Saluting a couple old dogs who can still hunt

It would not be morally right if I continued to own and operate this blog, root for the Cincinnati Reds (and who’s kidding–‘root’ should have just as easily said ‘live and die with’) each night and not mention two guys who have done more for this team then anyone this year. As long as both of these guys are All-Stars, you will not hear me complain.

While Jay Bruce is my favorite Reds player to watch for various reasons, it’s Arthur Rhodes and Scott Rolen whom are responsible for this baseball revival in the Queen City this year.

Let it be said, let it be known, and let it be written that for nearly one half of a season these men who are 35 and 40 years old respectively have gone out and brought it every night. At a level above their primes.

I expected it from Rhodes. Rhodes I knew was nasty when we signed him. He’s the best left-handed reliever in the game right now, bar none. He’s allowed one run in 28 innings pitched. He’s thrown up 26 consecutive scoreless innings pitched. He’s on pace for enough innings to make anyone’s arm fall off. Somehow, he defies nature and science by performing at this level in a 40 year old body.

I’ve long said it. Arthur Rhodes is a bad man. Know it. Own it. Truer words have never been written on the pages of this blog.

When Arthur Rhodes retires or is no longer a Red, I’ll cope with it and then I’ll wipe up the tears and do some type of a tribute post. Right now, I just want to say thank you for being such a bad ass on a nightly basis on my favorite sports team. It’s beyond a joy to watch you slowly walk to the mound, pick up the ball, and see the fear in the eyes of all those whom you face on the opposition.

As for Scott Rolen, I didn’t know we acquired the Scott Rolen from 10 years ago. If the season ends today, Scott Rolen gets MVP votes. If he stays healthy, he’ll hit 30 home runs and drive in around 100 in the middle of a Cincinnati line up that needed a run producer so desperately.

It goes without saying that the guy is just a tough out who always gives a professional at-bat. But Rolen’s value goes beyond anything that shows up in the box score. He’s a leader. I don’t have the statistic on hand but since he has joined the Reds and when he’s in the lineup, they’re a remarkable .600 or something clip.

I’ve read the quotes by Johnny Gomes and Brandon Phillips as well as others. They don’t want to let this guy down. They’re afraid to disappoint their father. Scott Rolen is a bad ass, and he takes that persona on down on the hot corner each night. He’s tough, he’s healthy, and he’s making it a nightly affair to kick ass and take names, never leaving the lights on when the job is finished.

I love Arthur Rhodes and Scott Rolen. This is one thing I’m pretty sure stands for now but will never quite be again. We need to win right now because of these guys. The contributions they’ve made rubbing off on these younger players will have a ripple effect beyond 2010’s pennant race.