Last night, Alex Rodriguez, a baseball player of some renown and notoriety, came to the plate at Yankee Stadium with the bases loaded, one out in the eighth inning. The Yankees had already scored three runs in the inning to take a 4-3 lead, and A-Rod, the man who has hit more grand slams than anyone else in the history of the game, had a chance to put the game away against Roberto Osuna, a man making his Major League debut at the age of 20. This also made Osuna the youngest pitcher in Toronto Blue Jays history. He was born Feb. 7, 1995; on that date, Rodriguez was planning for his second Major League season after going 11-for-54 with no homers and two RBIs in 1994.

So there was a lot going on.

A-Rod, who has begun his comeback season 1-for-6 with a walk, did this:

How exciting that must have been for Osuna, who was 1 1/2 when A-Rod led the league in doubles, runs and batting average in his age-20 season. And how depressing it must have been for A-Rod. Nothing will make you feel older than having a guy who wasn't even born when you entered the Majors strike you out with the bases loaded.

But regardless of your personal feelings on A-Rod, I hope you can give the old guys a break. You have to respect an old ballplayer, even if they're only "old" in the baseball sense. (Most of my friends who are the age of these "old" ballplayers are still trying to figure out what they're going to do with their lives.) So far this season, 16 men in their age-38 season or older have appeared in a big league game. Some are just hanging on; some are still thriving. But all of them are going to end up facing someone who grew up watching them play, someone who was still a baby, or younger, when they broke into the bigs. That'll make you feel your crow's feet, that's for sure.

Here's a look at some of the oldest players in the Majors, looking at their current situations … and how much longer they might stay in this league. We're excluding 40-year-old Joe Nathan, because he was just placed on the DL. And apologies for leaving out the Blue Jays' R.A. Dickey (who's 40) and Scott Atchison of the Indians (who's 39), both of whom have played this season (I was looking at the wrong line in Play Index). Both of those guys would be right in the middle of the list. Knuckleballers like Dickey, of course, have a long, proud history of MLB longevity. Phil Niekro didn't retire until he was 48! Needless to say, Dickey seems far from done.

13. Carlos Beltran, New York Yankees

Birthdate: April 24, 1977 (37)
Contract situation: Signed through 2016
All-Star appearances: 8

Beltran, perhaps inevitably, suffered through injuries in his first year in the Bronx, but he's still an ideal fit for that ballpark, if not necessarily that lineup. This is still a stealth Hall of Fame candidate, though he could use these last two seasons under contract with the Yankees to further make his case. He's 0-for-6 so far, though that doesn't mean anything.

12. David Ross, Chicago Cubs

Birthdate: March 19, 1977 (38)
Contract situation: Signed through 2016
All-Star appearances: None

Ross has gotten a lot of mileage out of being Jon Lester's personal catcher, but he was still in demand this winter; at one point, there was an erroneous report that he was signing with the San Diego Padres. Ross admitted he was "really shocked" that there was such a market for him this winter, but hey, there's always a need for a backup catcher, particularly one who's the chosen catcher of your chosen free-agent ace.

11. A.J. Pierzynski, Atlanta Braves

Birthdate: Dec. 30, 1976 (38)
Contact situation: Signed through 2015
All-Star appearances: 2

Everybody's favorite "oh, I hate that guy" catcher has played for five teams in three seasons and hasn't had an OPS-plus over 100 since 2012. Still, he keeps hanging around, showing up in the playoffs for the Cardinals last season and homering last night to give the Braves their 2-0 win over Miami. Also: Don't ever forget his wrestling career with Bob Barker.

10. Matt Thornton, Washington Nationals

Birthdate: Sept. 15, 1976 (38)
Contract situation: Signed through 2015
All-Star appearances: 1

Thornton started one game his rookie year in Seattle in 1994, and it's worth noting that he was already in his age-27 season. This is why he is 38 years old and has only pitched 604 2/3 innings his whole career. (This is fewer innings than Mike Minor, Chris Sale, Rick Porcello and Trevor Cahill, all of whom are more than a decade younger.) Thornton has made one appearance this season, facing one batter and throwing four pitches. And that rate, he'll be able to pitch until he's 80.

9. Jason Grilli, Atlanta Braves

Birthdate: Nov. 11, 1976 (38)
Contract situation: Signed through 2016, with $3 million team option for 2017
All-Star appearances: 1

Is it possible that Grilli, who was out of baseball for a year in 2010, could end up being a fantasy steal this season? When the Braves traded Craig Kimbrel, they handed Grilli the closer job, and he picked up his second save last night in a 2-0 win over the Marlins. Grilli actually looks primed to be Atlanta's closer for the next couple of years with Kimbrel out of the way, and all told, if he stays healthy, he could get the Braves to pick up that option in the first year at their new ballpark. He's going to stick around a while.

8. Joel Peralta, Los Angeles Dodgers

Birthdate: March 23, 1976 (39)
Contract situation: Signed through 2016, with $2.5 million team option for 2016 and 2017
All-Star appearances: None

The Dodgers traded for Peralta in the offseason, and even though he had a difficult year last season, his K/BB numbers were still decent and he appears to have a home in the Dodgers' bullpen. He has appeared in two of Los Angeles' three games this season and even got the win in the season opener. Favorite factoid about Peralta: L.A. signed him as an amateur free agent back in 1996 as an outfielder, but he didn't become a pitcher until the Angels turned him into one in 1999.

7. David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox

Birthdate: Nov. 18, 1975 (39)
Contract situation: Signed through 2015, with $10 million team option for 2016 and 2017 (option vests with 425 plate appearances in 2015)
All-Star appearances: 9

Depending on your PED tolerance -- or whether or not you believe his now-infamous Players' Tribune piece -- this is one of the two sure-fire Hall of Famers on this list. Ortiz is a Boston hero, of course, which is why it's sort of amazing to remember that he was already 28 in 2004. (It's still astounding the Twins just plum released the guy, cold, in 2002.) Ortiz remains one of the best home run hitters in baseball, and at this point, I just assume he'll keep being so until he's 50.

This is where I have to step in and note that my birthday, Oct. 10, 1975, would make me among the oldest players in MLB. Let's move on.

6. Alex Rodriguez, New York Yankees

Birthdate: July 27, 1975 (39)
Contract situation: Signed through 2017
All-Star appearances: 14

One of the greatest hitters of all-time, not that it's ever going to get him into Cooperstown. If A-Rod can at least be a league-average hitter, though, the Yankees will keep him around, if only because they have no choice. The odds are excellent he'll be the oldest player in baseball by the end of next season, if not sooner. Remember: He's only six homers behind Willie Mays. So that'll be fun.

5. Torii Hunter, Minnesota Twins

Birthdate: July 18, 1975 (39)
Contract situation: Signed through 2015
All-Star appearances: 5

It's supposed to be a nostalgic homecoming for Hunter this season, who returned to Minnesota for the first time since he left in 2007. Though at $10.5 million, that's quite a pricey class reunion. He's 0-for-7 to start the season, but he presumably wants to keep playing after this season, maybe for a contender: After all this time, he never has reached a World Series. (He has lost in the playoffs eight times.)

4. Rafael Betancourt, Colorado Rockies

Birthdate: April 29, 1975 (39)
Contract situation: Signed through 2016
All-Star appearances: None

He pitched a scoreless inning on Monday for the Rockies in his first appearance since 2013. He fought his way back from Tommy John surgery to make the Opening Day roster, a comeback that was almost derailed by a comebacker off his jaw in Spring Training. Here's a fun fact: Betancourt has made less during his entire career than Alex Rodriguez will make this season.

3. Ichiro Suzuki, Miami Marlins

Birthdate: Oct. 22, 1973 (41)
Contact situation: Signed through 2015
All-Star appearances: 10

Ichiro is just 155 hits away from 3,000 in the Majors, which is the only real reason he's hanging around. I'm still not sure he's going to make it: He hasn't hit above .300 in a season since 2010, and if Ichiro isn't hitting over .300, there's not much reason to keep him around. Well, there is a reason: He's still one of the coolest ballplayers on the planet and is going into the Hall of Fame whether he reaches 3,000 or not. Admit it: You want an Ichiro Marlins jersey, in spite of it all.

2. Bartolo Colon, New York Mets

Birthdate: May 24, 1973 (41)
Contract Situation: Signed through 2015
All-Star Appearances: 3

You can laugh all you want, people, but this is an Opening Day starter … one who outdueled Max Scherzer, by the way. Last season was Colon's worst since 2007 -- the first time he'd had an ERA-plus under 100 -- but he's still incredibly useful … and key to the Mets' 2015 hopes now that Zack Wheeler is out for the year. You know what would be funny? If Colon ends up outlasting the three men traded for him back in that famous Expos swap: Cliff Lee, Grady Sizemore and Brandon Phillips. It's at least possible.

1. LaTroy Hawkins, Colorado Rockies

Birthdate: Dec. 21, 1972 (42)
Contract situation: Signed through 2015
All-Star appearances: None

Hawkins started 33 games in 1999 for the Twins, which seems insane to even think about. Known among stat nerds as the only person to be featured in every edition of the "Baseball Prospectus" annual, Hawkins is still the closer for Colorado: He already has both a win and a save this year. He has already announced that he'll be retiring after this season, which means there's only one thing left to do. Somehow, despite 21 years in the bigs, Hawkins has never made an All-Star Game. Get this guy 20 first-half saves and get him in there, before we all say goodbye.


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