I’ve always enjoyed rooting against Pudge Rodriguez. He makes a good villain. It starts with the eyebrows, arched in a comically sinister fashion. Pudge is both good-looking and almost grotesque, he’s like a Warner Bros. cartoon come to life–a bona fide Taz Devil. On the field, he’s a "winner," a guy who helped the Marlins win a World Series and later, helped put the Tigers back on the map. He’s a Hall of Fame catcher, not just a great fielding catcher in his day, but a legendary one. He’s also a guy who likely took performance-enhancing drugs when he was with the Rangers. He’s never been busted, but you have to figure he just turned out to be one of the lucky ones.
Still, he’s an entertaining player to watch. He might not be as strong defensively as Jose Molina, but he’s still a presence out there. Plus, he’s charismatic. I don’t think any of us would be surprised to see him collect some big hits in August and September.
So, I’m pleased to see him on the team, warts and all. And while I’m not sorry to see Kyle Farnsworth’s time with the Yankees come to an end, I was moved by his show of emotion yesterday. I felt for the big lug, which is basically how GM Brian Cashman portrayed him–as a good guy. I’ve always been so frustrated by his performance that I never paid much attention to his personality. He wasn’t effusive with the press so it was really hard to tell if he had one.
Now, he’s gone. One big, bad guy out, another bad guy in.