Once-Great Athlete Returns To Play Another Day

You probably thought we were avoiding it today. And you know what? We were going to. I mean, come on - the guy’s way past his prime. Just because he’s going north, back to his old stomping grounds doesn’t mean he’s the same player he was in the ’90s and the earlier part of this decade. The magic is gone at this point; he only looks like the superstar of 10-15 years ago.

Ivan Rodriguez

(This picture sorta ruins the joke.)

Yeah, we said we weren’t going to talk about him, but we just couldn’t help ourselves. And when you consider the guy’s been in the league since 1991 - anytime he changes teams, it’s a big story. So here we are.

The Houston Astros have traded catcher Ivan Rodriguez to the Texas Rangers, the team with whom he won three division titles in the 1990s. Pudge was a mammoth superstar back in those heady (allegedly) steroid-fueled days, and the Rangers were one of the bashingest teams around. Now, skinny old Pudge is just a shadow of his former self, but it’s great he’s able to come home for one last go-around.

From SPORTS ILLUSTRATED’s Jon Heyman:

The Rangers have reached an agreement to acquire catcher Pudge Rodriguez from the Astros, SI.com has learned. The Astros will receive two mid-tier prospects in the deal.

The 37-year-old Rodriguez played for the Rangers from 1991-2002, earning All-Star and Gold Glove honors for 10 consecutive seasons and winning the American League MVP in 1999. Rodriguez helped guide the Rangers to AL West titles in 1996, 1998 and 1999.

What? Who did you think we were talking about?

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