Rangers notes: Pudge Rodriguez becomes 16th member of team’s Hall of Fame

Posted Saturday, Jul. 20, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Ivan Rodriguez is one of the most beloved players in Texas Rangers history, and his induction into the team’s Hall of Fame simply cemented that.

Rodriguez received a warm standing ovation as he was introduced as the 16th member of the Rangers Hall of Fame on Saturday, and he got another standing ovation after his speech.

Rodriguez’s accomplishments speak for themselves: the 1999 AL MVP award, 13 Gold Gloves, 14 All-Star Games, seven Silver Sluggers and a World Series ring with the Florida Marlins in 2003.

“The Rangers are a very special place for me,” Rodriguez said. “They taught me how to play the games, how to receive, how to throw, how to hit a baseball. They gave me the opportunity when I was 19 years old to play in the big leagues.”

The Rangers signed a 16-year-old Rodriguez out of Puerto Rico in 1988, and he made his debut midway through the 1991 season. He spent 13 of his 21 seasons with the Rangers, is second in club history in hits (1,747) and doubles (352), and retired with the team in April 2012.

Nolan Ryan and Rusty Greer shared their memories of being teammates with the man affectionately known as “Pudge.”

“He deserves to be in the Hall of Fame,” Greer said. “He brought an intensity to the clubhouse, in the lineup and in the game. We knew we could count on him every day.”

The pregame ceremonies also included a tribute to former owner Brad Corbett. Corbett, a Fort Worth businessman who died in December, owned the team from 1974-80.

Berkman won’t do rehab

Lance Berkman made his feelings perfectly clear about the possibility of going on a medical rehabilitation assignment whenever he’s deemed ready to play.

“I don’t need to do it, and I’m not going to do it,” said Berkman, on the disabled list with left hip inflammation. “I’ve been on plenty of rehab assignments and I can’t stand them. It’s a no-win situation. It won’t take more than a game or two to get my timing back. It’s not like I’ve had great timing all year. Maybe it would be right on.”

Berkman, 37, has the right to decline a rehab assignment because of his service time. He took swings for the second consecutive day Saturday but won’t be ready to return when he’s eligible to come off the disabled list Monday.

Berkman was batting .176 over his last 20 games before landing on the DL. Manager Ron Washington wasn’t ready to weigh in on Berkman’s statement on a potential rehab assignment.

“When he’s ready, we’ll deal with it,” Washington said.

Ogando ready

Alexi Ogando declared himself ready to make Tuesday’s start against the Yankees after throwing about 50 pitches in a bullpen session Saturday.

“It’s good. I have no pain,” said Ogando, rehabbing from right shoulder inflammation.

Ogando has been on the DL since June 6 and has made three medical rehabilitation starts, including a seven-inning outing for Triple A Round Rock on Thursday.

Lewis progressing

Colby Lewis is nearing the one-year mark of undergoing surgery to repair a torn flexor tendon in his right elbow. He has had a difficult recovery schedule so far but believes he’s turned the corner.

Lewis had no issues during a bullpen session Friday and is ready for his next rehab start with Double A Frisco on Monday. He is expected to throw 60-65 pitches.

“This is the best I’ve felt,” Lewis said. “There’s no atypical soreness.”

Briefly

• Nelson Cruz returned to the lineup Saturday after missing a game with a migraine headache. Cruz was sent home Friday to rest and said the migraine went away around noon Saturday.

• Justin Grimm said he has no lingering effects after leaving his last start with tightness in his right forearm. However, he is now in the bullpen as the team’s long reliever. “I have to be ready when the ball is handed to me,” Grimm said. “All I can control is when I’m handed the ball.”

• Ian Kinsler set the franchise’s all-time hit-by-pitch record on Friday when he was plunked in the ninth inning. It marked the 55th time in his career, passing Rafael Palmeiro.

Drew Davison, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @drewdavison

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