White Sox reliever Danny Farquhar is up and able to take light walks around the hospital, encouraging news after he collapsed in the dugout at Chicago’s Guaranteed Rate Field on April 20 because a of ruptured aneurysm that led to a brain hemorrhage.
The baseball world is pulling for Farquhar to recover rapidly — especially one person who knows all too well what the righthander is going through.
“I was sitting on my bed, man, and I’m watching this and I’m going, ‘Is this Chicago?’ ” said Al Newman, a popular former Twins player and coach. “Then when they said he was taken to Rush-Presbyterian, I had all kinds of flashbacks.”
Newman was the third base coach in 2003 when, before a game in Chicago, he tried to crack his neck and suddenly felt a sharp pain in his head. He went to the trainer’s room for aspirin, but ended up being hospitalized because of a brain hemorrhage.
Same ballpark as Farquhar. Same hospital, Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center, now called Rush University Medical Center.
Newman, who lives in St. Cloud, was stunned as he learned about Farquhar’s condition.
“I just started reliving the moment again,” he said. “I said, ‘God bless you that you went to Rush.’ They saved my life, that’s for sure.”
Farquhar was on the White Sox bench after pitching the sixth inning when he collapsed. Longtime White Sox trainer Herm Schneider was on the scene quickly, as were emergency response personnel who were near the dugout.
Major League Baseball prepares for such emergencies. Each year, clubs have to present a written emergency action plan to the league’s medical director, and they undergo an in-person, on-site review.
In Newman’s case, he was in the trainer’s room asking for Tylenol when Twins trainers Jim Kahmann and Rick McWane noticed he was pale. Newman lay on a table while Kahmann called for the White Sox team doctor. The doctor immediately had Newman transported to the hospital.
Newman was hospitalized from Sept. 10 to Sept. 26. A shunt was inserted into his skull to drain fluid and relieve pressure on his brain. The Twins went on an 11-game winning streak during that time, but then-General Manager Terry Ryan spent most of it in Chicago with Newman. Paul Molitor, then a minor league baserunning and infield coordinator, filled in for Newman on the major league staff the rest of the season.
Newman recovered and returned. He threw out the first pitch before Game 3 of the LDS at the Metrodome — with an IV tube still in his arm.
To this day, Newman takes blood pressure medication as a result of the hemorrhage. But he continues to coach and is about to begin his third season as manager of the St. Cloud Rox of the Northwoods League.
He has not driven an automobile since 2003, but he passed the written exam a couple months ago.
“I just have to do the driving part,” he said, “but, man, I’m just afraid to drive again, to be honest with you.”
Indians: Well, the Twins can’t blame their troubles on the San Juan trip. The Indians went 4-3 over their next seven games after facing the Twins in Puerto Rico. Offense, however, continues to be a problem. The Indians scored more than four runs just once during those seven games, as they rely on their talented pitching staff.
Royals: Righthander Jacob Junis (above) tied a club record Thursday when he gave up five home runs in one game to the White Sox. “You hear the old adage, solo homers won’t beat you,” manager Ned Yost said. “But I guess when they hit four of them they might.”
Tigers: Think the Twins have had it rough, weatherwise? Detroit has had seven games postponed already and has played two doubleheaders. It has made it hard to craft a pitching rotation or for anyone to get in a rhythm. The Tigers play a doubleheader against the Yankees in June, which isn’t ideal because it’s the same day as the MLB draft and Detroit has the first pick.
White Sox: Manager Rick Renteria was scheduled to rejoin the team Sunday after missing Friday’s and Saturday’s games because of the death of his mother. Services were in Austin, Texas. Joe McEwing, who interviewed for the Twins job before Paul Molitor was hired before the 2015 season, was the acting manager.
The 3-2 pitch
Three observations …
• If Fernando Rodney is having trouble with his changeup, then he shouldn’t close games until he regains the feel for it. Pitching the ninth inning is tough enough.
• Enjoy watching Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna, who was called up on Wednesday. He hit his first home run Thursday and is just dripping with talent.
• Albert Pujols entered the weekend six hits shy of 3,000 for his career. And he will earn a $3 million bonus for reaching 3,000. That’s one expensive hit.
… and two predictions
• Miguel Sano is projected to strike out 284 times this season. He won’t finish with that many, but he’ll pass Jacque Jones (737) and move into 10th place on the Twins all-time list this season. He already has 505 strikeouts in 329 career games.
• The Diamondbacks are for real and will be in first place at the All-Star break. Zack Greinke and Robbie Ray haven’t gotten going yet.
Baseball reporters La Velle E. Neal III and Phil Miller will alternate weeks. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org