Marc Topkin has a story on Sean Rodriguez and his dad Johnny Rodriguez. The elder Rodriguez is a manager in the Cardinals’ system. And while many dads hope their sons grow up to be big leaguers, Johnny took it to a new extreme with Sean.
Sure, he put in so much time working with his son Sean, making him swing the heavy 30-inch bat with the weighted doughnut as a 4-year-old, throw balls from the outfield fence all the way to the plate at age 8, field hard-hit ground balls until he fell over at age 10.
Was Johnny just an overzealous father that really wanted his son to be a baseball player a little too much? Um, it is much worse than that.
He had pushed him to be better, to be more prepared and more confident than anyone else, saying, proudly, “I always treated him like a player, never as a son.”
The most disturbing thing about that sentence is that Johnny says it “proudly.” Sean will be 25 next month and if Johnny had it to do all over again, it sounds like he wouldn’t change a thing.
And that folks, is effed up.
Let’s just hope for the Rays sake, that Sean Rodriguez doesn’t end up like Todd Marinovic.