Pudge and Miguel

Former teammates who shared a World Series championship together in 2003 got together before Monday night’s game between Venezuela and Puerto Rico.

Ivan Rodriguez and Miguel Cabrera shared a few words during batting practice. They posed for pictures and shared some thoughts.

Cabrera was a rookie for the Marlins in 2003, and Rodriguez was a standout catcher. On Monday night, they were competitors. Cabrera plays for Venezuela and Pudge is on the Puerto Rican squad.

“Cabrera is a nice guy, and he’s a good friend of mine,” Rodriguez said. “He’s a great hitter. He’s got big future. He’s done a lot now.”

Cabrera has emerged into an elite performer since his rookie season.

The two were teammates for a while in Detroit last year before Pudge was dealt to the Yankees.

“He’s a very smart hitter,” Pudge said.

Actually, three former players from Florida’s 2003 title team were in the park. Shortstop Alex Gonzalez with the Reds, made the trip from Sarasota to Miami to watch his native country, Venezuela.

Rodriguez took a few seconds to talk about Cabrera on Monday, a day where he has reached tentative agreement on a contract with the Astros.

I asked him if he is capable of playing 130 games like he did in the past.

He smiled and replied: “No comment.”

Considering he has incentives in his reported $1.5 million contract with the Astros, that number may meet an incentive.

– Joe Frisaro

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