Ivan Rodriguez—you're allowed to call him Pudge, I think—has retired, leaving fans of Hall of Fame discussions with a relatively boring case to make. He was great, and he's going in—FanGraphs has him at 73.9 wins above replacement, where anything over 55 is going to get a catcher, with their short careers and seasons, spoken fondly of. It's easy to just remember Pudge Rodriguez as the glorified backup he's been since 2007, but he's got peak and career—he accrued 30 WAR between 1996 and 2000, with another 5 WAR season directly following, thanks in large part to his outstanding defense.â†µ
I don't think there are many people on the Yadier Molina Hall of Fame bandwagon anyway, but it just shows how great I-ROD was—Molina's best five year run right now, pending a great-looking 2012 season that would probably kick out his 2.0-WAR 2007, is 16.8. And that was worth five years and $75 million.
Catching is difficult. Here's to Ivan Rodriguez, who managed to do it while hitting .296 and slugging .464.â†µ