Goodbye, Arthur Lee

You gotta admit, there’s nothing that livens up a slow news day in January like the official retirement of a baseball player who hasn’t played baseball in more than three years. Not that you can really blame Arthur Rhodes for waiting. The last time we saw him, he made eight nearly spotless postseason appearances for the 2011 World Series-winning St. Louis Cardinals, and earned his first championship ring. 

A statistical note: Rhodes arrived in the majors as a highly touted starting pitcher, and proceeded to rack up a 5.81 ERA in 61 major-league starts before going to the bullpen for good. In 1994, he went 3-5 with a 5.81 (also) ERA; oddly, two of his three wins were shutouts.

Another statistical note: According to this page, Rhodes is all-time leader in HOLDS, which would be just slightly more impressive if a) someone figured Holds for all of history, and b) anyone gave a tinker’s damn about Holds.

Maybe nobody will ever give a tinker’s damn, but we might give a damn if some dunderhead hadn’t decided, so many years ago, to award holds to pitchers who didn’t record even a single out. Yes, every statistic has its issues, but there’s just no excuse for not getting this simple thing right.

Anyway, best wishes to Arthur Rhodes on a peaceful retirement. He was a first-time All-Star at 40, first-time ring-winner at 41, and champion Holder.