Ivan Rodriquez didn't have much of a 2011 season playing in only 44 games b/c of an oblique injury. Also, some of the games he was in was as a pinch hitter, not a catcher. He hit only 2 HR's in 111 at bats w/ a BA of about 200.
If I-Rod is healthy, he and Molina can help the Rays w/ their young pitchers. But the question remains if I-Rod can stay healthy and backstop which is a cruelling position to play, especially for a 40 year old.
If I were Stu, I'd invite I-rod to the Trop to see his arm strength, bat speed plus a complete physical before he's signed.
If the guy has the ability to "coach" ... I might consider hiring him as a "player-coach" ... IF ... the position of "player-coach" DOES NOT count against the 25-man or 40-man rosters. Other than that ... and in spite of his accomplishments over a 22-year career ... he's just too old.
As far as I'm concerned, the Rays have two pitchers and two outfielders that they might choose from to trade for a proven catcher. Someone suggested Kurt Suzuki ... and ... since every team is always looking for pitching ... and IF ... the As have a back-up catcher they're happy with and catching talent in their minor league system ... maybe they'd part with Suzuki for, say, a pitcher and an outfielder ... or ... maybe ... a pitcher and some minor league talent ... or ... maybe ... two pitchers. (???)
I wouldn't give up one of my 12 or 13 position-player roster spots for a 40-year-old who clearly appears to be "finished" with his career.
Yeah, maybe still a little better than Shoppach ... but that's really not saying very much.
I'm just generally in favor of bringing in and developing young players rather than making believe you're solving a problem by bringing in old, over-the-hill, physically-limited, and nearly-retired guys to ostensibly fill a gap for a single season ... leaving you with that same gap to fill next season ... and on-and-on.
In this discussion, bringing in a young, unlimited, highly-regarded-yet-payroll-conscious player like Kurt Suzuki ... already on a remaining three-year contract ... is a FAR superior move to bringing in a 40-year-old Ivan Rodriguez ... especially after you've already brought in a 37-year-old journeyman/second-stringer, old-timer, Jose Molina.
Having Suzuki on the team frees the Rays up for three seasons to spend developing a suitable replacement or two ... who may already be in their farm system ... or ... to bird-dog and trade for a young prospect(s) from another farm system ... and ... Molina can remain as back-up to Suzuki and as a mentor to young pitchers. (?)
I dunno. According to some sportswriters ... Suzuki is available ... and ... just as with Damon and Kotchman ... you'll never know whether it's easy or too difficult ... cost-conscious or too expensive ... unless you try! The Rays are clearly hurting at catcher ... and, I think, have been since Navarro's "All-Star Season" ... and ... in my opinion ... they ought to give it a try. (?)
Nothing ventured ... nothing gained.
If the Rays don't do something fairly soon, we may want Pudge Jr. (Navarro)back! He may be a one year deal kind of catcher. Remember his first year here?
Well ... in '08 ... he was an All-Star ... and he hit .295 (470 ABs) for the season! And ... he had .280 and .273 seasons before that!
BUT ... .218 in '09 and .194 in '10 for the Rays ... and ... .193 ... part-time for the Dodgers in '11! The last two seasons ... he posted just about Shoppach-style batting averages!
Don't know what happened to him at the plate ... Maddon definitely disrespected him before the 2010 playoffs ... and he just fizzled out ... but ... I liked the guy ... and I liked his hitting for the Rays in '08!
Originally, he was a Yankees' prospect ... went to the Dodgers ... then the Rays ... then the Dodgers, again ... and has just recently signed a minor league contract with the Reds with an invite to Spring Training. He's had some very tough luck along the way with severe health problems with his wife, son, and mother ... and a pretty horrific car crash caused by a hit-and-run driver. He's been a Tampa Bay "local" for a number of years with a home, I believe, in Riverview.
At one point, in his first stint with the Dodgers, before he was traded to the Rays, he beat out Russell Martin for the Dodgers starting job!
I think it's debatable as to exactly WHO "pulled the stunt" ... i.e. ... who first disrespected whom ... prior to the 2010 playoffs! You know ... you diss and dump on a guy unexpectedly and without warrant ... and ... if he's got any b*lls ... he's probably gonna' diss and dump right back!
In my opinion ... and that of several others I know ... Maddon CLEARLY MISHANDLED the pre-2010 playoffs instance in question. It's one of those situations in which many critics of Mr. Manager Of The Year are probably right!
Remember when the board was gettin on Navarro about 'eatin too many taco's and burritos' and his wife was a problem and Garza unloaded on him in the dugout, then Joe gets on him. He probably thought, he was a third world citizen!
You know ... that "true bi atch" you refer to was given an only 5% chance of surviving brain aneurism surgery ... and you calling ANYBODY'S wife and the mother of two young kids ... one with a life-shortening medical condition ... that kind of name is as base, as classless, and as disrespectful as any supposedly mature, educated, aware and well-bred individual could be.
If I was Mrs. Navarro, I would almost instantaneously sue you for an unbridled defamation ... and ... if I was her husband ... I'd probably seek you out and break your head.
And ... yet ... you try to portray yourself as a "Mr. Perfect" here!
It's sad that an old man has to resort to such long-distance and public character assassination of a woman and mother less than half his own age.
Even at your advanced age, you could probably get a top-shelf (though short-term) job with one of the Republican presidential candidates spewing your style of gutter-tripe about Obama and his wife ... or maybe with one of the rightwingnut radio rockheads!
As long as I've been watchin Joe, he does get pretty 'Quirky' in his decisions. He's always had a fav. or non fav. list of players he will insert or delete from games that seem to be at the least odd at times. His supposed reasoning can be hard to follow in a baseball kind of pattern. I.E. pullin McGee when he's strikin out hitters and replacin him with another reliever that gives up runs like they're 'goin out of style'! Or was'nt it Molina that threw out Upton twice or three times in one game against Toronto and kept him runnin or His fascination with interchangin starting players like there's no end to it? He doesn't believe in usin the Bunt when we got clobbered by the Phillies for doin it to us in the WS game.
I think all that time in Anaheim, he didn't learn very much!
This is just a preamble
oldT, every year is like a Broadway play with different actors. Don't know what your gonna get till the openin act. Even though it keeps the team interestin, it a question mark that keeps poppin up. Last season, the Rays lost the first 8 games out of ST. We got into the playoffs.......barely! There seems to be no stability, cohesion or whatever ya want to call it. Kind of thing that will drive a person nuts. To me its Joe's way of managin. Pretty much screwball if ya ask me!