Mental Health Heroes | The Dodgers Refuse To Let A Uniform Validate Andrew Toles’ Worth

Mental Health Heroes | The Dodgers Refuse To Let A Uniform Validate Andrew Toles’ Worth

Andrew Toles has not suited up in a Dodgers uniform since September of 2018, but fortunately for Toles, the Dodgers refuse to let a uniform validate his worth. 

Despite not being an active member of the team, Toles still has a contract with the Dodgers. He’s on the restricted list, so he isn’t getting any pay or playing time. Instead, he’s getting something more important: access to the proper mental health and medical care. 

 

 

Toles’ journey to the big leagues had been a roller coaster ride in itself. After his dismissal from the University of Tennessee baseball team in 2011, he played at Chipola College before getting drafted in the third round by the Tampa Bay Rays in 2012. As a member of the Rays’ organization, Toles produced on the field. In 2013 he led the Class-A Midwest League with a .326 batting average and 62 stolen bases.

The common phrase that teams used when releasing Toles was “personal matters.” Due to more personal matters, Toles’ promising baseball career was cut short once again in 2015 after being released by the Rays. However, it wasn’t long before the future started to look bright for Toles once again.

In September 2015, the Dodgers signed him to a minor league contract. He’d eventually get his call to the big leagues in July 2016.

He had some great moments with the Dodgers and proved that he definitely belongs in The Bigs.

 

 

Three years later, the Dodgers announced that Toles had been put on the restricted list. The reasoning they provided had been heard multiple times before. Toles had more personal matters, and he never suited up for the team again.

What many people didn’t know at the time, was that Toles’ personal matters were mental health episodes that had been occurring frequently. Throughout the course of his adult life, his family confirmed that he has been to 20 different mental health facilities.

After multiple run-ins with the law due to erratic behavior, doctors finally diagnosed him with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Toles had been under contract with the Dodgers upon being diagnosed, but despite the diagnosis, the Dodgers were not ready to let him go.

 

 

By keeping Toles under contract, he has access to the necessary resources and insurance to help him continue to fight his mental health obstacles. The last anyone heard, regarding Toles and his status with getting the proper help, he had already begun inpatient treatment.

At the end of the day, the Dodgers are doing something that a lot of employers traditionally have never done; they are acknowledging and prioritizing the mental health of one of their own.

Word about Toles’ behavior was nothing new for the organization, but the diagnoses themselves were. Toles does not necessarily have a track record of being consistent with treatment, but many people struggling with mental health issues share that same pattern. Rather than distance themselves from Toles, his mental health, and the legal battles that he had been involved in due to his behavior, there is an effort amongst the Dodgers’ organization to help him.

 

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Chicago City Connect Jersey Drip-Off | Cubs vs. White Sox

Jala Norman discusses the inner-city rivalry between the Cubs and White Sox and how their new City Connect Jerseys reflect each team’s city, history, fans, and personality. The Chicago squads share the city, but each team has a culture of its own.

 

 

Next Up:

Arizona D-Backs (June 18th), San Francisco Giants (July 9th),  LA Dodgers (Late August)

George Springer’s Toronto Experience Requires Patience & Persistence

George Springer’s Toronto Experience Requires Patience & Persistence

If slow and steady wins the race, then George Springer looks like the surefire champion.

 In his first year with the Toronto Blue Jays, the former World Series MVP is fresh off of signing a six-year, $150-million contract. But so far he has only played in four games this season, and the Blue Jays are proceeding with caution.

The reason? A nagging right quad injury. 

If Blue Jays’ fans think it’s difficult to patiently wait for Springer’s healthy return, they aren’t alone.

Last week Springer confirmed that the process has been hard for him, too. After all, it’s not like Springer has avoided taking the field. After the quad injury kept him out for most of April, Springer came out swinging with two home runs in the Blue Jays win against the Atlanta Braves. The following day, Springer made three plate appearances against the Braves before feeling fatigued in that same right quad. Fans haven’t seen him play since.

 

 

An MRI revealed that Springer had aggravated his right quad once again. From that point on there’s been a seemingly large question mark surrounding the status of Springer.

From the outside looking in, his quad injury was never anything dramatic. Upon being removed from the May 2, game against the Braves, he did not have to be carried off of the field. He never screamed in pain. Matter of fact, the word that manager Charlie Montoyo used to describe the injury was “fatigue.” 

Despite the occasional bits and pieces from the Blue Jays’ organization regarding Springer’s injury, information on the status of Springer has been vague, and that did not change when Montoyo took the podium again last week.

 When asked about Springer’s health, Montoyo confirmed that Springer had been catching some fly balls and throwing to the bases. He proudly announced that last week had been the best that Springer had felt. In his own words, Montoyo described the update as “good news.” 

 

 

However, he remained quick to shut down any potential idea that Springer is ready to be back on the field at the moment. He described the current status of Springer’s injury as “day-to-day.” Earlier this week, Montoyo announced that Springer’s progress is continuing, and he will begin the rehab process soon.

So what can fans expect from Springer when he does finally return? Fortunately, the bits and pieces that we’ve seen from him since the injury show that he is indeed still very much capable of carrying out the fundamentals, despite his injury’s persistence. However, the fact of the matter is that with a nagging hamstring injury like his, we shouldn’t be surprised if he has a few setbacks before he is back to his normal self.

If the Blue Jays want him to be a healthy, long-term member of this team, Springer’s time spent nursing his injury should be seen as an investment above all. The last thing the organization needs is more harm done than good, especially when dealing with a three-time MLB All-Star.