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Orioles Pitcher Dies in Spring Training

RossInfoMan

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Bechler Dies, Day After
Complaining of Dizziness

.c The Associated Press

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (Feb. 17) -- Baltimore Orioles pitcher Steve Bechler died Monday morning, less than 24 hours after complaining of dizziness during a workout.

Team officials said Bechler was declared dead at 10:10AM ET.

The 23-year-old pitcher spent the night in the intensive care unit at Northridge Medical Center. He was pale and feeling lightheaded Sunday while completing his final conditioning run on a back field at Fort Lauderdale Stadium, and he was taken from the complex by ambulance.

The initial diagnosis was heat exhaustion and dehydration, but Bechler's condition worsened after he arrived at the hospital.

"They told us about the situation, and everybody was in shock,'' Orioles pitcher Rodrigo Lopez said. "It's hard to think that you saw him yesterday. After they told us, you don't know how to react. He's part of the family, part of the team. It's sad.''

The players were updated on Bechler's condition during a clubhouse meeting before taking the field for Monday's workout. They were summoned inside at 10:30AM and told of his death.

Last season, baseball was stunned by the death of St. Louis pitcher Darryl Kile. He died in June in a Chicago hotel room from a blockage of arteries leading to the heart.

"It's a very difficult situation when you lose a player, especially someone so young,'' Cardinals general manager Walt Jocketty said Monday at the team's spring training facility in Jupiter, Fla. "They will have to work very hard to deal with it.''

Almost exactly a year before Bechler died, San Diego outfielder Mike Darr was killed in a car crash near the Padres' spring camp in Peoria, Ariz. Darr died on Feb. 15, 2002.

Bechler's death came more than 18 months after Minnesota Vikings offensive lineman Korey Stringer collapsed of heatstroke during training camp and died. Stringer's widow has filed a $100 million wrongful death lawsuit against the team and its doctors.

On Sunday, Orioles manager Mike Hargrove could tell Bechler wasn't feeling well.

"He was about 60 percent of the way through it when we noticed that he was a little white-faced,'' Hargrove said at the time. "He was leaning against a fence between reps, which isn't unusual when guys get tired. We put him on a cart and brought him in, and called the paramedics.''

Bechler made his major league debut last year, going 0-0 with a 13.50 ERA in three relief appearances. The right-hander was expected to begin this season with the club's new Triple-A affiliate in Ottawa.

"Steve was a tough guy; he was a competitor,'' Hargrove said Monday. "I didn't know him that well, but I knew him well enough to know he loved the game and loved to compete.''

Bechler was chosen in the third round of the 1998 draft out of South Medford High School in Oregon. He spent most of last season at Triple-A Rochester, going 6-11 with a 4.09 ERA in 24 starts.

Called up to the majors late in the year, Hargrove praised him as one of Baltimore's best prospects.

Bechler seemed to be in awe as he looked around the spacious clubhouse at Camden Yards for the first time.

"Last night when they told me, I couldn't sleep,'' Bechler said after arriving in Baltimore. "The drive down here seemed forever. It's just overwhelming right now being here, but it probably won't really hit me until I step on the mound.''

Bechler made his debut Sept. 6 against the Anaheim Angels, giving up one run in two-plus innings. Overall with the Orioles, he allowed seven runs in 4 2/3 innings.

02/17/03 11:58 EST
 

Mephisto

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Man thats messed up every year a baseball player dies is getting scary. :(
 

AJBurnett34

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Yea they die becuase they arent getting enough water while running....they need the energy of water of gatorade...
 

Mephisto

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Yea they die becuase they arent getting enough water while running....they need the energy of water of gatorade...
he's the only one that has died dehydration so what do you mean by they?
 

RossInfoMan

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It has nothing to do with getting enough water. He is the first baseball player to die of heat stroke. They found a supplement in his locker that contains ephedrine. This supplement was to help him lose weight since he came to camp overweight. Ephedrine can cause you to not allow your body to cool down, which caused his body temperature to reach 108 degrees. Im not a doctor, but I suppose that high of a temperature can lead to the multi-organ failure that killed him.
 

Mephisto

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It has nothing to do with getting enough water. He is the first baseball player to die of heat stroke. They found a supplement in his locker that contains ephedrine. This supplement was to help him lose weight since he came to camp overweight. Ephedrine can cause you to not allow your body to cool down, which caused his body temperature to reach 108 degrees. Im not a doctor, but I suppose that high of a temperature can lead to the multi-organ failure that killed him.
man thats messed up the O's could get sued for that.
 
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Damn, that sucks. I guess the O's will wear a black band this season...
 

RossInfoMan

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The O's stated they would never prescribe the supplement he was taking, so I dont think they could get sued. Players have to be responsible for what they put in their bodies as he obviously decided to do this on his own.
 

AJBurnett34

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that sux....h was only 23 and was pretty good.I didnt know that about him not colling down but i will never take that medicine he took...
 

Mephisto

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that sux....h was only 23 and was pretty good.I didnt know that about him not colling down but i will never take that medicine he took...
it was not a medic.e it was a thing made to make you lose weight.
 

Mephisto

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Damn that sucks... very sad day for O's players and fans :(
Yea they should make a ceremony in opening day in his memory.
 

AJBurnett34

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it was not a medic.e it was a thing made to make you lose weight.
In my opinion it is because medicine is to help you do something so your body wont feel bad or something like that...i consider it a medicine :rolleyes:
 

Mephisto

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it was not a medic.e it was a thing made to make you lose weight.
In my opinion it is because medicine is to help you do something so your body wont feel bad or something like that...i consider it a medicine :rolleyes: i consider it weight reduction pills
 

AJBurnett34

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i consider it weight reduction pills
There we go you said it yourself they are pills and in other words pills are medicine.... :p
 

Mephisto

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i consider it weight reduction pills
There we go you said it yourself they are pills and in other words pills are medicine.... :p Ecstasy are pills are they medecine, no
 

Marlins4lyf

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Damn that very messed up his career is over before it even started :boo-woo
i feel bad for the family
 

RSBeaver

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They did a big report on the effects of Aphedrine at our school, seems pretty serious......... :(
 

AJBurnett34

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I didnt know that aphedrine was bad! I take a medicine that has it and i am not taking it no more after what happened to that guy, and plus i play baseball too! :unsure :
 

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