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Tuffy Rhodes Gets Orix Try Out

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Tuffy Rhodes Gets Orix Try Out
In a move completely out of left field (pun intended), the Orix Buffaloes are giving the 38 year old Tuffy Rhodes a try out to join the team. The former Kintetsu Buffalo and Yomiuri Giant has over 10 years of experience in Japan, so he won't count against the foreign player limit if he passes.

Here's hoping he can beat all the odds and come back to Japan for a proper farewell.
Comments
Re: Tuffy Rhodes Gets Orix Try Out
[ Author: Christopher | Posted: Feb 12, 2007 5:29 PM | HAN Fan ]

What goes around, comes around. Whilst Orix is in danger of becoming a repository for aging players, there is something to be said for experience.
Re: Tuffy Rhodes Gets Orix Try Out
[ Author: Animaru Resulie | Posted: Feb 13, 2007 11:57 AM | HT Fan ]

Hallelujah! Hope he does well. Been waiting for Tuffy to make a comeback in Japan. Nikkan Sports says his try out will be on the 16th [in Japanese], so I guess we should know by the end of the month. Only wish it would have been with the Tigers.
Re: Tuffy Rhodes Gets Orix Try Out
[ Author: westbaystars | Posted: Feb 13, 2007 9:38 PM | YBS Fan ]

Here is the Kyodo News Service (via Japan Ball) English article on Rhodes being given a tryout.
Re: Tuffy Rhodes Gets Orix Try Out
[ Author: BigManZam | Posted: Feb 17, 2007 9:54 PM | CLM Fan ]

I don't know what to think about Terry Collins. I guess I'll give him a chance to actually manage regular season games before I fully hate him, but he's done something to kind of tick me off lately.

I have a soft spot for Tuffy Rhodes and want him to have a final successful season in Japan. Tuffy was anticipating a full month to prove himself to Orix. Well, Collins isn't having any of that and said that the decision will be made after the exhibition game on March 1st. This does not look good for Rhodes, because he's come in slightly over his ideal weight and hasn't been able to make impressive contact during batting practice.

Collins couldn't give a cr*p about any sentimental value that Tuffy has in Japan, especially with Buffaloes fans. At this point, I'd equate him with American baseball types who never gave Tuffy or Petagine a shot. It seems like he's trying to approach this job like an American job and is trying to rebuild the team while focusing on the young players.

Developing young players is great, but the problem with that is this. Even if you make the playoffs, what good is it if nobody comes to the games?
Re: Tuffy Rhodes Gets Orix Try Out
[ Author: Guest: zman | Posted: Feb 17, 2007 11:53 PM ]

- Even if you make the playoffs, what good is it if nobody comes to the games?

BigMan, I ask you this, what good is it if the teams loses all time? Tuffy left the YG batting .220 or so and was a complete washout. Orix gambled on aging stars last year to draw fans and that failed.

If the team wins, fans will come consistently. If they come to see Tuffy or Kiyohara strike out repeatedly, then they don't come back.

"If winning isn't everything, why do they keep score?" - Vince Lombardi
Re: Tuffy Rhodes Gets Orix Try Out
[ Author: Guest | Posted: Feb 18, 2007 2:51 AM ]

- Tuffy left the YG batting .220 or so and was a complete washout.

He also had 27 homers at the time of his departure from YG and was playing with an injured shoulder. I wouldn't exactly call that "a complete washout."
Re: Tuffy Rhodes Gets Orix Try Out
[ Author: Guest: zman | Posted: Feb 18, 2007 3:45 PM ]

-- Tuffy left the YG batting .220 or so and was a complete washout.

- He also had 27 homers at the time of his departure from YG and was playing with an injured shoulder. I wouldn't exactly call that "a complete washout."


As I recall the Giants benched him and Kiyohara for the last six weeks or so of the season ("due to injuries" they said, but we all know better). His fielding was horrid, his average flaccid and his spirit gone. 27 home runs sounds nice, but he was a net liability to the team. He struck out 125 times, over 1 in 3 times at bat.

He is nearly 2 years older now and out of shape. Orix is not a charity, although one could say that about the deal that Kiyohara is getting from them.
Re: Tuffy Rhodes Gets Orix Try Out
[ Author: Animaru Resulie | Posted: Feb 19, 2007 6:45 AM | HT Fan ]

- If the team wins, fans will come consistently. If they come to see Tuffy or Kiyohara strike out repeatedly, then they don't come back.

Wait a second. You actually believe Orix is going to win consistently this season? Hmm...

Building a winning team is going to take a few years, and during that time you might as well have a few old timers around for the fans to enjoy. If they're affordable, why not?

There are also some other benefits in having Tuffy (and Kiyohara) (and Yoshii) around. They can be examples for the younger players and teach them the ropes in the pros. Tuffy has been in Japan for a long time and can probably be a good adviser to the new-to-Japan Collins, as well as other suketto. Remember, Collins hasn't been tested in Japan, while Tuffy has. If Tuffy doesn't ask for too much money, then considering that he's considered a "Japanese" player and won't count against the foreign players limit, he might be a good buy. I don't see what Orix has to lose by adding him to the roster.

Look, Tuffy himself (and everybody else) knows he isn't going to be here for years to come. I think he himself sees his participation more in terms of a veteran player showing the greenies how the game is played. He's paid his dues in pro-yakyu, so let him have a chance.

Who knows? By next year maybe Collins will be out and Tuffy will still be in. Stranger things have happened.
Re: Tuffy Rhodes Gets Orix Try Out
[ Author: Guest: zman | Posted: Feb 24, 2007 10:19 PM ]

-- If the team wins, fans will come consistently. If they come to see Tuffy or Kiyohara strike out repeatedly, then they don't come back.

- Wait a second. You actually believe Orix is going to win consistently this season? Hmm...

No, I don't. Any team with Kiyohara is going to tank.

There are also some other benefits in having Tuffy (and Kiyohara) (and Yoshii) around. They can be examples for the younger players and teach them the ropes in the pros. Tuffy has been in Japan for a long time and can probably be a good adviser to the new-to-Japan Collins, as well as other
suketto. [...]

You make a good case for Tuffy as a coach, now. That may be the better move as I just don't see him contributing at anywhere close to his glory days prior to the YG big money contract. So many players play for too long and ruin their legacy by not facing reality and just retiring.
Re: Tuffy Rhodes Gets Orix Try Out
[ Author: Jbroks86 | Posted: Feb 18, 2007 3:09 AM | SFT Fan ]

- At this point, I'd equate him with American baseball types who never gave Tuffy or Petagine a shot. It seems like he's trying to approach this job like an American job and is trying to rebuild the team while focusing on the young players.

Whoa there, didn't the Buffaloes give Tuffy a chance to come back and play in NPB after that happened in Yomiuri? Not many teams do that.

Second, nothing is a certainty with the 38 year old Rhodes. He's been out of baseball for a year, who knows what to expect?

Third, please tell me what is bad about allowing Orix developing their young players? I'm so keen to know. Because I hate to tell you Orix really isn't making the playoffs with or without Tuffy. They have way too many holes to fill. Tuffy, if he rebounds, is nice and all, but he isn't Orix's saving grace either. Have to look at it that way. Also by developing those young players they will help themselves more down the line than with Rhodes. Rhodes is 38 and won't be around forever.

Also, why should Collins care about sentimental value, what makes Rhodes so different from anyone else? He has to make the team like everyone else. It's not his job to manage with sentiment, that's setting a dangerous precedent. It's Collins' job to put the best possible team on the field, whether that includes Rhodes or doesn't. Rhodes' performance will speak for itself on whether he should make the team.

Finally, concerning taking this like an American job and focusing on rebuilding the team, what is so wrong with that? That is what the team so desperately needs, a fan favorite, despite the sentimental value, isn't going to do that alone. If that was the case, Norihiro Nakamura would have already won this team a pennant.

Developing young talent is a key to winning for a franchise, all we have to do is look at Yomiuri's lack of player development. Collins was a director of player development for the Dodgers before coming to Japan, maybe that's why he prefers focusing on young players.

If you're going to bash Collins, at least do it with some facts and not as some kind of personal attack.
Re: Tuffy Rhodes Gets Orix Try Out
[ Author: BigManZam | Posted: Feb 18, 2007 11:20 AM | CLM Fan ]

The Buffaloes are giving Tuffy a chance, but Collins is not. It's pretty obvious that Collins wasn't too keen on this try out from the very beginning.

Show me where I said developing young players is bad. Last time I checked, my last paragraph starts with, "Developing young players is great." So quit reading what you want to read and read what is actually there. Orix has a solid enough starting rotation and their bullpen has proven to be one of the best in Japan. Their weaknesses are lack of power and poor infield defense. Rhodes may be 38, but with his proven ability to hit homers with ease in Japan, I'd say he knows a lot more about power hitting than the entire Orix roster (sans Kiyohara). Even the inclusion of a guy who can hit 30 homers, which Tuffy has proven himself to be, can lead to a shot at the playoffs for Orix.

I agree 100% with developing Okada, since he has so much potential, but most of the young players for Orix don't look too good.
Re: Tuffy Rhodes Gets Orix Try Out
[ Author: Christopher | Posted: Feb 19, 2007 7:40 PM | HAN Fan ]

Orix's problem is the same as it always has been, Hanshin. They will not be able to break the stranglehold that Hanshin has on the region. If they couldn't do it with Kiyohara and Nakamura they certainly can't do it with Rhodes. They want to think about moving out to a different location and developing young players not relying on Rhodes who can't have much playing time left in him.
Re: Tuffy Rhodes Gets Orix Try Out
[ Author: Animaru Resulie | Posted: Feb 20, 2007 6:53 AM | HT Fan ]

- I'd say he knows a lot more about power hitting than the entire Orix roster.

On top of that, he can also speak better Japanese than Collins. (Actually, there are times when I think Tuffy might be able to speak better Japanese than Mister Nagashima.)
Buffaloe Calves
[ Author: Guest: Dylan | Posted: Feb 26, 2007 9:25 AM ]

Of the rookie and second year players, Okada 1B, Ohbiki SS, Komatsu P, Moriyama 2B, Hirano P, Kishida P, Nakayama P, and Mitsuhara P all look pretty good. Plus Collins is very good at developing young players.
Re: Tuffy Rhodes Gets Orix Try Out
[ Author: westbaystars | Posted: Feb 24, 2007 4:21 PM | YBS Fan ]

While Collins-kantoku may have started off a bit on the wrong foot with Tuffy, it appears that Rhodes' bat has spoken for itself, and Collins-kantoku has come around.

Today's (February 24, 2007) Nikkan Sports quotes Collins-kantoku as saying, "I think he'll make it in time for Opening Day" [translation of translation]. This was in reference to Rhodes having to return home to get the necessary working visa before he can play. If that isn't a positive looking comment for Rhodes, I don't know what is.
Re: Tuffy Rhodes Gets Orix Try Out
[ Author: Jbroks86 | Posted: Feb 24, 2007 5:14 PM | SFT Fan ]

Collins also told Rhodes "I told him to take whatever time he needs." according to USA Today reporter Paul White who is traveling through Japan.

Also as Westbay-san said, Rhodes' bat is speaking for itself, and the above quote by Collins shows that the manager is definitely supporting Rhodes in his comeback effort.
Re: Tuffy Rhodes Gets Orix Try Out
[ Author: westbaystars | Posted: Feb 25, 2007 12:21 AM | YBS Fan ]

That is if I translated it correctly. Garland-san translated it like this in his February 23 Pacific League Notebook:
Tuffy Rhodes pummled a Yoshihisa Hirano offering just inside the leftfield foul pole during a situational batting drill Friday. Manager Terry Collins indicated that he might keep Rhodes around to just before Opening Day before making a final decision as to his disposition.
My translation looks right to me in the context that it was quoted, which was what Rhodes will have to do to get his visa and be back by opening day. But if he has to wait until just before opening day for a decision, then he isn't going to have a visa until the proper paper work can be done, and he go to the U.S. and back. I wish Garland-san had noted the primary source for his report. Can I have a third opinion on the translation (please refer to the original article in Japanese - not my fragment)?
Re: Tuffy Rhodes Gets Orix Try Out
[ Author: Animaru Resulie | Posted: Feb 25, 2007 12:08 PM | HT Fan ]

Okay, I'm giving the Nikkan Sports article translation a shot. This is how I mangled the whole thing into English, IMHO.
Orix manager Terry Collins gave Tuffy Rhodes, the 38 year old former Reds player who is undergoing a try out at the team's Kochi camp, a preliminary passing grade. Rhodes hit his "first" home run off of an outside corner fast ball pitched by Yoshihisa Hirano, to the left field grass seating area during a situational batting practice drill. "It's progress. He practices hard, and I expect him to improve," commented Collins on a positive note. As of February 22, Rhodes has hit 4 out of 9 in intrasquad games, including 2 consecutive RBIs. With Kiyohara out with a left knee injury, there's a good chance that Rhodes may be batting in the number four spot on opening day.

"I haven't heard anything yet about my making the team, but I feel I'm making really good contact with the ball," said Rhodes enthusiastically. Taking into account the 2 weeks required for obtaining a working visa, an official decision is expected to be made by team by the end of the month. A tentative schedule for his joining the club is as follows: 1) a trip to the States in the beginning of March, 2) a return to Japan during mid-March to play in his first exhibition game, 3) opening day against Softbank on March 24. "I'm thinking he'll be ready by opening day," said Collins.
Go Tuffy! (And they also say he's stoically giving up the Harley Davidson in Japan for a while, not that I think it's going to make much of a difference.)
Re: Tuffy Rhodes Gets Orix Try Out
[ Author: Dragsfan | Posted: Feb 25, 2007 9:43 PM | CD Fan ]

I just skimmed the article quickly, but what jumps out at me is how they identify Tuffy. He's not the guy who tied the single-season HR record in Japan, not the guy who hit 72 HR in two years with the Giants, not the guy with a long, long career in Japan. But to Nikkan Sports he's Tuffy Rhodes, "formerly with the Reds"?

(Not knocking your translation at all, Animaru, just the original article.)
Re: Tuffy Rhodes Gets Orix Try Out
[ Author: Animaru Resulie | Posted: Feb 27, 2007 9:25 AM | HT Fan ]

Aw, you can trash my translation if you want to. Just don't trash Tuffy, or you'll be hearing from me! (Just kidding.)
Re: Tuffy Rhodes Gets Orix Try Out
[ Author: Dragsfan | Posted: Feb 27, 2007 1:57 PM | CD Fan ]

Tuffy rocks! I'd love to see him against the Giants in inter-league play!
Re: Tuffy Rhodes Gets Orix Try Out
[ Author: Guest: Kenny | Posted: Mar 2, 2007 2:01 AM ]

News of Tuffy's signing with the Buffaloes has been picked up by the AP in the U.S. This article [SportsLine] makes it sound like he was sought after by Orix ("comes out of retirement to play") when it should've said he tried out and was able to make the roster.
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