Former catcher for the Texas Rangers Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez waves to the fans as he walks out to catch the ceremonial first pitch from Rangers team President Nolan Ryan. (Photo by Brian Snyder-Pool/Getty Images)
Enjoy your weekend, friends. Pro-tip: limit your heart's investment in the Cubs on Fridays and Saturdays, and you'll enjoy the weekend even more.
- Ivan Rodriguez is officially calling it a career, and what a career it's been. Pudge Rodriguez was one of the most productive catchers in baseball history, and, for a very long time, the best defensive catcher, too. In all, Rodriguez, who'll have a press conference on Monday, won 13 Gold Gloves, had 2,884 hits and 311 homers, and caught more games than anyone in history. You can reserve his spot in Cooperstown now. Rodriguez spent 12 of his 21 seasons in Texas, but, strangely I think of him as a Marlin. Given that he spent just one season in Miami, I can't imagine why I picture him as a Marlin (and then get very angry) ...
- Commissioner Bud Selig is now openly stumping for a new stadium for both the Tampa Bay Rays and the Oakland Athletics. The Rays have wanted a new stadium for years, but the intercity politics of Tampa Bay and St. Petersburg have largely scuttled plans. The A's, on the other hand, have an area that would ostensibly be willing to build them a new stadium (San Jose), but the San Francisco Giants have opposed the A's stepping on their apparently God-given turf. Selig acknowledges that figuring out the A's situation is a sticky wicket, but says figuring it out is a necessity. "The one given everybody believes is that Oakland needs a new stadium," Selig said. "The last time I was there, I probably shouldn't say this, but I'll say it anyway, it reminded me of County Stadium and Shea Stadium, and that's not a compliment, in either case .... You can't ask people to compete if they have a stadium that doesn't produce any kind of revenue to give them a chance to compete. So that's a given."
- Curtis Granderson got everyone all hot and bothered for about 45 minutes last night after he'd homered three times by the fourth inning. He didn't homer the rest of the way, much the disappointment of those hoping to see history, and instead "only" went 5-5 with three homers. He'll take it.
- Indians closer Chris Perez was fined $750 by MLB for tweeting "you hit us, we hit you" in reference to an Indians/Royals brawl earlier that day. That seems relatively innocuous and Perez was fined more than Jack Hannahan, who was kicked out of the game. Perez had me on his side ... and then he blows it by pulling out the "freedom of speech" card, where it totally and completely doesn't apply: "It's freedom of speech. I felt I was within my rights as an American." New law: every celebrity, athlete, pundit, and any other person who has a platform on which to say things to the world at large must take a 20 minute class and have "freedom of speech" explained to them.
- The family of a four or five year-old boy was booted from the White Sox/Orioles game yesterday after the boy ran out onto the field. It was determined that the parents didn't do enough to discourage the boy from running onto the field, and that's why they got the boot.
- Padres pitcher Dustin Moseley is probably going to have to have shoulder surgery.