Tuesday Newsletter time: Jan. 18, 2017, was a Hall of a day for Texas Rangers great Ivan Rodriguez
Five years have passed since Pudge was voted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame by a very small margin.
This was never confirmed, but it’s definitely possible that Ivan Rodriguez sweat more five years ago today than he ever did catching a game for the Texas Rangers.
Rodriguez learned on Jan. 18, 2017, that he received enough votes to be elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Just enough votes.
Pudge appeared on 336 ballots, only four more than the minimum required 75% threshold for enshrinement. It looks like a line drive in the box score, though.
"To be honest with you, I haven't slept in three days. I'm not kidding," Rodriguez said at Globe Life Park shortly after receiving the news. "A lot of good friends telling me you're going to be in, you're going to make it. But at the same time, I was receiving a lot of caution, like if it's not this year, it's next.”
At the time he was voted in, the Rangers were coming off their second straight American League West title. Yu Darvish and Cole Hamels were still on the club, Jeff Banister was still the manager, and Adrian Beltre was two seasons away from retirement.
They’re all gone now, beginning with Darvish. He was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers the day after Rodriguez was inducted to the Hall of Fame. The winning seasons are gone, too.
A sixth straight could be in store, even after the free-agent additions of Corey Seager, Marcus Semien, Jon Gray and Kole Calhoun.
For those wondering, voting for the Class of 2022 will be announced next Tuesday. David Ortiz, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens are above 75% on the ballots that have been revealed so far, but Ortiz might be the only one who gets in.
Beltre will first be eligible in 2024. He might not have to sweat as much as Pudge did five years ago today.
The Rangers have held two mini-camps for their prospects this offseason, one for hitters in December and one for pitchers last weekend.
The camp rosters included the best of the best, except for those who had prior commitments, were coming off the Arizona Fall League or who are on the 40-man roster.
Teams can’t have any contact with 40-man players, nor can 40-man players use team facilities, during the lockout.
Then, there are the 40-man players who were added so that they wouldn’t be eligible for the Rule 5 draft, which must still take place once the lockout is over. They include infielder Ezequiel Duran and right-handers Ricky Vanasco, Ronny Henriquez and Yerry Rodriguez (2020 add).
They have very little chance at making the Opening Day roster this spring, but need every chance that would help them develop. They are missing face-time with coaches and medical personnel that they need to get better.
If the lockout stretches deep into spring training or even into the regular season, that group will get left behind as minor-league camp and the minor-league seasons leave them behind.
Rangers shortstop prospect Josh Smith turned his attention solely to baseball after his freshman year in high school, and it’s clear he made the right call.
The Yankees made him the 67th overall pick in 2019, and Smith is now a top-10 Rangers prospect after being included in the Joey Gallo trade.
At Baton Rouge (La.) Catholic High, he was not among the top running-back prospects, and not because he is 5-foot-8. Catholic was loaded.
“The guy in front of me was a guy named Derrius Guice, who played in the NFL, and a guy behind was Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who’s playing for the Kansas City Chiefs,” Smith said. “I was like, ‘You know what? I’m done. I’m tired of scout team,’ ” Smith said.
All three stayed home for college, going to LSU. Guice found trouble there, being accused of sexual assault, and then was released by the Washington Football Team after being arrested for domestic assault.
The NFL suspended Guice six games in August, but he wasn’t with a team at the time.
Edwards-Helaire is dealing with a shoulder injury and did not play Sunday in the Chiefs’ wild-card win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Smith was on the Texas Rangers Baseball Podcast last week. The Spotify link is that big red thing below.
Of all the different kinds of doggy videos out there, dogs posing for pictures are my favorite. Enjoy. See you Wednesday.