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Blog Entry

Rhodes eyes Orosco's longevity record

Posted on: March 12, 2011 12:00 pm
 

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Lefty specialist Arthur Rhodes is apparently just getting revved up.

Fresh from making his first All-Star team last summer, Rhodes, at 41, now has another milestone in sight as he limbers up to help the Texas Rangers defend their American League pennant in 2010.

"I haven't decided how long," I'm going to pitch," Rhodes said here Tuesday. "I keep telling everyone I want to catch Jesse Orosco in appearances.

"That's my goal."

Cool.

Except Orosco is atop the all-time leaderboard with 1,252 career appearances.

Rhodes currently ranks 34th at 849.

"I haven't run into him lately," Rhodes said of Orosco, with whom he played in Baltimore from 1996-1999. "I told him four or five years back that I was going to catch his record.

"He started laughing and said, 'Keep going.'"

So far, Rhodes has. And he's gaining momentum.

The 69 appearances for Cincinnati last summer represented the third-highest total of his career, and the most for a season since 2001, when he pitched in 71 games for Seattle.

Last summer, he became the oldest All-Star "rookie" ever in the National League when he was named to the Midsummer Classic for the first time.

That came after he equaled a major-league record by working 33 consecutive scoreless appearances during the first half of last season.

So, what about it? Can the man who currently stands 403 appearances behind Orosco's record last a few more years and parlay that into an all-time record?

Um, highly doubtful.

Orosco pitched until he was 46. If Rhodes can do the same -- a big if -- he would need to average roughly 67 appearances every season to tie Orosco.

Then again, you know how lefty relief specialists can hang around longer than childhood memories. If he matches last year's workload, Rhodes will leap from 34th to 21st all-time in appearances.

"I think I shocked a lot of people last year," said Rhodes, who signed a one-year, $3.9 million deal with the Rangers this winter. The contract also includes a $4 million option for 2012 that becomes guaranteed if Rhodes makes 62 appearances and is not on the disabled list at the end of the 2011 season. The Rangers are his eighth organization.

"I feel good," Rhodes continued. "Everything feels good. My body feels good.

"I came over here to help them win, to help get them to where they were last year. The only thing you can do is have fun and play hard."

Sunblock Day: Scorching in the desert. Upper 80s. Bring lots of sunblock. And lots of water.

Likes: Texas lefty C.J. Wilson's work ethic. ... Hope closer Neftali Feliz never loses his smile. He's a classy, enigmatic kid. ... Rangers GM Jon Daniels getting a four-year contract extension. One of the game's sharpest executives. ... Retired Trevor Hoffman back with the Padres, but declining to sign one of those one-day contracts so he could retire as a Padre. He's no phony. ... The way fans have enthusiastically embraced the Giants after their World Series win. ... The Drive-By Truckers on Conan O'Brien the other night. ... Oregano's in the Phoenix area. Fabulous thin crust pizza, and the pizza cookie for dessert is a must, too.

Dislikes: Many prayers for Japan and all affected by the earthquakes and tsunami. It's just awful.

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"Do you know where I was at your age?
"Any idea where I was at your age?
"I was workin' downtown for the minimum wage"

-- Arcade Fire, Building Downtown (Antichrist Television Blues)

 

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