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About Jon
Thank You For Not ...

1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
6) using hyperbole when something less will suffice
7) using sarcasm in a way that can be misinterpreted negatively
8) making the same point over and over again
9) typing "no-hitter" or "perfect game" to describe either in progress
10) being annoyed by the existence of this list
11) commenting under the obvious influence
12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with

2005 Draft Pick Battles Cancer
2005-07-13 10:17
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

The Dodgers' 23rd-round selection in the June 2005 draft, 19-year-old lefthanded outfielder/pitcher Jayson Whitehouse of Farmington, New Hampshire, has been stricken with Burkitt's Lymphoma, according to Mike Whaley of Foster's Daily Democrat of Dover:

On June 8 the former Farmington High School baseball star was the only New Hampshire player taken in the Major League Baseball draft, picked in the 23rd round by the Los Angeles Dodgers. Two days later he became very sick and before the month was out he was admitted to Massachusetts General Hospital, diagnosed with a rare form of fast-growing cancer known as Burkitt's Lymphoma.

Whitehouse, 19, is back in Farmington after a near two-week stay at Mass General. He has successfully battled the cancer in round one — the first of three chemo cycles — on the hopeful road to full recovery. A full recovery, he said, that would include doing everything he was doing before the sickness, including playing baseball at a high level.

The treatment, however, has taken its toll: Not only has he has dropped 50 pounds, but he's also lost temporary sight in his right eye.

"I was so happy (after the draft) and it hit me like that and it went downhill," said Whitehouse, who led Farmington High School to state baseball championships in 2002 and 2004 and is a former Class M Player of the Year and Foster's Baseball Player of the Year. "It's horrible. What bothers me the most is 'Why me?' I've no clue why I got it. I can't explain it. It's not in my family; it just happened."

Burkitt's Lymphoma is a very rare form of non-Hodgkin's cancer with only about 300 new cases per year, according to the Web site www.burkitts.org. Rare in most of the world, it is the most common childhood cancer in Central Africa, and is one of the most aggressive of all human cancers. As with other cancers, the exact cause is not known and the cancer often occurs in young people aged 12 to 30. Whitehouse turned 19 in May.

It's possible that being hit in the head with a baseball a couple of months ago may have hastened the diagnosis. According to Whaley, Whitehouse - continuing to suffer from headaches and other maladies - was prepared for surgery in June on what was believed to be a blood clot in his head. It turned out to be a tumor - and further tests revealed cancer in five areas of hid body.

Whitehouse's girlfriend was told that Whitehouse has a 75 percent chance of surviving, Whaley wrote - thanks in part to his physical condition and how quickly the cancer was identified.

Whitehouse has not signed with the Dodgers yet, according to Dodgers director of public relations Josh Rawitch.

Comments (54)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2005-07-13 11:11:16
1.   everett
perspective
2005-07-13 11:15:27
2.   Bob Timmermann
This puts my calling in sick today because I felt a little tired and achey yesterday really wimpy.
2005-07-13 11:57:31
3.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
Cancer is never a good thing, but it really stings to see someone that young get it. I hope he has a full recovery!

WWSH

2005-07-13 11:57:37
4.   Adam
Just for information, Burkitt's is thought to be related to epstein barr virus infection (infectious mononucleosis). Hence, the high prevalence in Africa, where mono is much more common. Treatment, in general, is curative in 70-80% of patients. Hopefully everything goes well for him.
2005-07-13 12:04:15
5.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
Does the relation to mono also help explain why young people tend to get it?

Mono is almost like an epidemic among college students it seems.

WWSH

2005-07-13 12:24:06
6.   dzzrtRatt
There is nothing worse than seeing a kid victimized by cancer. His parents, coaches and friends must be in agony. Godspeed to this boy and his loved ones, and thank God they found it early enough that he's got a chance of recovering. I've seen the other side of that a few times. Cancer is a beast.
2005-07-13 12:37:46
7.   scareduck
More on Epstein-Barr and Burkitt's lymphoma here:

http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/diseases/ebv.htm

95% of adults 35-40 are infected with the virus, so obviously for most of us, it's a slow killer. :-)

2005-07-13 13:20:20
8.   Jon Weisman
Add bad news: The great-grandson of former Brooklyn pitcher George Smith died in mysterious and/or tragic circumstances while on his honeymoon cruise. He was 26.

http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/0713cruise-disappearance13-ON.html

http://baseball-reference.com/s/smithge02.shtml

2005-07-13 13:25:06
9.   Blaine
I post on here once in a while, read often. I am a youth pastor and just found out Friday that a 16 year old girl in my youth group has Hodkins Lymphoma. This type of news does add perspective as to what is really important. Last night 30 youth gathered together with Chloe at Children's hospital to pray and hang out with their friend. Important stuff. If you are inclined to do so, say a prayer for this young lady as well as so many others stricken with cancer.
2005-07-13 14:36:56
10.   Dodgerkid
Let's see if the Dodgers are evil enough to forgo signing this poor guy now that he has cancer.
2005-07-13 14:48:40
11.   Bob Timmermann
I don't know if a player in this situation can be signed and then disabled for multiple years.

Assuming he recovers (thinking positively), this young man would probably just go back into the draft.

2005-07-13 14:50:25
12.   Xeifrank
After reading this I'm depressed and the bone spur removed from my jaw this morning doesn't hurt quite as much.
vr, Xei
2005-07-13 14:56:45
13.   Eric Enders
Oof. What terrible news. Here's wishing him the best in his recovery.

This does raise an interesting question: Are the Dodgers now morally obligated to sign Whitehouse, even though the chances that he will make the major leagues (or even play in the minors) are significantly less than they were a few months ago?

Since he was a 23rd round pick, it's debatable whether the team was planning on signing him anyway. Last year, 24 of the 30 teams signed their 23rd round picks, including the Dodgers. This year, 12 of the 30 teams have done so. It's possible the Dodgers were only interested in Whitehouse as a draft-and-follow.

All of which is irrelevant to the larger issue, which is of course that he gets better.

2005-07-13 14:56:59
14.   Jim Hitchcock
Rob, thanks for that link on EBV. Never knew my long ago mono was caused by EPV.
2005-07-13 15:01:57
15.   Steve Saxs Sweaty Jockstrap
I here theres some talk about making
Orel Hershiser our skipper for 2006!

Let's go BULLDOG!

Maybe Steve Sax will join the show and be our 3rd base coach, because who knows if Hoffman will ever be back.

Go Dodgers!

2005-07-13 15:04:02
16.   Eric Enders
If Sax becomes the third base coach, runners will never touch home plate but will instead slide 10 feet over it.
2005-07-13 15:04:37
17.   Steve Saxs Sweaty Jockstrap
16-Yes!
2005-07-13 15:04:38
18.   Jim Hitchcock
So, Eric, how was Alaska? I'm currently reading Michener's book of the same name, but it's not the same as being there )
2005-07-13 15:22:15
19.   Eric Enders
Well, Jim, I'm toying with the idea of figuring out a way to move there and still be able to do my job properly, which should basically tell you how the trip went. I am officially smitten. Especially when I found out the winters in Anchorage and the Kenai Peninsula are warmer & with less snow than where I currently live.

If you want to read a great book on Alaska, I'd recommend John McPhee's "Coming Into the Country" and Peter Jenkins' "Looking For Alaska." Both are superb.

2005-07-13 15:27:27
20.   Bob Timmermann
So you want to move some place where Dodgers home night games will start a little bit earlier?
2005-07-13 15:30:00
21.   Eric Enders
Yeah, that would be nice too. As much as I love staying up till 2 a.m. every night...
2005-07-13 15:31:21
22.   Jon Weisman
I went to Alaska in about 1995, Eric. (This was about a year before the Tiger Stadium trip, for those of you keeping score.) Had a tremendous time. I have a screenplay in a drawer at home - much of the story takes place in Alaska.
2005-07-13 15:32:13
23.   Eric Enders
Um, is it just me, or did part of this post just disappear? Something about the grandson of a former Brooklyn Dodger dying under mysterious circumstances.
2005-07-13 15:34:17
24.   Eric Enders
I'm sure Dollar Rent-a-Car is regretting giving me a car with unlimited mileage, after getting it back with 2600 more miles on the odometer. I drove nearly every mile of paved road that exists in Alaska, and a lot of the unpaved ones too.
2005-07-13 15:35:27
25.   Jon Weisman
24 - See comment 8.
2005-07-13 15:36:49
26.   Eric Enders
OK, thanks, Jon. Somehow I thought it was in the original post, but I went back to look for it and it wasn't there. ;)
2005-07-13 15:43:06
27.   Jim Hitchcock
24 - Seriously? Man, that sounds like my kind of trip!

And thanks for the recommendations...Amazon Books is truly the second best thing to come out of the internet.

2005-07-13 15:46:06
28.   Bob Timmermann
Since we seem to have migrated over to this thread...

The rumored Jay Payton for Chad Bradford trade is no longer rumored and it became official today.

And another top notch lefty reliever is off the market: Mike Stanton signs with Washington.

2005-07-13 15:46:11
29.   Will Carroll
I'm not sure if this will help, but Burkitt's Lymphoma is the form of cancer that I had. I first discovered I had cancer in October of 1996 in much the same way that Whitehouse did, when doctors were looking for something else. (Mine was odd bloodwork done for an insurance physical.) I was able to overcome cancer through the great work of my doctors and by a stem cell transplant. I've been cancer-free since '97. Whitehouse has a long battle in front of him, but on this one, I can honestly say I've been there and offer him hope for whatever career he chooses.
2005-07-13 16:53:39
30.   Jon Weisman
Thanks for sharing that, Will.
2005-07-13 16:55:18
31.   Jon Weisman
Wow - in the "Uh, I thought he was already gone" department ... Mickey Owen passed away.

http://www.ky3.com/newsdetailed.asp?id=8392

2005-07-13 17:00:55
32.   Howard Fox
1. this is the cheeriest post I've seen in quite a while

2. 3 bad things...don't they come in 3's?

3. of course we hope the kid gets better, the other two, prospects are dim...

2005-07-13 17:28:40
33.   Bob Timmermann
I believe with Owen's passing, there is only one players still alive who played on the Dodgers 1941 pennant winner, Herman Franks. He's 91.
2005-07-13 17:35:28
34.   Howard Fox
this is like the scene from City Slickers where his friends bet how long it will take Mitch to talk about death after the cow dies...
2005-07-13 17:36:27
35.   Eric Enders
When I was a kid, I sent a baseball to each of the key members of the 1941 Dodgers who was still alive, asking them to autograph it. When I got it back, I'd send it to the next guy. Eventually, I got seven signatures on it:

Dolph Camilli
Whit Wyatt
Mickey Owen
Cookie Lavagetto
Billy Herman
Leo Durocher
Pee Wee Reese

And for you trivia buffs, Mickey Owen, after his playing days, became Sheriff of Springfield County, Missouri. He wrote me a nice little note when he sent the ball back to me.

RIP

2005-07-13 17:40:58
36.   Bob Timmermann
The obit about Owen brings up an odd thing I learned. The writer refers to Owen's passed ball during the 1941 World Series that eventually led to a Yankee victory in Game 4.

But when I looked at the boxscore for this for the 1941 RDGC, the play was scored as an error. Apparently that was the rule back then.

The NY Times had Owen portayed as one of the biggest goats in World Series history. The 1941 Dodgers were an awesome squad. But that was back in the era when the Yankees NEVER lost the World Series. They won every World Series they participated in from 1927 through 1941. That was eight series, five of them sweeps. The longest one went six games (1936).

2005-07-13 17:44:14
37.   Eric Enders
So, I guess now we'll never find out if Hugh Casey's pitch that got away was really a spitball. Owen always denied this, but that's perhaps because he was a stand-up guy and didn't want to be seen as passing the buck.

There weren't many chances to ask Casey himself, since he shot himself in the head while talking to his wife on the phone in 1951.

2005-07-13 17:48:58
38.   Bob Timmermann
And in a Jayson Starkian moment:

In 1942, Mickey Owen hit zero home runs during the regular season.

But he hit one in the All-Star game.

Came off Al Benton of the Tigers at the Polo Grounds in a 3-1 AL win.

2005-07-13 18:24:53
39.   alex 7
A good PR move would be for the Dodgers to help pay for some of Whitehouse's medical bills. However, I would imagine this would be done as an alternative to signing him.
2005-07-13 18:35:20
40.   b1ued0dger
I found the AA all-star webcast.
http://www.mobilebaybears.com/webcam.asp
2005-07-13 18:38:35
41.   gvette
Best of luck to young Mr.Whitehouse.

Looks like Beane is beginning his annual mid season trade-a-thon. Gammons has Payton going to the Yankees, and supposedly Beane is ready to trade for the Rockies Joe Kennedy (why??).

#33 Herman Franks?? Funniest commercial I saw as a kid was when Giant manager Franks comes out of the dugout to complain about spitballer Drysdale.

Luckily Big D was using Vitalis, which the ump amazingly ruled wasn't greasy enough to be a foreign substance! Bet Vitalis could cause an environmental hazard and mile long oil slick if exposed to the ocean.

2005-07-13 18:47:57
42.   b1ued0dger
Wow, the Northern League All-Stars are throwing a no-hitter through 5 innings againts the Southern league All-Stars. Joel Guzman just got robbed on a hard-hit ball to the shortstop.
2005-07-13 19:25:48
43.   Marty
41. I remember that commercial! Didn't remember it was Franks from the Giants.
2005-07-13 20:29:27
44.   Suffering Bruin
I didn't expect to read Dodger Thoughts and then burst into tears but then, being a parent changes everything, doesn't it?

There's an old saying: you're only as happy as your saddest child. Today, my son decided to try to jump up each one of the high marble block stairs that mark the entrance to the Getty. He missed on one of them, banged his shin hard and started bleeding. I wasn't there, not that it would have mattered. The lovely wife saw it at the last second... one of those things.

The terrific staff at the Getty started to patch him up but noticed the gash was a little too deep. They bandaged him up and recommended a doctors visit but nothing all that urgent. And then they noticed a little later that the cut kept bleeding right on through the bandage. It wasn't clotting.

Uh oh.

He had a blood clotting problem when he was younger and we thought he grew out of it. So did his doctors. Well, from 1pm when he fell to 4pm when he got stitched up, the leg kept bleeding. He got ten stitches and the gash isn't life threatening but what the hell? Why did he bleed for so long? So there's an appointment scheduled for a pediatric hemotologist (tough profession, that) and we'll see. He might have something permanent but again, let me emphasize, not life threatening... so long as he doesn't have to bleed all that much. 'Cause he probably won't stop.

Look, I'm sure he'll be fine. But something like this... yeah, I could probably put into words the thoughts that come up but who'd want to? This is a safe place to talk about this and I appreciate the indulgence. I've always thought baseball touches everything and everything touches baseball but I'm weird like that. I'd prefer cancer didn't touch the family Whitehouse but through baseball I'm aware of his situation, I'm made painfully aware of my own...

I'm rambling here. My prayers are with them. Lord willing, he'll be on the mound soon.

2005-07-13 20:40:10
45.   Jon Weisman
SB -

That's tough stuff to take, really tough. You don't want to see your kid even skin his knee, let alone this. So I hope the best.

- Jon

2005-07-13 22:08:21
46.   Xeifrank
44. My thoughts and prayers are with your family and son especially. I hope everything is ok. Being a new father, I can sympathize with you about the worrying and feeling as happy as your saddest child. Besides some really nasty colds, bronchitis and a stay in the neonatal intensive care unit for 5 days after birth things have gone pretty smoothly for us so far. Best of luck and GB, Xei
2005-07-13 23:02:17
47.   Xeifrank
I know a few people have suggested keeping track of who picks the Dodger starting pitcher Over/Under for each game. I've come up with a little challenge along those lines. Email me if you are interested, letting me know your screen name.

Dodger Thoughts Over/Under Challenge:

Head to Head competition guessing how many innings the Dodgers starter will pitch each game.
You will go head to head against one other Dodger Thoughts member during each Dodger series.
Whoever is closest to the actual number of innings pitched gets a win, the person who is furthest off gets a loss, and if it's a tie then each person receives a tie. You will go head to head against the same person for the duration of a Dodger series. For example, if the Dodgers are facing the Giants in a four game series, you will be predicting the numbers of innings pitched for the Dodgers starter against the same person for all four of those games. Your opponent will be determined by a schedule. There will be
flights of four people (ideally) but it depends on how many people signup. You will face each person in your flight one time. After you faced each person in your flight the winners of each flight plus a few wild-cards will advance to a single elimination tournament following the similiar head to head format. A tie-breaker
will be made prior to the tournament. The final tournament would ideally have 6 people in it, with the top two seeds receiving a bye in the first round. All Over/Under lines must be sent to me via email before the start of each game, if you don't send in a pick you will forfeit that game. Each flight will be given a unique Dodger Thoughts related name.

Example: Fearing Blue vs Bob

Giants vs Dodgers (Game #1): FB: 6 1/3, Bob: 6, Actual 7 1/3, Bob wins game 1

Giants vs Dodgers (Game #2)... let's say FB wins game 2

Giants vs Dodgers (Game #3)... let's say they tie

Giants vs Dodgers (Game #4)... let's say Bob wins game 2

In their flight, Bob would have a record of 2-1-1, and FB would have a record of 1-2-1.

Then in the next head to head matchup they'd each face someone else in their flight. After each person had faced each flight member one time, you'd see who had the best record, the top people qualifying for the championship tourney.

I would keep track of the standings and post they daily results after each game.

If interested, please email me at xeifrank@yahoo.com and I will put together the flights. As soon as I get enough people I will start it (if enough are interested). We may miss thursday nights game, just to give people enough time to signup.

Xeifrank
xeifrank@yahoo.com

2005-07-14 04:54:33
48.   CT Bum
SB,

Sorry to hear that. My prayers are with you and your family.

2005-07-14 05:43:15
49.   Fearing Blue
This thread has definitely helped to put this season in perspective.

I hope and pray that everything turns out well with your son, Bruin.

2005-07-14 05:57:13
50.   Howard Fox
SB -

All the best....

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2005-07-14 08:50:14
51.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
Re: 44

Best of luck with everything, SB. I hope it turns out to be something relatively minor and temporary.

WWSH

2005-07-14 10:35:13
52.   gvette
SB, Hoping for the best for your family.
2005-07-14 11:33:59
53.   Jim Hitchcock
Keep us posted, SB. Best of luck to your son.
2005-09-12 15:29:01
54.   momofjay
i'm jays mom
he's just finished his fourth and final round of chemo..... now awaiting follow up scans to make sure the disease is gone. All noticiable lumps and bumps are gone to the eye and touch, so we are just praying he is cancer free and continues to fully recover from this nightmare. As for the eye we are still praying for his sight to return... and will follow that when appropriate. This will not hold jay down, and you will see him on the field real soon.
thanks for all your support and kind thoughts during this time. He has certainly had an impact on many and will continue to do so...you watch!!!!!

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