lived in the continental US for 22 years. I have a BS in Athletic Training and a MEd in Sport Management, where I did my thesis on "The History of Baseball Litigation." I am a wife, mother of 2, and self-proclaimed "Baseball Nerd." My favorite baseball players include Roberto Clemente, Kirby Puckett, and Iván Rodriguez.