John Rodriguez signed a minor-league contract with Tampa Bay on Friday.
It was reported on a single line under transactions in the sports section. But there was a time when people around here thought this kid would make headlines.
Rodriguez signed with the Yankees out of Louis D. Brandeis High School in Manhattan after an open tryout. Back then it looked like he might make it all the way to Yankee Stadium one day.
Sometimes a ballplayer stays on course, but usually they get stuck at the back of the bus as their life cuts through every minor-league town.
Rodriguez did time in Greensboro and Tampa and Norwich and Columbus before his Yankee dreams died. Then he moved on to Buffalo and Memphis before he got a chance with the St. Louis Cardinals.
He won the World Series with the Cardinals in 2006 and they even started calling him J-Rod. But nothing lasts in baseball and he was back in Memphis last year when a knee injury knocked him out in July.
He spent most of this winter with the Caribes de Anzoategui in the Venezuelan Winter League and now he’s with a new organization just a couple of weeks from his 30th birthday.
It starts with a minor-league contract that might take him all the way to the big leagues with Tampa Bay and maybe even to Yankee Stadium one of these days.