06/22/2002 8:23 pm ET
Padres stunned by Kile's passing
Team had their own tragedy with the loss of Mike Darr
By Sandy Burgin / MLB.com
SAN DIEGO -- The mood in the San Diego Padres locker room was somber Saturday. And it had nothing to do with the Padres' 1-0 loss to the New York Yankees.
The news of the death of St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Darryl Kile hit hard for a Padres team that is still mourning the death of their own teammate Mike Darr, who was killed in an automobile crash on Feb. 15.
In fact the Padres were hosting a special bowling benefit Saturday night to benefit Mike Darr's widow and their two children.
Trevor Hoffman and Phil Nevin had organized the event and had enlisted the help of the Yankees Jason Giambi along with a group of Padres players and coaches including Mark Kotsay and manager Bruce Bochy.
"I heard the news during the game," Bochy said. "And I'm still in shock in what happened with Darryl. We all are and our prayers are with his family. This is a stunning event that has really floored all of us. We have gone through a tragedy with Mike Darr. And something like this happens it shocks all of us. We're certainly sorry."
"The players actually told me during the game," Bochy added. "When Phil Nevin heard the new he went up to his house in Rancho Santa Fe to be with his wife, who was there alone. Again it just floored me and all of us were stunned and it's a real shame. You guess why, here's a great guy, a healthy guy again it stuns all of us."
Bochy was asked how you get through something like this having dealt with a similar tragedy.
"This will be a long grieving time for them (Cardinals)," Bochy said. "This was part of the Cardinals family, but of baseball, all of us. It isn't something you ever get over. It's something that we'll always talk about. We'll always remember Darryl and again our prayers are with his family now. I don't know how anyone goes through something like that because it's something that shocks you. Again a healthy body that goes that quick and it's a real shame."
"Darryl was definitely an Orange County kid, who grew up in a similar area to me, although our paths didn't cross very much," Trevor Hoffman said. "Having gone through this with Michael Darr and this being the eve of the bowling tournament we're holding in his honor, and thinking of his family, it's kind of eerie to think of what has happened to Darryl. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Cardinal family, Darryl's family. They were hit with a pretty stiff blow. Our prayers are with them.
"I definitely don't think that they are any ground rules to go by in dealing with a situation like this," Hoffman said. "Each individual person mourns in a specific way. This is a pretty heavy deal. Obviously we've gone through this with Michael. It's something that you just hold dear to his memory and know the type of person that he was."
Ray Lankford, who played with Kile in St. Louis said he had just heard the news and wasn't ready to talk about it.
Mark Kotsay noted how similar Kile was to Darr in the way that they both were fun-loving guys, who loved the game of baseball.
"I think you get over it, you deal with it," Kotsay said. "Tonight's an event for Mike, something to honor him and his family and we're looking forward to do it. Time is the only thing that can really heal.
"It's not going to be easy and the players have to lean on each other," Kotsay said. "This is part of baseball's family and to lose someone in the middle of the season is very difficult."
Sandy Burgin covers the Padres for MLB.com and can be reached at email@example.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.