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Larry Stone gives his take on a wide array of baseball issues and weighs in about the Mariners, too.

November 12, 2009 at 3:04 PM

John Wetteland hospitalized

UPDATE 8:38 P.M.: The Mariners have released statements from both John Wetteland and Jack Zduriencik. Here they are:

John Wetteland (Mariners bullpen coach) said, this evening from his home in Argyle, TX: “Thank you for your concerns. My wife and I are very appreciative of the over and above care of our local officers and paramedics. The circumstances leading to my elevated blood pressure and heart rate have been addressed. I am currently resting safely at home.”

Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager Jack Zduriencik said: “We were relieved once we heard the details from John and Michele and that John is safe at home and in good health. Contrary to earlier news reports, the reason John was hospitalized was because of an extremely high heart rate. We have let them know that the Mariners will do whatever we can to assist them.

UPDATE 5:38 P.M. I talked to a couple of Mariner relievers, who were obviously shocked and concerned about the Wetteland news.

“Obviously, it caught me off guard,” said Mark Lowe. “He’s a strong man. I know he’s been through a lot. I know he’ll pull out from it and be fine. He’s going through a rough time, but I have complete confidence everything is going to be fine.”

He added, “This completely caught me off guard, but everyone goes through their times.”

David Aardsma said, “John’s a huge part of our team, a huge part of our bullpen. He’s been a big part of my life this past year, a big part of all of our life. My heart is with his family, and with him. I really hope everything is all right, obviously.

Aardsma said he had no inkling of any problem. “No, in the clubhouse he’s a great guy, a fun-loving guy. He’s full of life, he loves coming to the park every day. He has a great family he absolutely loves. He couldn’t wait to see them all the time. He brought them into the clubhouse every every chance he could. He always seemed like everything was great. He was so proud of his family and eager to show them off. I know it sounds like a cliche, but this was the last thing I ever saw coming.”

This is a very alarming and upsetting story that was first reported by the CBS affiliate in Dallas — Mariners bullpen coach and longtime major-league closer John Wetteland has been hospitalized for what Denton County officials called “a mental health issue.”

The story on the CBS 11 News website out of Dallas says that “officers took a call from the Argyle/Bartonville area at 12:30 p.m. Thursday on a possibly suicidal person. When officers arrived to the home, a man later identified as Wetteland came out with his hands in the air, saying he “needed help.”

Wetteland lives is Bartonville, Texas. We’re trying to track down more. I wish the best for Wetteland.



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