06/22/2002 8:26 pm ET
Cubs hit hard by Kile's death
By Carrie Muskat / MLB.com
CHICAGO -- Chicago Cubs manager Don Baylor was hit hard Saturday by the news of Darryl Kile's death. Not just because the Cardinals were in Chicago.
"I couldn't believe it and I still don't believe it," Baylor said. "'D.K.' was a very special player that I had, I recruited him to Colorado. He signed with me as a free agent in Colorado. The years that I had him there, he never complained about the altitude. He was always a perfect teammate to all his guys who played with him, guys like Larry Walker, [Mike] Lansing, guys who will be devastated. Everybody who played with him feels the same way.
"He was a family guy. He came out every day after throwing 130 pitches and he'd come out and play catch with somebody."
Baylor remembers seeing Kile working with struggling Cardinals pitcher Rick Ankiel last year.
"He was out there, half an hour, 40 minutes playing catch with him, trying to teach him things with his control," Baylor said of Kile. "He pitched that night and shut us out.
"My respect goes out to his family. It's tough," Baylor said. "All the baseball guys around who knew him, didn't know him, we're all in this together. It's a family."
True. Baseball is a fraternity. Once off the playing field, there's a common bond.
"Right now we're still in the shock stages," said Cubs pitcher Jason Bere. "We have very heavy hearts over here and those guys were the ones who were with him day in and day out. I can't imagine what the phone call to his wife was like. It's just devastating."
Carrie Muskat covers the Cubs for MLB.com. This story was not subject to approval by Major League Baseball or its clubs.