Monday, August 15, 2005

Drudge Rodriguez

Is Pudge leaning toward leaving town?

A few months ago, I posted that something was bugging Pudge Rodriguez. I said it seemed to have started during spring training, and had continued into the first several weeks of the regular season. He was more dour and sour and cranky, much more so than last season. And that was before the Tigers traded his friend Ugie Urbina.

Now there appears to be a small storm brewing around the Tigers, and Pudge is in the middle of it, whether he chooses to be or not, and whether it's his doing or not.

Besides the growing feeling among the beat writers that Rodriguez is, in general, unhappy in Detroit, there is also the supposed dissent among the players about the Kyle Farnsworth trade -- allegedly spearheaded by Pudge -- and resentment from his teammates over Rodriguez's trip to Colombia during his four-game suspension, instead of staying home and rooting his guys on.

Rodriguez's comments on these sorts of matters have been icy. "No comment," "Ask the manager", "Ask Dombrowski -- I just play" -- all these have not exactly erased doubts about his contentment in a Tigers uniform. You wonder if he asks himself, on an almost daily basis, "What was I thinking?," in regards to signing with a club that had, the season before, lost 119 games.

Trading Pudge is perhaps an option, although interest in a 33 year-old catcher who will be 34 before next season, and who is making the dough he is making, may not be terribly plentiful. His numbers are okay, but certainly they paled in comparison with some of his All-Star brethren in July. There still hasn't been any definitive explanation for his stark weight loss, either -- not that he owes us one. Just another thing that makes you go "Hmmmm...."

If you read the banner headline in yesterday's Detroit News sports page, manager Alan Trammell will be gone long before Pudge anyhow. Maybe, it was suggested, the catcher's attitude will improve once there is a change in the dugout. Then again, maybe not.

My take? I wasn't convinced Pudge was the same happy camper from a year ago way before this recent nonsense to begin with. Although I support one more year for Tram, I confess it may be best if one of the two left town before the 2006 season.

Who knows? Maybe they'll both be gone.

Stay tuned.....

No comments: