Yeah, that looks as morbid as I thought it would.
Former Major League All-Star and relief pitcher Rod Beck was found dead in his home outside Phoenix on Sunday. He was 38.
His last season was with the San Diego Padres in 2004, when he left in midseason to go to drug rehab. For that reason, it would not be a surprise to learn that Beck died of an overdose.
Pro athletes who battle substance-abuse problems late in their careers tend not to fare well once they leave the game, probably because of a combination of ample financial resources — at least for a while — and little or no accountability to an organization or to drug-testers. Beck’s demise calls to mind the demise of Darrell Porter, the star catcher who struggled with alcohol and cocaine addiction at the height of his career and died of a cocaine overdose five years ago at age 50. Then there’s the especially tragic case of Steve Howe, who was suspended for violating baseball’s substance-abuse policy seven times in his 17-year career and was killed last year when he rolled his pickup truck. Methamphetamine was found in his system.
Regardless of his personal problems, Beck was popular in every clubhouse he was ever a part of and will be missed by his many former teammates who are still in the game.