Buried in the press release that the Texas Rangers will induct catcher Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez into the Rangers Hall of Fame is that fellow Puerto Rican Juan Gonzalez is not going in. He "graciously declined" the invite.
Juan did the what to the what to who?
Face, meet spit.
Unless you are being asked to join the Hall of Fame of Evil, you don't say no to a Hall of Fame induction. Ever. Never.
It's as the late Phil Hartman said when he was playing Frank Sinatra: "When someone goes to the trouble to give you an award, you damn well better show up! You don't pull that boycott crap!"
This is just so Juan. It seems that maybe Juan's feelings are (still) hurt because GM Doug Melvin dealt him to the Detroit Tigers in 1999 for pitcher Justin Thompson. Dude, it was 1999. Get over it.
Even though he returned to the Rangers in 2002 and '03, it wasn't the same and he wasn't close to the same player as his days when he was the face of what was then the most successful stretch in club history.
From the time Juan's career began as a 19-year-old with the big league club through the end of the 1999 season, he was a terror of a hitter. In 1998, he hit .318 with 50 doubles, 45 home runs and 157 RBI. He was named the AL MVP in 1996 and '98.
He came back to Texas in 2002 and played through a pair of injury marred seasons with the Rangers; he appeared in 70 games with the Rangers in '02 and 82 games the next season.
Juan played for the Royals in 2004 and one game for the Indians in '05 and then was done.
He is a must have for a Texas Rangers Hall of Fame.
All he needs to do is get over it and accept the invite.
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