Per Joe Strauss. He'll join the team on Friday.
I wouldn't usually mention something like this in its own post, but this New York Times story from last July gives us every reason as to why we should root for Rhodes to get himself back on track and enjoy some success in St. Louis:
Arthur Rhodes will leave tickets for five people at the All-Star Game on Tuesday in Anaheim. His mother will be there, and two sisters, a niece and his 16-year-old daughter, Jade. Five women supporting a 40-year-old rookie All-Star.
A boy will be there, too. Rhodes, a left-handed reliever for the Cincinnati Reds, is sure of it. Rhodes’s son, Jordan, was 5 when he died in December 2008 of an undisclosed illness. Whenever Rhodes pitches, he scratches the initials “J R” in the dirt of the mound. He will do so again at the All-Star Game.
“I feel like he’s right behind the rubber, watching me pitch,” Rhodes said.
Rhodes spoke softly at his locker Tuesday before a game with the Mets at Citi Field. He rarely says much, anyway. He signed with the Reds the week his son died, but club officials never knew of his pain. On Sunday, when Manager Dusty Baker told Rhodes he had made the All-Star team, he said Rhodes was stoic.
“He wouldn’t be Arthur if he got all emotional,” Baker said. “And he wouldn’t be Arthur if he was talking all about it.”
Rhodes did not speak publicly about his son’s death until last month. After he ended a streak of 33 consecutive appearances without allowing a run, which tied the single-season major league record, a reporter asked what Rhodes wrote in the dirt. Rhodes decided to answer. There was no reason to hide it anymore.
Rhodes could have retired after the 2008 season, but he said he kept playing to honor his son’s memory. The Reds are glad — and awed — that he did.
Much love, Arthur. Much love.