On Tuesday the Dodgers had ten year-old Casey Johnstone throw out the first pitch of the Dodgers-Giants game. Johnstone is notable for a viral YouTube video in which he told his fifth grade graduating class about how he’s a Dodgers fan even though the rest of them were Giants fans. OK so far.
The not OK part, according to Giants coach Tim Flannery, is that the Dodgers did not mention the fact, when they introduced him, that Johnstone donated all of the money he got from the video to the Bryan Stow family to help pay for his recovery. Flannery’s comments from his Facebook page:
Tonight the Dodgers did something that really pissed me off…yeah they beat us, they are better this time around, but this is about other stuff..they honored Casey Johnstone the kid who made a video and gave his $200 bucks to Bryan Stow…but the Dodgers never ever mentioned What the kid did with his money, or Bryan’s name. I once had a Dodger broadcaster tell me ” we wish he would just go away”…..ok…more shows for Bryan…another way to shine the light, and to the Dodgers how you handled this pregame first pitch tonight….you just got me started all over again……we won’t go away, till you do what is right here..had your chance tonight……failed in the humanity department….
Flannery has been out front in raising money for Stow, playing charity gigs with his band and stuff.
I agree that the Dodgers could have mentioned this, but I also understand how lawyers and corporate thinkers work: the Stow family has a pending lawsuit against the Dodgers for Stow’s injuries. Someone, somewhere probably made the calculation that the Dodgers can’t be seen at all talking about Stow lest it somehow be used by the plaintiffs. And in my experience, no matter how innocuous a comment is, an able lawyer can twist things to make it sound sinister and work against the defendant.
Not saying that the Dodgers did the right thing here. Not saying that the Stows’ lawyers would act underhanded or anything. Just saying that lawsuits suck and make people behave in ways that are somewhat less than naturally human. Which is to say that the hate should be directed at the game more than the players in this case.
There have been a couple of notable instances of players who have dealt with Addrerall addiction in recent years. A few months back we learned that Aubrey Huff suffered from it. Orioles slugger Chris Davis, who has ADD, once had a therapeutic use exemption for Adderall, let it lapse to go off of the drug, but then “in a moment of weakness” returned to it, resulting in a suspension back in 2014.
The latest: White Sox rookie slugger Nicky Delmonico, who has made a splash since his callup, hitting six homers and posting a line of .329/.434/.614 in 20 games. His road here, however, was a difficult one. When he was with the Brewers organization he was suspended for “amphetamine” use. Turns out it was Adderall. And, according to today’s story in the Tribune, it turns out that the circumstances were similar to Davis’:
Delmonico feared the label of drug cheat would impede his path to the majors, his goal since he was a bat boy for the University of Tennessee, where his dad, Rod, coached from 1990-2007. He figured nobody would care to learn the real story; that he became conditioned to taking Adderall, which MLB had approved for medical purposes, but decided to come off the drug before the 2014 season so not to become overly dependent.
“But then I couldn’t not take it,” Delmonico said.
Withdrawal symptoms changed the young man with the infectious personality. His moods swung. Suddenly, Delmonico craved the way he used to feel.
Delmonico was released by the Brewers when he came off suspension and signed by the Sox. They told him to take his time coming back, and as he did, he went to rehab. The rest is history. And just the beginning of history, if his fast start is any indication of how he’ll do in the bigs going forward.
Well done, Delmonico. It’s rare to come back from such adversity, but here’s hoping for your continued success as you enter the prime of your career.
David Wright started at DH and went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts in his rehab debut with High-A St. Lucie last night.
The results are not all that important compared to the fact that Wright actually played in a game. Wright acknowledged as much afterward, saying “There’s still quite a bit to go to where I want to be, but it was a good first step.” Wright said he “felt pretty good,” and that while he’d like to see better results as soon as possible, he’s happy just being out there right now.
Wright is shooting to join the Mets for the final few weeks of the 2017 regular season after being out of action since May of 2016 with back and neck ailments. It’s hard not to root for the guy.