The past couple days were a scary waiting game for the White Sox.
They watched as their teammate was carried out of the dugout and taken to the hospital during Friday night’s game. Before Saturday’s game, they learned he suffered a brain hemorrhage. “Stable but critical” was the update, and they were worried.
But positive news on Danny Farquhar came Monday afternoon, and guys stood at their lockers invigorated by an update that said their teammate was “progressing well.”
“When it happened, we all had that gut feeling in our stomachs, like, ‘What is going on?’ And then some info started coming in, and we were very concerned and worried about his health and his family, especially,” fellow reliever Nate Jones said Monday. “But to get something like this really lifts the spirits up for sure.”
“Over the last 24 hours there’s been a lot of good news,” pitcher James Shields said. “Obviously he’s not out of the water yet, but I think the good news is definitely needed for him and his family. I’m happy that things are going smooth so far.”
Monday’s update included the news that Saturday surgery was successful and that Farquhar was moving his extremities and talking with doctors and his family. His condition was still described as stable but critical, however, and his teammates know he’s not just going to walk back into the clubhouse tomorrow.
He’s been in their thoughts and the thoughts of plenty of other major league players and teams. The White Sox had his jersey hanging in the bullpen during their games Saturday and Sunday. The Tampa Bay Rays had Farquhar’s jersey hanging in their dugout in St. Petersburg over the weekend. The Seattle Mariners, who arrived on the South Side for a three-game set starting Monday, immediately hung Farquhar’s jersey in their dugout. And teams sent good wishes on social media throughout the weekend.
“We have his jersey out there hanging in the bullpen with us because we want to not completely black it out because it actually did happen and he’s one of our brothers. And we want to remember that and try to represent that the best that we can,” Jones said. “You always think about it, it’s always there, but when it’s time to do your job, you try not to think about it and do the best for him.”
“I’ve had text messages from across the league paying their condolences to the family,” Shields said. “Baseball in general is a family. Whether you know somebody or not, you feel for him. We have a brotherhood here. We’re just really supporting him and his family right now. Around the league, that’s great.”
The well wishes and the thoughts and the prayers are still constantly flowing Farquhar’s way from the White Sox clubhouse and clubhouses all over the game. And as part of that, his teammates are also eager to talk about what kind of guy Farquhar is. Monday, they revealed that Farquhar is a fountain of information out in the bullpen. Quizzes seem to be lobbed daily in the direction of the guy they call “Google” and “Statcast.”
“He’s always smiling, laughing, he’s always joking around. We call him ‘Google,’” bullpen-mate Aaron Bummer said. “He’s full of knowledge, man. If we ever need anything, anything about pitching, he does a lot of that analytics stuff. He’s awesome, man. He’s a good resource for everyone, he’s a great resource for me as a rookie and all the young guys. We miss him a lot and wish him well.”
“He knows a lot about everything,” Jones said. “He’s what we would call a ‘stat rat.’ We call him Google, we call him Statcast. He knows a lot, and it’s intriguing. Keeps us loose out in the bullpen, that’s for sure. … Every day we have something for him, talking about spin rates and all that good stuff. We’ve had fun with him.”
That’s been a constant refrain over the past few days, that Farquhar, who’s made a long journey throughout the major and minor leagues to reach this point of a seven-year big league veteran, is a great guy, a funny guy and a joy to be around for his teammates.
So it’s understandable that they want to see him as soon as they can.
“We sent him some texts, telling him that we’re wishing him well, we’re praying for him and our thoughts are with him. I think that at this point in time, that’s pretty much the extend of what we’re able to do,” Bummer said. “Once he kind of progresses a little bit more, I’m sure guys in the clubhouse are going to get over and go see him, but as of right now we’re still respecting the privacy and listening to what the doctors say and praying for the best.”
“Hopefully soon. No one really knows, but we know that he’s got a long road to go,” Jones said. “We’re just praying that it’s soon.”