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MLB Rallies Around White Sox Pitcher Farquhar

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Chicago Daily Herald

 

Danny Farquhar is a 31-year-old with a wife and three young children. If you don't know anything else about him, and chances are pretty good you don't, just know that. He has four people who don't consider each of his Chicago White Sox relief appearances to be a life-or-death matter. It's just a job.

It's just baseball. It's just sports. It doesn't mean players don't take their jobs seriously, especially players who live precariously on the baseball bubble, never knowing if they will have a job past today. It doesn't mean his wife, Lexi, doesn't care how he performs, but she needs her husband to be a father to their three children — Madison, Landon and Liam — and she needs him to be around for another 50 or 60 years.

Whether he gets back on the field again is quite obviously secondary to getting out of the hospital and returning home to his family. As of Saturday night, the Sox said Farquhar was stable but still in critical condition at Rush University Medical Center after passing out in the dugout Friday night. Farquhar got the final out of the sixth at Guaranteed Rate Field and collapsed while sitting on the bench.

It was later determined that Farquhar had suffered a brain hemorrhage caused by a ruptured aneurysm. Had it happened in the middle of the night the outcome might have been much different, but trainer Herm Schneider was already talking to him when he began to slump, and assistant Brian Ball helped Schneider keep him upright. EMTs were on the spot within a minute and Farquhar was actually conscious and breathing normally before he was transported from the ballpark to the hospital.

Farquhar lives in Temecula, California — same as Ricky Renteria — but his wife was in town and at the game when it happened, as was his mother, so they were able to join him at the hospital immediately. Born in Southern Florida and fully bilingual in English and Spanish, Farquhar is a high-energy, popular teammate whose baseball story is as common as they come.

The journeyman has bounced from organization to organization and from team to team throughout the minors and majors since being drafted by Toronto 10 years ago. The righty is 10-15 with 18 saves and a 3.93 ERA in 253 career relief appearances with Toronto, Seattle, Tampa and the Sox. This is his 18th professional stop.

He pitched well for the South Siders last summer after being signed as a free agent when the Sox were trading their entire bullpen in July, and quickly became a mentor to the Sox's very young staff. Perhaps already considering what might be next, Farquhar talks of teaching and coaching, and has had conversations with Sox staffers about what it's like to work in a front office, how moves are made and why those moves happen when they do. He's also deep into analytics and when his career is over — and no one is suggesting that is now the case — it wouldn't be a reach to think this is just the type of person Jerry Reinsdorf would employ.

Baseball is funny in that way, how guys seem to wind up where they were supposed to be all along. A former high school teammate of Alex Avila and college teammate of Jonathan Lucroy, Farquhar's favorite player growing up was — wait for it — Ricky Renteria, and as proof of such has a picture of the two of them together from when Farquhar was a child. "It takes your breath away," Renteria said of seeing his pitcher collapse right in front of him.

"One of your guys goes down and you have no idea what's going on." So the Sox played Saturday's game against Houston thinking of their ailing teammate, his No. 43 jersey hanging in the dugout and bullpen as a reminder.

Organizations and teammates from around the game tweeted their respect and encouragement to Farquhar on Saturday as baseball came together with one of their own flat on his back in a neurosurgical intensive care unit. And in that room was his wife, his high school sweetheart, holding his hand and reminding him that the only return that really matters now is the one that brings him back to his house and family. Baseball — and heaven — can wait.

brozner@dailyherald.com * Listen to Barry Rozner from 9 a.m. to noon Sundays on the Score's "Hit and Run" show at WSCR 670-AM and follow him @BarryRozner on Twitter.

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April 23, 2018
 
 
 

 

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