ANAHEIM, Calif. — Arthur Rhodes has made the All-Star team for the first time at age 40. The veteran left-hander has been a starter and closer, but has spent most of his career as a middle/late reliever, making his accomplishment as unusual as it is impressive.
In 19 seasons in the big leagues, Rhodes is 83-65 with a 4.07 ERA, but his 1.54 ERA and 0.943 WHIP earned him the nod from NL manager Charlie Manuel. He said on Monday that he has no plans to quit.
“As long as I stay healthy and stay strong, I’ll keep playing baseball,” he said.
Rhodes has numerous family members with him, including his mother, two sisters, a niece and his 16-year-old daughter Jade. Also with him, he says, is his son Jordan, who died of an undisclosed illness in December of 2008 at age 5. Watch the video below as Rhodes talks about his son.
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Padres starter Jered Weaver lasted just two-thirds of an inning in Wednesday afternoon’s Cactus League appearance against the Royals. He yielded four runs on three hits, throwing 31 pitches before getting pulled. His spring ERA now sits at an ugly 10.13.
The Padres signed Weaver to a one-year, $3 million contract last month. The right-hander is coming off of the worst season of his 11-year career. His fastball averaged a career-low 83 MPH and he put up a 5.06 ERA with a 103/51 K/BB ratio in 178 innings.
I hope kids watching the W.B.C. can watch the way we play the game and appreciate the way we play the game as opposed to the way Puerto Rico plays or the Dominican plays. That’s not taking anything away from them. That just wasn’t the way we were raised. They were raised differently and to show emotion and passion when you play. We do show emotion; we do show passion. But we just do it in a different way.
The goal of the World Baseball Classic, created by Major League Baseball, is to promote baseball across the globe. It’s players like Puerto Rico’s Javier Baez who are doing the best job in that regard, not boring white guys from the U.S. Potential baseball fans are not swayed into liking the sport when a player hits a home run and solemnly puts his head down to stroll the bases. They get excited and energized when players show emotion, flip their bats, celebrate. Baez did more to make baseball appeal to new and lapsed audiences with his premature celebration tag than the entire U.S. team has done this tournament.
Furthermore, it is hypocritical to want to diversify the sport’s audience while squelching incoming cultures.
Jim Leyland also got in on the action:
Leyland: "We're trying to make America great again."