Tag:Cincinnati Reds
Posted on: February 9, 2011 7:32 pm
Edited on: February 9, 2011 7:43 pm
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Woodjock on hold while Peavy focuses on pitching

While White Sox right-hander Jake Peavy concentrates on regaining his health this spring, Woodjock will be placed on ice.

Dreamed up by Peavy last spring, Woodjock 2010 was a fundraiser that allowed major league players to play out their rock and roll fantasies. Peavy, Bronson Arroyo, Bernie Williams, Barry Zito, Aubrey Huff, Gordon Beckham, Tim Flannery and others all participated in the Scottsdale, Ariz., concert last March that raised money for Team Focus, Strikeouts for Troops, Autism Speaks and White Sox Charities through the Jake Peavy Foundation.

There was supposed to be a Woodjock 2011, too.

"As cool as it was, as much as I love it, I didn't want any distractions," Peavy told me this week. "I didn't want any distractions for the team or for my teammates.

"I want them to know I'm sold out to the cause. I'll bypass Woodjock this year and it will return bigger and better next year."

About 1,200 people attended last spring's fundraiser. The way Peavy figured it, all sorts of athletes put on charity golf tournaments. But you don't often see a ballplayer hosting a charity concert.

But, alas, with Peavy returning from major arm surgery, he intends to direct all of his energy to the field this spring and low-key everything else.

"We'll have some troops out, still, and we'll have a nice dinner," says Peavy, whose charity work with the military started when he played in San Diego.

As for Woodjock, Peavy says, "Stay tuned for 2012. We're going to bring the house down."

Likes: Pitchers and catchers reporting means spring is right around the corner, doesn't it? Check back here beginning next week to join me for the annual Camp Tours. We'll move from clubhouses to batting cages to restaurants and roadside Dairy Queens with the greatest of ease. ... What a fun story San Diego State basketball has been this winter. Can't wait for the SDSU-Brigham Young game on Feb. 26 on CBS.

Dislikes: Contract stories. I know it's an essential part of today's game. But when the Cardinals and Albert Pujols are bickering over what will wind up being a contract in the neighborhood of $300 million ... and when the overwhelming odds are that he will stay in St. Louis ... well, let's just cut to the end story, sign the contract and move on.

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"Don't want to be an American idiot
"One nation controlled by the media
"Information age of hysteria
"It's calling out to idiot America"

-- Green Day, American Idiot

Posted on: November 23, 2010 6:16 pm
 

Love Letters: Fixing the Mets Edition

Meet the Mets, greet the Mets ... and we did both with their new manager Terry Collins. ...

FROM: Greg K.
Re.: Mets complete clubhouse makeover with Collins hire

Scott,

As a Mets fan, thank you - THANK YOU - for injecting a dose of sanity into the fan and media reaction to the Terry Collins hiring. Reading some of the drivel put out there in the last 18 hours I don't want to mention any names, but ... it makes you wonder whether any objectivity or logic, or intelligence, or consideration, or patience is even possible when writing about the Mets anymore. It's refreshing to actually see some intelligent analysis rather than the knee-jerk mentality which has overtaken much of the media -- and the die-hards -- when it comes to the Mets. Keep it up!

It's the Mets. They've come to specialize in knee-jerk, haven't they?

FROM: Jack H.

Another retread. It will take a miracle. Collins needs to get the team to do a 180. Personally, I would have given Wally Backman a one-year contract. I think he would have taken it. I just wouldn't make the contract public because I wouldn't want the team to know it was only for a year. That team needs a kick-ass manager and I don't see that from Collins.

What's your definition of a "kick-ass" manager? In many ways, Collins is or could be that guy. I think you're on the right track in some areas, but I disagree on the one-year deal. Nothing is secret anymore. It would leak. And you cannot have a rookie manager on a one-year deal. That's a neon sign to the clubhouse that he does not have authority.

FROM: Finbar

Scott:

From your own article, I give you the following: "When we last saw Collins in a big-league manager's chair, the late-'90s Angels were blowing up around him in spectacular fashion. The Mo Vaughn free agent signing was a colossal mistake, the clubhouse was rife with dissension, everybody hated everybody and Collins' spirited ways were a daily dose of salt to what was an open and festering clubhouse wound. Something had to give, and it was Collins. He lost the clubhouse, then his job."

Your words, and if true, this cannot be a good candidate for a job in NY. Especially with 10 years of a lack of managing. This team needs a cultural, not logistical, change. Can Collins deliver such a thing? Anyone who ever lost a clubhouse is problematic particularly in NY/NJ. If he lost a team out west, how will he regain a team in New York? Fair question, I think!Share thoughts!

It is a very fair question. And it is a key question. I also wrote that Collins is a smart man and should have been able to figure some things out in his decade away from managing -- where he went wrong with the Angels, what he could have done differently. To me, his success depends directly on this. He's a smart man. If he's learned a few things, he will do just fine in New York. If he proves incapable of learning what he needed to, then Sandy Alderson will be looking for a new manager sooner rather than later.

FROM: Frank D.

Though I would have preferred Wally Backman, I like the hire. Here's why: Collins knows the Mets farm system. You will see more young players this year and he knows them. Collins will be better equipped to understand how to use them. Jerry Manuel didn't have a clue.

Also, Collins will not tolerate any garbage. That means malcontents like Carlos Beltran. If he's here, he won't be tolerated. He'll be unafraid to sit those who jake it. This certainly signals Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez have no place here. It's a matter of time before they're eradicated. Collins is IMO keeping the seat warm for Backman. Wally will manage St. Lucie, then perhaps be moved up to Binghamton or Buffalo.

Terry is a transition guy and is here to clean up Omar Minaya's and Manuel's mess, and leave it [better] for the next guy. He's a good company guy and he's a decent manager (444-434). Since the end of the year, the Mets have rid themselves of incompetents like Minaya and Manuel. They've added a real brain trust in Alderson, J.P. Ricciardi and Paul DePodesta. Collins in in that vein. He's cerebral and professional.

Now the four of them have to turn their efforts towards dumping the garbage. I think they'll surprise some people how much they can do. I'm hoping they'll make trades and have free-agent signings, not to make a splash on the back pages of the dying newspapers, but ones that actually make the team better. My guess is unlike Minaya, they'll have a plan. A real plan. I'm actually very happy with what has occured. I'm looking forward to 2011 and hopefully a team that cares and shows respect for the game and fans.

Well played, Mr. Frank. You're last sentence summarizes things nicely.

FROM: Wesley Kempton
Re.: Anderson's passing sparks many wonderful baseball memories

Mr. Miller,

I am a senior Communications major at the University of Wyoming. Wyoming is a place so far from baseball and the rest of the world that it is somewhat a haven for what baseball used to be. Everyone everywhere can get baseball on TV, but when you are so far from the game, you are left to romanticize as in days of old through radio, great play-by-play, and great writing.

I have a heartfelt appreciation for baseball; for the way it is and the way I imagine it used to be. I appreciate the noble simplicities of baseball and all things associated with it. More than anything, and I think all baseball fans can agree to this: I appreciate people sharing memories of baseball. It is a bond that can nostalgically unite many fans of summer's greatest companion.

It is for that that I thank you for your piece on Sparky Anderson. My Dad lived in Southern Ohio in the '50s, '60s and '70s, and my bedtime stories were about a Big Red Machine. The greatest team ever, he told me. My opinion of that declaration is still in deliberation, but I still love hearing those fairy tales. My father sent me the link to this column. A lifelong Reds fan, and a lifelong Sparky fan, he and I shared a smile through your column, several hundred miles apart.Thank you very much for continuing this bond of baseball.

Your father sounds like a wonderful man, Wesley. Thanks for sharing this story, and best of luck in Wyoming and beyond.

 

Posted on: September 29, 2010 1:45 am
 

Hitless Padres threatening to go out with whimper

SAN DIEGO -- Adrian Gonzalez made a bold prediction on Sept. 15, after his squad took two of three in Colorado: If the Padres scored four or five runs a game the rest of the way, they would win the NL West.

Since then, the numbers have conspired badly against Gonzalez and his Padres.

They have mustered just four or more runs only five times in 12 games since that day.

In those five games, they're 4-1.

In the seven games in which they've scored three or fewer, the Padres are 1-6.

Emphasizing the struggle, San Diego has managed only a total of four runs over its past 27 innings.

Since Aug. 24 in spacious Petco Park, the Padres are 0-9 when they allow four or more runs at home.

San Diego's 5-2 loss to the Cubs on Tuesday night was devastating to the Padres not just because they now trail the Giants by two games in the NL West and Atlanta by 1 1/2 games in the wild-card chase. No, the loss also was devastating in the method.

The normally sure-footed Padres committed three errors. Mat Latos failed to field a ball in the fifth and, three batters later, Miguel Tejada, ranging into the hole to field Starlin Castro's grounder, threw the ball into the dugout when he had no play.

Gold Glover Adrian Gonzalez booted a ground ball in the seventh and failed to cover first base on a play in the ninth (second baseman David Eckstein threw to pitcher Edward Mujica for the out as Gonzalez stood frozen, watching).

"Baseball works in funny ways," said Latos, now 0-4 with a 10.13 ERA over his past four starts. "The only way I could honestly put it is, we could be like the Giants and go and change our whole lineup, put guys with 'San Francisco Giants'  across their jerseys. We didn't.

"We added two guys [Tejada and Ryan Ludwick, now hitting .221 with five homers in 54 games with the Padres]. We've been the same team all year. We haven't just gone and grabbed guys from other teams."

In the season's final week, the contenders making the least number of mistakes emerge to play another day. It's that simple.

And when you're dragging around an anchor of an offense the size of the Padres', your margin for error is minimal.

Likes: The Cincinnati Reds store staying open all night at Great American Ballpark on Tuesday after they clinched. Very cool. Good for the Reds. ... The Baseball Project and Craig Finn (of The Hold Steady) with their new song Don't Call Them Twinkies. Great stuff, with a clear eye for the history of the Twins. Make sure to check it out.

Dislikes: Come on. The guy who owns the Segway company dies when ... he apparently accidentally rides his Segway over a cliff in England? How ironic is that?

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"You gotta grow, you gotta learn by your mistakes
"You gotta die a little everyday just to try to stay awake"

-- Gerry Rafferty, Get it Right Next Time

 

Posted on: September 26, 2010 10:01 pm
Edited on: September 26, 2010 10:01 pm
 

Reds on verge of clinching -- REALLY at home

So what's a team to do when it clinches a division title when it's not even at the ballpark?

Such a scenario could happen to Cincinnati on Monday: With a magic number reduced to one, the Reds have the day off and St. Louis hosts Pittsburgh.

If the Pirates win, the Reds win their first NL Central title since 1995 ... without even playing.

Will manager Dusty Baker call the troops in to Great American Ballpark for a celebration?

Nope.

"Guys have stuff to do," Baker says. "Family stuff ... you need some personal time, some family time. Guys are preparing to move out of their places. Some of their leases are up Oct. 1. That's a lot to do."

Baker also mentioned unpacking from the club's 10-day, three-city trip, resting, watching the Cardinals on television and watching Monday Night Football.

"That's what I'm going to do," Baker said, referring to everything mentioned in the previous sentence.

Undoubtedly, some in Cincinnati will be pulling for St. Louis to beat the Pirates so that the Reds can win the division title on the field Tuesday against Houston. That way, local fans could watch and perhaps participate in the celebration.

"It would be funny," infielder Brandon Phillips says of the idea of clinching Monday night while the Reds are scattered. "Some guys would be at clubs, some would be at Jeff Ruby's [a local steakhouse], some would be at the bowling alley, some would be home in their own houses celebrating by themselves."

One thing Phillips knows is, as a non-drinker, he's told his teammates that he will have his first glass of champagne when the NL Central title belongs to the Reds.

Likes: The seven-game sprint the end for San Diego. And six games for San Francisco and Atlanta. ... How good is Reds first baseman Joey Votto? When he cracked a homer against Clayton Richard on Sunday, it was the first homer the Padres' lefty surrendered to a lefty hitter since Aug. 1, 2009. Lefties had gone homerless over 241 at-bats against Richard since. Not Votto. ... How funny is it that the San Diego Chargers and Dallas Cowboys are both 1-2? ... Monroe (Mich.) St. Mary Catholic Central rolled over New Boston Huron 47-3 on Friday night. Excellent. The Falcons machine is up and going. ... Love John Mellencamp's new disc No Better Than This. Great stuff.

Dislikes: Watching Boston's Daisuke Matsuzaka nibble, er, pitch.

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"Wanna go where the summer never ends
"With my guitar on the beach there with all my friends
"The sun's so hot and the waves in motion
"And everything smells like suntan lotion
"The ocean, and the girls so sweet
"So kick off your shoes and relax your feet
"They say that miracles are never seizing
"And every single soul needs a little releasing
"The stereo bumping till the sun goes down
"And I only wanna hear that sound"

-- Michael Franti & Spearhead, Sound of Sunshine

Posted on: September 5, 2010 12:32 pm
 

Reds hoping to get Bruce back soon

ST. LOUIS -- Accelerator down and looking to extend their eight-game NL Central lead even more, the Reds were happy on Sunday to find that outfielder Jay Bruce is feeling better.

He still wasn't in manager Dusty Baker's lineup Sunday, the fifth consecutive game that Bruce will sit with a sore right side, and he'll likely miss Monday's series opener in Colorado as well. But the Reds are hopeful that Bruce, hitting .274 with 18 homers and 58 RBIs, will return this week.

The Reds aren't penciling in an exact day, however.

"I don't want him until he doesn't feel it anymore," Baker said Sunday morning. "Running, throwing, hitting ... when he comes back, I want him to stay back."

Bruce went down at the worst possible time, not simply because it's September, but because he was red hot when he hurt his side. From the time the Cardinals swept the Reds in Cincinnati in early August until he was hurt on Aug. 30, Bruce was batting .396 with eight homers and 15 RBI over 16 games.

In his absence, the Reds have played with an outfield of Jonny Gomes in left, Drew Stubbs in center and Chris Heisey in right. With Jim Edmonds and Laynce Nix banged up, those three are pretty much locked in. The Reds have been hitting fly balls to infielder Miguel Cairo and view him as an option in an emergency.

"But hopefully, we don't need him," Baker said.

Especially in Colorado's Coors Field, where the outfield is one of the league's biggest.

"You need Willie Mays, Curt Flood and Paul Blair out there in Colorado," Baker quipped.

Likes: The Cubs dedicating a statue of Hall of Famer Billy Williams on Tuesday. Great outfielder, great guy. ... The Cardinals planning to move back to 50,000-watt KMOX next season, which was their radio home for 51 years through 2006. Hope Detroit follows suit and re-connects with WJR sometime soon. Part of the reason for the huge fan bases of some of the Midwestern teams is that even people who couldn't get to games could pull in the radio signal from thousands of miles away. I know things are different now with television and satellite radio, but I still think the move to smaller radio stations for more lucrative contracts was short-sighted. ... Glad to see Notre Dame win under new coach Brian Kelly. College football is better when the Irish are good. ... What a great ending to the LSU-North Carolina football game Saturday night. ... The baby back ribs at Joe Buck's joint in downtown St. Louis. ... The weather this weekend. Sunshine, 70s, no humidity, just a gorgeous weekend with a hint of fall in the air. Perfect baseball weather, great for the opening of football. "These are the prettiest days I think I've ever seen in St. Louis," Reds manager Dusty Baker said Sunday morning. "I'm serious." ... Ah, memories. My dad had a Plymouth Valiant, too, but it was green (see rock 'n' roll lyrics below). First car I drove.

Dislikes: The combination of the Cubs' awful season and St. Louis' fade has the Cardinals offering tickets to the Cubs' series at Busch Stadium later this month at 50 percent off. How about that?

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"I was sitting with Mary
"In my dad’s blue Valiant
"Rain was coming down
"And the radio was playing
"Mary was talking
"A million miles a minute
"I could not hear one word she was saying"

-- Marc Cohn, Listening to Levon

Posted on: August 24, 2010 2:03 am
Edited on: August 24, 2010 10:35 am
 

Reds lose Nix, Edmonds in 11-2 loss to Giants

SAN FRANCISCO -- More than just the Reds' pride took a beating in their series-opening 11-2 drubbing at the hands of the Giants here Monday night.

First place Cincinnati lost outfielder Laynce Nix to a sprained left ankle in the third inning and outfielder Jim Edmonds to a strained right oblique muscle in the sixth.

That, combined with manager Dusty Baker having to blow through three relievers when starter Edinson Volquez was chased in the first inning, left Baker and general manager Walt Jocketty discussing roster options with two more games remaining on this nine-game West Coast trip.

Will Cincinnati have to send out for bullpen help before Tuesday night's game?

"We're discussing that now," Baker said.

As for the outfield situation, the Edmonds injury appeared the worst of the two. Oblique strains can knock a player out for several weeks and, at 40, Edmonds, acquired from Milwaukee in a move for depth earlier this month, already was in rough physical shape.

"Right oblique and right foot," Edmonds said. "They kind of go hand-in-hand."

Translation: He's been nursing a sore right Achilles for two months, and he thinks the oblique injury occurred because he was compensating for the foot.

"I don't know what's going to happen now," said Edmonds, who already intended to retire following this season. "I'll see what the doctor says and go from there. ... I was sore the last couple of weeks, but the last couple of days, not playing much, I thought it would get better. False sense of security, I guess. That's the way it goes when you try to play through stuff and be stubborn."

As for Nix, he jammed his foot beating out an infield single in the third when he put on the brakes to avoid Giants pitcher Matt Cain, who was covering first base.

"I jammed my leg, but I didn't roll it," Nix said. "It shouldn't keep me out of action. I think I should be fine to pinch hit."

The Reds are plenty deep in the outfield. They're currently carrying six true outfielders in Nix, Edmonds, Jay Bruce, Drew Stubbs, Chris Heisey and Jonny Gomes, and infielder Miguel Cairo can play some in the outfield.

"[Edmonds] doesn't look good at all," Baker said. "We have six outfielders. We usually don't carry that many, and usually things in this manner take care of themselves. You just don't like it to be this way."

Posted on: August 20, 2010 3:53 pm
Edited on: August 20, 2010 3:57 pm
 

Short Hops: QB Locker bypasses Angels this summer

Short hops, quick pops and backhand stops:

 In a summer during which former two-sport star Bo Jackson's signature home run was celebrated when the All-Star Game was played in Anaheim, the Angels' chances for reaping the benefits from another two-sport star have diminished.

Jake Locker, University of Washington quarterback and Heisman Trophy candidate this fall, neglected to play baseball this summer as scheduled for one of the Angels' rookie league teams, throwing his baseball future in doubt.

Not that the Angels were banking on him -- they essentially took a flier on his athletic ability, selecting him in the 10th round of last summer's draft and signing him for $250,000.

"We haven't seen him on the baseball field, but I've got nothing but great things to say about him and his family," Eddie Bane, the Angels' director of scouting, says. "He's as talented an athlete as I've seen."

Bane compares Locker's athletic gifts to those of Mike Trout, the 18-year-old outfielder who starred at the Futures Game during All-Star weekend and was listed as the third-best prospect in the Angels' farm system by Baseball America entering 2010.

"Jake never played much baseball, but he's just so loaded with tools that you just dream," Bane says.

Locker hasn’t played baseball since the spring of 2006 at Ferndale (Wash.) High School, other than a brief appearance in 2008 for the Bellingham Bells of the West Coast Collegiate Baseball League. In 10 games there, he hit .273 with one homer while playing center field.

The Angels knew his baseball abilities were crude when they signed him last Aug. 15, and they knew there was a good chance he would wind up playing only football. But they liked his athleticism, liked the idea of positioning themselves as a landing spot if football didn't work out and, by signing him, could control his baseball rights for six years.

"It was a reach by me to see whether something happened [with football], whether he'd play baseball," Bane says. "But the guy is shaping up to be a No. 1 or No. 2 pick in the [NFL] draft if he stays healthy."

When the Angels picked Locker, he was coming off of a freshman season in which a broken thumb sidelined him for a significant time. But last year, Locker threw for 2,800 yards and 21 touchdowns.

Locker spent a couple of days with the Angels during spring training this year, more of a get-acquainted session for both sides than anything else. There were a couple of reporting dates set this summer for Locker, who would have played for the Angels' short-season, rookie-level team in either Orem, Utah, or in Arizona.

Losing more baseball time this summer puts Locker even further behind, though it's pretty clear that another big year on the football field will end any notion of him playing baseball for good.

As for the money -- the Angels are paying his scholarship to Washington in addition to the $250,000 -- Angels general manager Tony Reagins declines to discuss specifics. The Angels could seek to recoup some of the money or simply retain his rights.

"He has an option to play football and an option to play baseball," Reagins says. "At some point in the next calendar year, we'll make a call or he'll make a call. The NFL draft is probably real important."

 Can a team be sparked by a brawl? The Reds are answering in the affirmative: They're 6-0 since getting swept by St. Louis in last week's emotional series and have opened up a 3 1/2-game lead in the NL Central. But a stern test is ahead: The Reds, 0-12 in Dodger Stadium since 2006, will spend the weekend there. Homer Bailey starts the opener Friday night against the Dodgers' Carlos Monasterios.

 Expect to see Aroldis Chapman working out of Cincinnati's bullpen, an inning or two at a clip, after rosters expand Sept. 1.

 Wrong place, wrong time: Boston is third in the AL East, but the Red Sox entering the weekend would be first in the AL West and second in the AL Central, just 1 1/2 games behind Minnesota.

 When Ryan Kalish slugged a grand slam this week against the Angels, he joined Daniel Nava as Red Sox rookies this year who have done it. Last time Boston had two rookies crack grand slams in the same season? John Valentin and Bob Zupcic in 1992. Kalish also became the second-youngest major leaguer to belt a slam this season, after Florida's Mike Stanton.

 One scout's reaction to watching a Kirk Gibson-managed Arizona team: "I was there a couple of weeks ago and I saw Justin Upton for the first time hit behind a runner. That has to be Gibson."

 Lots of industry types think the Brewers already have decided to trade Prince Fielder this winter before the final season of his contract. And more than one scout has mentioned that Fielder's weight combined with his age (26) make a long-term deal a risky proposition. The thinking being, once a guy hits 30, his weight issues will only exacerbate. I'm sure Fielder's agent, Scott Boras, will have plenty of ammunition against that when Prince hits the free agent market two winters from now.

 How about the attendant in the Cubs players' parking lot giving Derrek Lee the business when Lee went to park Friday before his debut for the Braves? Guy told him he couldn't park there, it was only for Cubs players. After Lee was momentarily flustered, the attendant told him he was kidding. What a weird debut, Lee for Atlanta in Wrigley Field. And class move by Cubs' starter Ryan Dempster to go stand behind the mound for several extra seconds before Lee's first at-bat in a Braves' uniform to give the Wrigley Field crowd a chance to cheer him -- and say farewell -- longer.

 Whaaaat, Zagat's 2010 survey ranks Five Guys Burger and Fries ahead of In-N-Out? Hey, I love both, but you've gotta go with In-N-Out, don’t you?

 

Posted on: July 12, 2010 10:47 pm
Edited on: July 12, 2010 10:55 pm
 

Rhodes first-time All-Star scholar at 40

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- While we've spent so much time this season paying attention to such hot young phenom pitchers as Colorado's Ubaldo Jimenez, Tampa Bay's David Price, Florida's Josh Johnson and even non-All-Star Stephen Strasburg, don't think we're going to let Arthur Rhodes' debut All-Star appearance pass without fanfare.

Rhodes, the Cincinnati set-up man?

You bet. At 40, Rhodes is the oldest All-Star "rookie" ever in the National League.

But don't expect the rest of the NL staff to assign him the task that usually goes to the rookie in the bullpen: Hauling the game's supply of candy, gum and sunflower seeds to the pen in a hot pink Barbie backpack (or something, maybe, in the Dora the Explorer line).

"I don't think that will happen," NL third baseman Scott Rolen, Rhodes' Reds teammate, says. "That could get ugly in a hurry."

"I don't think I want to make him do anything," says the Giants' two-time Cy Young winner, Tim Lincecum, who is just 26. "He's a tremendous guy. I grew up watching him with the Mariners.

"Plus, I kind of look like more the rookie, so I can't do any rookie hazing."

In all seriousness, Rhodes, humbled by the late-career honor, says he became emotional when Reds manager Dusty Baker informed him of the All-Star honor. Of course it turned into a moment Rhodes always will remember.

"Dusty called me into his office and told me I was getting traded," Rhodes says, smiling.

Destination?

"He told me I got traded to the New York Mets," Rhodes says. "And Brandon Phillips came in and Dusty said he had been traded too, and then Scott Rolen came in and he said he had been traded, too.

"Then Dusty said, 'You're all three going to the All-Star Game.' I got quiet. I couldn't say a word. I said, 'Thank you very much.'

"I didn't know it would take this long. I know I could have made it in 2001 [when Rhodes went 8-0 with a 1.72 ERA in 71 appearances for the Mariners, no doubt with Seattle-native Lincecum watching each appearance].

"Now it's 2010, and I made it, and I'm so proud."

Rhodes earlier this year equaled a single-season record with 33 consecutive scoreless appearances, something accomplished before only by Mark Guthrie (2002 Mets) and Mike Myers (2000 Rockies). Over 41 appearances for Baker's Reds in 2010, Rhodes has compiled a 1.54 ERA and a 3-3 record.

He's taken a lot of ribbing about being the oldest player ever to make his first All-Star appearance, especially the day it became official, when the Reds were in Chicago.

"I got teased every day when we found out," he says. "Teammates, text messages ... I'm proud to be a rookie in the All-Star Game, I'll tell you right now. I'm happy I'm here. You can call me Old Man All-Star."

As for as the possibility of being the designated donkey to haul the candy, seeds and other goodies to the bullpen, Rhodes, 19 years and eight teams into his decorated career, smiles.

"I think I've got too many years to be carrying all that stuff," he says before, a few moments later, adding, "This is the best thing that's happened to me in my whole career."

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com