09/24/2003 4:05 PM ET
Notes: A-Rod takes A-break
OAKLAND -- Alex Rodriguez recognized his limit on Wednesday.
The Rangers shortstop admitted he could use some rest and did not start Wednesday against Oakland, likely ending his consecutive-games-played streak at 546.
"I won't go out and play an inning just to continue the streak," he said. "The streak is not important to me. It never has been."
Rodriguez had appeared in 155 games at shortstop and one at designated hitter this season prior to Wednesday. He had played in all 482 games since joining the Rangers before the 2001 season.
Oakland shortstop Miguel Tejada owns the longest current streak for consecutive games played in the Major Leagues with 591. Rodriguez's streak was second.
"I'm tired, but I feel good," Rodriguez said. "I feel worn down a little bit. I'll take a day today and tomorrow and finish the season strong in Anaheim."
By Jesse Sanchez / MLB.com
Rodriguez and Rangers manager Buck Showalter said the decision not to play was mutual. Showalter brought up the idea to the All-Star after Tuesday's 4-3 loss in extra innings.
"He's played everyday. If anybody deserves a day it will be him," Showalter said. "I've talked to him two or three times and I asked him if the streak was a big deal. And he said the big deal is what's best for the club."
Rodriguez is hitless in his last nine at-bats and went consecutive games without a hit for the first time since Sept. 2-3. He is 6-for-27 in his last seven games and is hitting .233 in his last 20 games.
The shortstop still leads the Major Leagues in home runs with 47 and ranks among the league leaders in RBIs, extra-base hits, walks and on-base percentage. He has 344 of his 345 career home runs at shortstop, one shy of the all-time record held by Baltimore's Cal Ripken. Rodriguez is the second player in Major League history with 40 or more home runs in at least six straight seasons.
"I have not had many players bring what he brings everyday in terms of intensity," Showalter said. "I have never had a day where I felt like he wasn't ready to play or work. I can't say that about many players."
"In a way, it was good to get it over with," Rodriguez said after the game. "I'll come back this weekend and next year to start another streak of a few hundred games. I was definitely available if Buck needed me."
Around the horn:
Catcher Gerald Laird and infielder Mike Lamb are among the 30 professional players invited to the 2003 Olympic Qualifying Team Trials in Phoenix on Oct. 3-23. Laird and Lamb will each be vying for one of the 24 roster spots on the United States Olympic Qualifying Team that will be managed by Frank Robinson at the 2004 Athens Summer Olympic Games. ... Rafael Palmeiro is one of six players to have played in at least 150 games in 14 seasons. Pete Rose, Eddie Murray, Ripken, Hank Aaron and Brooks Robinson also accomplished the feat the at least 14 times. Palmeiro turned 39 on Wednesday.
Jesse Sanchez is a reporter for
MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its