Sunday, September 27, 2009

By Chuck Richter - Executive Editor

Angels' fans who followed Sean Rodriguez career through the minors have come to love the way Rodriguez played the game and were hopeful he'd be a part of the future with the club at some position on the field for many years.

The Angels having the luxury of a deep crop of talented middle infielders already, combined with a need for a starting pitcher, traded Sean to the Tampa Bay Rays on August 29th. Joe Maddon's Rays seem poised to hand Sean the starting second base position in 2010. Sean clubbed 30 home runs this season, driving in 98 runs, while posting a 1.005 OPS in Triple-A for both the Salt Lake Bees and five games at the end of the season with the Durham Bulls, including a home run for Durham in the Triple-A Championship Game a couple nights ago.

Mike Scioscia was quoted as saying in a pregame chat with reporters in the Angels dugout before the club took on the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field, just a day after Sean Rodriguez was announced as the PTBNL in the Scott Kazmir trade that "They got a really good ball player in Sean Rodriguez, a young man that should help their ball club significantly next season and for many years to come".

Sean Rodriguez was selected by the Angels in the third round (90th overall) of the 2003 First-Year Player Draft out of G. Holmes Braddock (Miami, Fla.) High School.

I have made it no secret that Sean Rodriguez was one of my favorite players in the organization over the last few years. After interviewing Sean back in the spring of 2005 in Tony Reagins' office in Mesa, Arizona, I grew to know a humble, hard working ball player and a man of faith that is thankful for his gift to play the game he loves at such a high level.

On behalf of myself and (especially Chonito), we wish many blessings, health and prosperity to the Rodriguez family going forward. We'll be rooting for you in a Rays uniform whenever you're not playing the Angels.

I was able to get some quick comments from Sean Rodriguez over the weekend. Here's what he had to say about his time with the Angels and the trade that brought him back to the state of Florida, just a few hours north of Miami where he spent the majority of his life growing up.
Q: - What was it like being a part of the Angels organization from the time you were drafted until the time you were traded?

A: Sean Rodriguez - Awesome! Nothing but great things happened there. I improved a lot as a player being with the Angels organization.

Q: - Who had an impact from the Angels organization on Sean Rodriguez from the minor league players, major league players to coaches?

A: Sean Rodriguez - I can't really single out one person because a whole lot of people helped me out. Getting through the minors leagues a lot of people see it like climbing a ladder to get to the big leagues and there was always someone at each step trying to help me get to the next step or to the next level.

Q: - What is your finest moment as a member of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim?

A: Sean Rodriguez - My first day in the big leagues.

Q: - Finally, what are your feelings about being traded and your new team?

A: Sean Rodriguez - Bittersweet. I'm gonna miss all my friends but if this is what God wanted for me then it's probably what's best for me.

Bittersweet indeed! So I leave you all with this song. Go get'em in Tampa, Sean.

Seanbig.jpg picture by chuckster70
Sean Rodriguez with a tag on Giants catching prospect Buster Posey.
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