Detroit Tigers fans are irritated with ace Eduardo Rodriguez. Not because of anything he has done on the pitching mound, but what he chose to do off the diamond on Tuesday.
The Tigers and president of baseball operations Scott Harris had a trade in place that would have shipped Rodriguez to the Los Angeles Dodgers for undisclosed prospects. But, ERod nixed the deal, using the veto power written into his contract.
Reportedly, the Dodgers and many other Western Coast teams are on that list.
Detroit sports fans and some area sports “experts,” are in a tizzy over ERod’s decision to scrap the trade. They wanted something for the lefthanded pitcher, who many feel will opt out of his contract at the season’s end. ERod can do that, or he can exercise his right to stay in Detroit and play out the remaining five years of his deal. But, given Rodriguez’s success in 2023, many feel he will test the free agent market again this offseason.
But what if that’s not what Rodriguez wants at all? Given his decision to veto a deal to the first-place Dodgers, it seems ERod may have plans that few have given thought to.
Maybe Rodriguez likes Detroit? Maybe he wants to stick in the Midwest with a team where expectations are not outrageous, where the media doesn’t hound players like they do on the coasts.
Last season, Rodriguez drew the ire of Detroit fans when he left the team for several weeks in midseason for personal reasons. For close to two months, ERod was not to be found. In fact, the Detroit front office even admitted they couldn’t always communicate with their pitcher.
It was revealed last season that Rodriguez was dealing with a personal family matter. He chose to leave his career to address whatever issues were present in his personal life. For that, I commend ERod. It didn’t endear him to many Tigers fans, but I get it.
Isn’t Rodriguez simply making a family decision again this season, by vetoing the trade to the Dodgers? Sure, it irritates fans who want to get some young players to help the future of the franchise. But, ERod has a contract, one he’s earned. And he has every right to exercise his rights on that contract. It seems once again the Tigers lefty is placing family ahead of himself, his team, and his bank account.
Who is to say ERod won’t do that again this offseason? If he’s honest with himself, he knows he’s a fragile pitcher who plays for a team that’s supported his decisions to repair whatever issues he’s had in his own family. That’s rare in sports. So, why not stick in Detroit, and show the fans in Michigan just how good he can be, as a pitcher and a person?
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