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 DETROIT (AP) -Ivan Rodriguez played his 2,056th game as a catcher, tying Gary Carter for third on the all-time list, Friday night for the Detroit Tigers against Kansas City.
Carlton Fisk (2,226), Bob Boone (2,225), Rodriguez and Carter are the only other catchers in major league history with at least 2,000 games behind the plate.
Rodriguez started Detroit's turnaround from baseball's laughingstock to AL champions, but it's unclear whether he will be back next season to help the Tigers bounce back from what will likely be a year of watching the playoffs.
The Tigers have a $13 million option for 2008 with a $3 million buyout.
``I don't know what is going to happen,'' the 36-year-old Rodriguez said before the series opener against the Royals. ``I'm just going to play as hard as I can until the end of the season, then I'm going to relax.''
Detroit began Friday 5 1/2 games behind the New York Yankees in the wild-card race and 7 1/2 back of Cleveland in the AL Central.
``We had a lot of injuries that made this not the same team as last year, or what we thought we would have in spring training,'' Rodriguez said. ``In the second half, we just could not overcome all of those things.''
The Tigers were a baseball-best 58-37 on July 21, then they hit a slump that put them fewer than 10 games over .500 by the end of August.
Detroit rallied to pull within 4 1/2 games of the Indians at the start of this week, but saw its postseason hopes dashed by a sweep at Cleveland.
The Tigers gave Rodriguez a $40 million, four-year deal after losing an AL-record 119 games in 2003, and watching him become the MVP of the NL championship series and help Florida win the World Series.
He was an All-Star in each of his four seasons with the Tigers, and earned a spot in baseball's midsummer classic this year for the 14th time, and won two more Gold Gloves.
Willie Mays, Roberto Clemente and Rodriguez are the only three players in baseball history with at least 11 Gold Gloves and a career .300 batting average or better.
Rodriguez hit .300 last season, threw out a baseball-best 51 percent of runners attempting to steal and had a 99.8 fielding percentage that was tied for the best in the majors.
His production has dropped this season, hitting just .276 and throwing out a career-low 28.1 percent of runners trying to steal a base against him entering Friday's game.
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