On Tuesday afternoon, the Texas Rangers announced they had traded the Toronto Blue Jays #1 Public Enemy, Rougned Odor to the New York Yankees after they Designated him For Assignment (DFA) in late March after they finally realized he is not a Major League level ball player.
From 2017-2020, Odor had posted a combined batting average of .215, while leading the league in strikeouts in 2019 and also leading baseball in getting caught stealing in 2018. During Spring Training, Odor had an even lower batting average as he hit just 7 for 35 (.200) with eight strike outs. The Rangers finally DFA’d him at the end of Spring Training and eventually traded him to the New York Yankees on Tuesday.
While it is evident he is no longer Major League player, what the Texas Rangers proved in their farewell to Odor is that they are not Major League classy. In a tribute to say goodbye, the Texas Rangers posted a collage of pictures from his career which included his infamous punch he threw at Jose Bautista. A punch that earned him an eight game suspension, and when he needed to be saved by Adrian Beltre.
Immediately after the punch, Bautista took a step back and when he went to engage, Beltre had already arrived at the skirmish and grabbed onto Bautista to hold him from going back at Odor.
I am sure many remember the reasoning behind this pitch was due to the most famous bat flip in baseball history when Bautista hit the eventual series winning home run in the 2015 ALDS. The Rangers had a little pout about it as they felt it was disrespectful for him to show emotion in what would be the biggest home run in his All-Star career.
This punch by Odor has become what appears to be the most famous play by a Texas Rangers player in the last 30 years. Rangers fans and now the organization have immortalized a punch that not only did not knock Bautista down, but required another player to run in and grab him before he could retaliate.
What Blue Jay fans can remember by the Rangers posting that photo, is that in 2015 with them trailing in a best of five series 2-0 they came back to take the series. The following fall, months after the punch, the Blue Jays and Rangers would face off again and this time the Jays would sweep the series on a game winning run that came in on an Odor error.
What is your favorite Rougned Odor memory? I’ll start, his bat flip single in the World Baseball Classic.