Originally posted on USS Mariner  |  Last updated 10/7/11
Occasionally we are reminded that people in baseball are still people and they have actual lives as well. We get neat human interest stories like Steve Delabar and Tom Wilhelmsen. Sometimes the news is not so good, like with Smoak and Saunders each losing a parent in the past year. Fortunately for the players, baseball has made some progress in recent years in instituting policies for things like bereavement and paternity leave. Often there’s an urge to try and read into these events an effect on someone’s performance, even though it’s impossible from the outside to know how people are being affected or predict how they will respond. On one hand, Smoak came back from his father’s funeral to hit some home runs and go on a bit of a hot streak, but afterward went into a prolonged slump over multiple months. Then again, at some point he hurt his thumbs too, which may have more to do with it. A lot of people basically gave Jose Lopez a pass for one really bad season due to some tragic family
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