Finally, at 40, Rhodes gets to be an All-Star
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Arthur Rhodes recently got summoned to manager Dusty Baker’s office for the news: The Cincinnati Reds were trading him to the New York Mets.
It was a joke. Yet, the way his journeyman career has gone, Rhodes believed it. And why not?
“He already had the team picked out,” Rhodes said. “I was a little emotional.”
Then Baker gave Rhodes the real message. He was going to a new team, all right — his first All-Star team, at age 40.
The reliever is still receiving and responding to congratulatory text messages from former teammates and friends around the majors.
Everybody seems to be thrilled for Rhodes, who thought he would be picked to pitch in a Midsummer Classic well before his 19th big league season. Like in 2001, when the left-hander went 8-0 for Seattle, with five of those wins before the break as the Mari- ners rolled to an AL-record 116 victories. Or during his 10-4 campaign in 2002.
“I didn’t know it was going to take this long,” Rhodes said. “Now it’s 2010 and I made it, and I’m so proud of myself. I’m 40 years old and I go out there and work hard every day. It was a long time, but now I’m here, and I’m happy.”
Rhodes, 3-3 with a 1.54 ERA in 41 outings for the Reds this year, fought emotion as he described what it’s like to finally be suiting up alongside the game’s biggest names for the All-Star game.
He’s come a long way from his early days in Baltimore when there were questions whether he would last for the long haul — and, if so, in what role. Starter, long man, closer, he’s handled every job there is. He was willing to do anything asked of him to keep his place.
Six teams later, at the tail end of a career that began inauspiciously with the Orioles back in August 1991, Rhodes can forever call himself an AllStar. It’s obvious he’s one of the happiest guys here.
“This whole experience is wonderful. I’m soaking it all in,” he said. “I’m having the best time of my life right now. I’m just going to enjoy every moment that I can.
“But I really hope I get a chance to pitch. That would be the icing on the cake.’’
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Arthur Rhodes is 3-3 with a 1.54 earnedrun average this season, his 19th in the major leagues.