“Hard to Believe What I See-What Players Are Doing
We’ve lost one icon. Now another has the same disease.
And yet in baseball clubhouses across the major league leagues, it still goes on. Players stuffing smokeless tobacco into their mouth.
The story broke on Thursday night that Padres pitcher Randy Jones, the first great one, now an ambassador for the club, has been fighting throat cancer, brought on by years of chewing tobacco.
This comes on the heels of the sad passing of Mr. Padre, Tony Gwynn, who suffered terribly, from multiple surgeries for cancerous cells of the mouth, that eventually took his life.
And yet last week, you saw cans of smokeless laying around the Padres clubhouse, even in the off season.
Daily during the season, you’d see it on tables in the clubhouse, and see players load up before a game.
Ditto, the same for coaches, standing in the tunnel before going out on the field, putting a chaw in, then spitting on the floor.
Part of it may just well be the culture. It’s always been part of baseball. A bigger part of it may just be the addiction that is so hard to quit.
But you’d think the players of today would have gotten a dose of reality when they saw the disfigured face of Tony Gwynn rigth before he died.
Maybe Randy Jones can become the face of prevention, if he beats this cancer of the throat he has right now.
But the current day major leaguers don’t seem willing to admit they are putting themselves at risk.
It took the life of one of the best hitters in baseball. It has now afflicted the best starting pitcher San Diego ever had.
There should be a message in all this, but the message surely is not getting thru.