For Pete's Sake

Cardinals trade player to Oakland, so he can be near his sick mother

St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Stephen Piscotty.
St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Stephen Piscotty. The Associated Press

It’s easy for fans to forget that professional athletes sometimes face many of the same struggles as the rest of us.

Their kids can get sick, spouses can grapple with their husband’s constant travel, and parents die.

In the case of Cardinals outfielder Stephen Piscotty, his mom was diagnosed with ALS (or Lou Gehrig’s disease) in May, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Gretchen Piscotty lives in Pleasanton, Calif., which is about 30 miles southwest of Oakland, Calif.

So on Thursday, the Cardinals finalized a deal that sends Piscotty to the Oakland A’s.

Goold reported that the Cardinals acknowledged that trade was made partly so the 26-year-old Piscotty could be closer to his mother.

“I don’t know if I can empathize with Piscotty,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny told Goold. “You just hurt for him. You can’t even really go there to understand him and at his age and what it is that he had to endure or what that is like for a family. I think it’s really just understanding that it is very, very difficult. You let him know that you care. You acknowledge. You have compassion. We’re trying to be support for him, and we have to look to do anything we can.”

Oakland general manager Billy Beane was impressed with the Cardinals’ attitude.

“That’s what makes the Cardinals one of the classiest organizations in sports,” Beane told the Mercury News.

Pete Grathoff: 816-234-4330, @pgrathoff