Was very sad to hear about the passing of Jose Lima last night.
Made me think of Arthur Rhodes.
Yes, Arthur Lee Rhodes.
Back when I was covering the majors for Sports Illustrated, I found myself in the Mariners’ clubhouse at Safeco Field. I needed to interview Ryan Franklin, then a young pitcher with the Ms. He invited me to sit down. We started chatting, until I heard a yell from across the room. “You! Out of my chair!” It was Rhodes, pointing at me. “Out!” He didn’t actually need the chair at the time; wasn’t anywhere near his locker. He just didn’t want someone else sitting in it.
I bring this up because Jose Lima never, ever, ever, ever, ever acted in such a way. He was funny and light, and recognized the fact that baseball fame is extremely fleeting and glorious. He had a big heart and a light step, and the sadness over his death is proof that, come day’s end, we’ll remember demeanor and decency over W-L percentage or World Series titles won.
What a joy of a man.
What a sad day.