Former Padres star Tony Gwynn, who died Monday of oral cancer, will be long remembered for his hitting prowess and his graciousness.
But his legacy ultimately may be linked to the future of chewing tobacco. Gwynn was convinced it was to blame for his cancer.
After Gwynn’s passing, Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Addison Reed, who played for Gwynn at San Diego State, said he took the seven cans of chewing tobacco in his locker, opened them, and then dumped the tobacco in the trash can, according to Fox Sports Arizona.
Smokeless tobacco is banned in the minor leagues, but an attempt to keep it out of dugouts in the majors was rejected by the players in 2011. However, players agreed not to use it during television interviews.
There was sentiment around the game in the days after Gwynn passed away that players wanted to quit, but it’s easier said than done for some.
“Anytime you see something like that, it definitely makes you second-guess your choice of using tobacco or not,” Cubs catcher Jeff Russell told the Chicago Sun-Times.
But Russell won’t stop.
“For some reason, it’s tougher in the season,” he said. “During the offseason, I don’t do it as much. Obviously, my girlfriend and mom don’t really like it too much. My dad still dips to this day. We’ve tried cutting back and quitting at times. But just with the baseball culture, it’s kind of tough, I guess.”
Compiled with the help of reporters around the nation who cover baseball
In his last 20 games, the Braves’ Evan Gattis is hitting .388 with eight homers and 21 RBIs.
Clayton Kershaw, who was nearly perfect in his no-hitter.
The Indians are 23-13 at home.
The Indians are 14-24 on the road.
Texas starter Yu Darvish has lost eight straight decisions against Oakland.
Tigers manager Brad Ausmus for his foolish “joke” about spousal abuse.
Nick Swisher has now hit an extra-inning homer for four different teams (A’s, White Sox, Yankees and Indians) but needs one more to join Don Baylor, Jack Clark, Cliff Johnson and Todd Ziele as the only players to blast a tater in extras for five big-league clubs.
ESPN noted that Rays starter David Price has 133 strikeouts and 13 walks this season. If he maintains that, his ratio (10.23) would be third best in a season in modern MLB history.
Over the past two season, the Washington Nationals are 9-30 (.231) against the Braves and Cardinals and have a .588 winning percentage against the rest of their opponents.
You need to know
From ESPN: The Royals’ double-digit win-streak means the only team left without one in the last 20 years is the Marlins.
If they maintain this pace, the Padres’ .275 on-base percentage would be the worst in baseball history.
On Tuesday, the Rangers will offer fans the chance to buy a “Bacon Waffle on a Stick.” That’s a crispy waffle filled with bacon which can be dipped in maple syrup or topped with chocolate syrup and whipped cream.
Ian Kinsler, who said before the season that he would love to see his former team, the Rangers, go winless, and the Tigers play Texas this week.
Words of wisdom
“I’d really like to hit one out so I can just jog. … I always make it hard on myself.”
| Rockies outfielder Brandon Barnes after hitting his second home run of the season; both were inside-the-park homers