Asked by ESPN's Jim Rome what it was he brought to the clubhouse, or what it was the LA Dodgers looked for from him in terms of leadership, Orlando Hudson told the "Rome is Burning" host in a May '09 interview that it wasn't his role to be a vocal leader, "I'm just gonna come in and be myself, Rome. I'm not going come in and try to over speak and step on somebody's toes, I'm gonna come in and be myself with the same smile, go out and play the game the way I know how to play it and have fun and do my best to lead by example."
"All I can do is be there if the young kids need me," Hudson responded when asked about filling the void left by Manny Ramirez's absence due to a 50-game suspension, "...and the young kids we do have with the Russells and the Ethiers and the Loneys and the Kemps, you know, the guys are good, the guys are good, they come to me they ask me certain questions, they ask me certain things, and the same thing I had in Arizona with the Uptons and the Youngs..."
DC GM Mike Rizzo was asked in an early December '09 press conference introducing free agent catcher and future Hall of Famer Ivan Rodriguez to the nation's capital why it was that they'd targeted Pudge:
"Not only his character, his leadership abilities, his track record and the aura that he brings to a clubhouse, but also for the fact that he threw out 38% of the would-be base stealers, which was fourth in all of baseball last year, has a potent bat and we think that there's a lot left in the tank with this particular player."
Rodriguez had an immediate effect on the last two franchises he'd signed with, leading the Marlins to a World Series win in his first season in Florida in 2002 and helping turn things around in Detroit with a Tigers team that went from a 43-119 record in 2003 to a World Series appearance in 2006, three years after he'd joined them as a free agent.
Former Braves, Cardinals, Cubs and Rockies' starter Jason Marquis told MLB.com's Bill Ladson that, in Mr. Ladson's words, he thought he could, "...help Washington's inexperienced staff," by passing on what he'd, "...learned from veterans like Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux, Chris Carpenter and Matt Morris." "Marquis felt he was a mentor to Rockies hurlers Jorge De La Rosa and Ubaldo Jimenez," according to Mr. Ladson, and Marquis was eager to try to help the Nationals change their losing ways:
"Learning from those veterans, learning how to win and recognizing situations, I felt I brought that to the table in Colorado and I really helped ... De La Rosa and Jimenez, who were trying to get over that hump," said Marquis. "I feel I could bring that [kind of leadership] to a team."
Former Pirates' closer Matt Capps told members of the internet media in a conference call which took place shortly after he signed that he'd had Roberto Hernandez to help him early in his career in Pittsburgh, and Capps, who at 26 will be one of the elder statesmen in the DC bullpen, believes he can pass on what he learned to the young arms the Nationals will count on in 2010 and beyond. This is DC GM Mike Rizzo's "type" of player, if he can be said to have one. Pudge Rodriguez may be at the end of his career, but Rizzo thinks he still has a "lot left in his tank" and a Hall of Fame career's worth of advice to draw upon and pass on to his teammates. Marquis has been on both sides of the situation, as young starter surrounded by veterans and as a mentor to a young staff. Orlando Hudson fits the mold, whether or not he'll choose to be a part of what the Nationals are building, he's set to decide soon...