Saturday, November 14, 2009

Wetteland's ex-mates, manager rooting for him

Joe Torre's annual Safe at Home foundation dinner was overshadowed by talk of the hospitalization of former Yankee closer John Wetteland. It's still unclear what exactly happened to him, with reports that Wetteland was contemplating suicide dominating the news. But his ex-teammates and manager are all clearly concerned about him and hoping he pulls through.

I have fond memories of Wetteland from the 1996 World Series, especially him saving Andy Pettitte's gem of a Game 5 (with a major assist from a limping Paul O'Neill) against the Atlanta Braves to send the Yanks back to New York on a high note.
I'll never forget watching him on the podium after the Yanks won Game 6 to clinch the series and he was named MVP. He was with his wife and twin baby daughters and looked so happy. And he said what to me is still the biggest understatement in all of baseball: "I guess I have a reputation for making some things interesting." This after I was almost pulling my hair out while watching him pitch the 9th inning.
He also said he was shaking and couldn't believe it was over. He was referring to the series, but could easily have meant his Yankee career as he had to know that the Yanks were ready to turn closer duties over to his protege: Mariano Rivera.

I really do hope Wetteland overcomes whatever physical or mental problems he is dealing with. This much is obvious: he will have a lot of people praying for him, including his former protege.

Thanks to Dopefish via Wikipedia for the photo.

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