The Texas Rangers have reached out to Alex Rodriguez, after a winter filled with trade talks, and discussion of A-Rod's strained relationship with Texas manager Buck Showalter. In fact, at a press conference yesterday, Showalter named Rodriguez the captain of the Rangers.
Having a formal captain of a baseball team isn't something that's ingrained into the sport, like it is in hockey. In the hockey world, wearing a C on your sweater is a hell of an honor, and carries with it some formal responsibilities, such as dealing with officials in games, as well as some informal one. Captains are expected to be team leaders, and deal with on- and off-ice issues, as well as talking with the media as sort of a team spokesman.
In baseball, most teams don't have captains, per se. Every team has a leader, a personality that dominates the clubhouse and gives the team a public face. But to call a player a captain, that's something else. The Yankees have done it for years, only tapping a player they deem worthy. Right now, it's A-Rod's buddy Derek Jeter.
So, what does it mean that Rodriguez is now the captain of the Rangers? Frankly, not much. He was already the key man there, and will be for the duration of his time there. He'll likely be there after Showalter is long gone.
It's a nice honor, and feeds into Rodriguez's sense of history, but in the final analysis, it seems like a move to heal hurt feelings more than anything else.