Welcome to Cooperstown, Ivan Rodriguez: The catcher no one could escape
You've probably heard the Johnny Cash song "God's Gonna Cut You Down." After all, it's not an uncommon walk-up song. But did you know that it's actually about one Ivan, AKA Pudge, Rodriguez? It's true. Let's just do a little find-and-replace in the first verse here:
Pudge led the American League in caught stealing percentage nine times between 1992 and 2006, so in honor of his arm, his record 2,427 games caught and oh, his recent election to the Hall of Fame, it's time to watch him cut some runners down.
Pudge vs. Ken Griffey Jr.
Now, there's no trial by combat to get into the Hall of Fame. You don't have to defeat a current HOFer to get in yourself. It doesn't hurt, though. Here's Rodriguez throwing one of last year's inductees out at second, all the way back in 1992:
Pudge will ruin your hit-and-run
Hit-and-run plays are always high risk, but sometimes it's worth it. That said, your odds of success go way, way down when Pudge is behind the plate. Watch him spoil an attempt in this Cardinals-Nationals game from 2010:
Just to clarify, Rodriguez is not the one in trouble here. Let's look at this Astros-Cardinals game from 2009. Jose Valverde struck out Albert Pujols, and then Pudge got Ryan Ludwick at second base:
Better call the Avengers
Because even Captain America can't beat Pudge:
And now, just for kicks, two more videos of Rodriguez nailing the runner at second:
Pudge takes down Brian McRae (1994)
Sorry, Starlin (2010)
Welcome to the Hall of Fame, Pudge.