Big Leaguers Notebook: Oct. 19
Reliever Rhodes guaranteed ring no matter which team wins
Arthur Rhodes made his Major League debut on August 21, 1991. Now 20 years later, the veteran reliever is guaranteed his first World Series ring. After beginning the season with the Rangers and ending it with the Cardinals, Rhodes has become just the eighth player in history to play for both World Series teams during the season.
"It's special, man. I worked my tail off for 20 years. Gotta love it," said Rhodes, who has played for nine teams, mourned the death of his son, Jordan, and been named a 41-year old All-Star during his long career (Yahoo! Sports)
"It's going to hit me when I step on the field. And once I do that, it's going to be fun. And I'm going to want to keep doing it." (MLB.com)
Redbirds closer Jason Motte and his furry chin are providing a World Series sequel to the Fear the Beard phenomenon and proving that all the cool closers have crazy facial fuzz.
"I've got some reds, browns, grays, black. I've got it all in there. I'm just a big mess," said Motte of his "au naturel" look. "I've had a beard since 2008. We were talking the other night: There's probably no one on this team that has seen my real face." (Yahoo! Sports)
Pitcher Miguel Batista is one ballplayer whose brain is just as valuable as his throwing arm.
"People try to pigeonhole ballplayers, but a lot of guys in baseball read a lot," said Batista, who has published bilingual poetry books, authored novels and children's stories, and volunteered for children's literacy projects. "[Ballplayers] may seem different on the outside. The baseball stadium is a coliseum of egos -- part of the game is psychological intimidation. You have to intimidate your enemy and always be on your toes. But if you get to know the man inside the uniform, you'd be shocked. Some of these guys are very intelligent people." (New York Daily News)
For Japanese pitcher Yoshinori Tateyama, throwing a fastball is the easy part of baseball. Now, thanks to the help of his Rangers teammates, he's picking up the harder part: learning English.
"I wanted to be able to talk to my teammates, that's why I did this," said Tateyama, who's teaching himself the language by learning phrases and slang in the bullpen and practicing his English during media interviews. "I speak English so I can communicate with everybody in the clubhouse."
"He's definitely eager to learn," said teammate Mark Lowe. "He'll ask me about certain ways to say a word. When he says something the wrong way, he wants to know how to do it right. From Spring Training to now, it's very impressive. There's no way I could do what he's done. It just shows how much he cares and how much he wants to learn." (FOX Sports Southwest)
The Brewers' Rickie Weeks and Prince Fielder are more than just teammates -- they're best friends. The duo grew up as high school teammates in Orlando, and came up together as roommates in the Minor League system.
"We have a special bond, obviously," said Weeks, who's even the godfather to one of Fielder's children. "Everywhere I went, I just kept playing with him. Through baseball, we formed that close friendship." (The New York Times)
Watch out, Taiwan ... Major League Baseball is coming! Curtis Granderson, Robinson Cano, Miguel Cabrera, Pablo Sandoval and Logan Morrison will lead an All-Star squad against the Chinese Taipei National Team on a tour of New Taipei City, Taichung and Kaohsiung this November. (MLB.com)
"It's just a cool thing any time you get a chance to represent [Major League Baseball] around the world," said Morrison. "I want to travel and see the world." (MLB.com)
Tune in to The Ellen Show on Thursday to catch Dodgers star Matt Kemp supporting the fight against breast cancer. As Kemp tweeted: "Hopefully Ellen will dance with me!!!" (Twitter)
Tweet of the Day: "Why is it when I eat fruit chews I seem to drool on myself??? I thought I was passed that stage in life" -- Rays left-hander David Price (@DAVIDprice14)
Quote of the Day: "So 35 degrees should be no big deal, right?" -- Rangers left-hander C.J. Wilson on taking the mound in an anticipated cold Game 1 of the World Series after enduring temperatures of -295 degrees during cryotherapy treatments. (Associated Press)
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.