Westmoreland speaks about recovery

Red Sox prospect Ryan Westmoreland was upbeat in a conference call today with reporters, speaking about how he is feeling in his recovery from brain surgery back in March.

What is his therapy schedule like these days? “It’s four days a week. The therapy consists of physical therapy, occupational therapy, which is your everyday kind of things, and then speech therapy also. four days out of the week I’m doing those three and so far, so good and I’m excited to continue it.”

How is he feeling? “I feel a lot better. If you asked me three months ago, the progress has been amazing. I heard from a bunch of doctors and the progress has been remarkable. I’m just excited to keep it going.”

What is it like going to Red Sox games and Minor League games? Is it tough at all? “Yes and no. I definitely enjoy going to the games and getting to watch them. they’re my favorite team anyway, besides the fact that I’m playing for the minor leagues, it’s just great to go out and watch baseball. At the same time I do miss it, getting to see those games, and then to picture yourself out there, it’s tough to see yourself on the sidelines. At the same time, I’ve come to terms with what I’ve gone through and I know it’s going to take a while but I’m ready for it.”

Westmoreland has been touched by all the support.

“It’s been amazing, it really has,” Westmoreland said. “Ever since we kind of released what was going on, I’ve been getting non-stop messages and e-mails from people I do know, as well as people I don’t know.”

The emotional aspect of all this?

“Well, initially, to be honest, I didn’t really know what was going on. I knew it was a serious situation but before that situation, I felt great going into Spring Training, I felt really strong and when that news kind of hit, I didn’t honestly know what to expect and things kind of went on from there and I learned more, I gained more knowledge about the whole situation I was going through and it started out not knowing much and it really kind of went downhill just knowing everything and knowing all the risks and what was going on, but I tried to keep an even head about it and stay positive.”

Ron Westmoreland was also on the call. What has all this been like for him?

“There was certainly some, at the beginning, some very tough days and nights and tough weeks but once the surgery happened and he came out of it OK and over the next few days in ICU, we saw some progress and even the second day in ICU, he actually got up and walked down the hall,” Ron Westmoreland said. “From that day forward, we got to a point where it just became an everyday positive where we could see the progress and nowadays, seeing what he’s doing and actually being out on a field and doing some running and throwing and things like that, every day is positive. Every day I can’t wait until after therapy to talk to him about what he’s gone through. Even though at the beginning, it was very, very difficult, horrifying for us as a family, it got to a point where it was just positive. Every day was positive from that point on.”

Does Ryan Westmoreland know when he might get back on the field?

“From the doctor’s point of view, not one of them has set a time-table as to when I’m going to get back to playing,” Westmoreland said. “I can think in my head, I’m really confident. And going to see the Portland games and the minor league games and the boston games just gives me that extra motivation and confidence that I’m going to get back again but as far as the time-table, I’m not really sure. I’m just really focused on the next day ahead and just trying to get better every day.”

As an organization, the Red Sox have been inspired by the way Westmoreland and his family have handled a difficuilt situation.

“The thing that stands out from our end is just how proud we are of Ryan, the courage he’s shown, facing the initial diagnosis and the surgery, and the determination he’s shown in his recovery. It’s been really awe-inspiring,” said Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein. “We got to know Ryan and his family pretty well during the signing process. We knew we were getting a great kid from a great family,we knew we were getting someone who could handle adversity, but the type of adversity we were thinking of was a long slump or something like that.

“You never imagine one of your players having to go through something like this.
But every step of the way, he’s showed really incredible maturity and bravery, and for us I think right before the initial diagnosis came. It was really intersting to see how the entire organization reacted like a family.You look at your players and you think of them as having bright futures,but then when something like this happens that’s life threatening, and you
see how it impacts all of his teammates, all of his friends, all of the people in the organization who care for him on a personal level. it really makes you appreciate what we have in this organization as a family, and Ryan obviously is a big part of that family.

“So going through this with him was a pretty emotional thing for many people in the organization. We’re proud of him and with him and his family every step of the way. And we’ll be here for him when he’s ready to return to organized baseball.”

23 Comments

This young man is an inspiration. I send best wishes and prayers for continued progress to him and to his family. Makes you kind of take stock of your life and count your blessings, huh?

Onward and upward and get BACK on track. Go REDSOX!!!!

do wish westmoreland the best. if he ever plays again its a bonus.

as for this game. its not a fair fight. it looks like a mistake every time lackey gets an out and ditto when jiminez doesn’t. said it before i’ll say it again. lackey will wind up making jd drew look like the best free agent deal in history. as i said earlier i just hope they can .500 on this trip. with the OF situation that would be pretty good.

Well said, WSSoxFan. If Westmoreland can play again, it really will be a bonus. I am very glad his recovery seems to be going well. Prayers to him and his family. Get well, Westmoreland! GO SOX!

There are two good things about the Westmoreland situation. First, there’s a chance the young man could recover and maybe even play baseball again. Second, the Sox have shown a lot of class in their dealing with and standing by him.

As for John Lackeylustre, his record is very deceptive. He has been whacked around pretty good almost every time out this year. The Sox have gotten him a ton of runs or he’d be 3-8 instead of 8-3. This has strange similarity to the Lugo deal. I don’t understand why they paid Lackey what they paid him any more than I understood why they paid (and are continuing to pay) Lugo. Lackey’s only redeeming quality so far is that he takes the mound every five days. He does appear to be durable. Of course, he has to be with the way he gets knocked around.

Credit the Red Sox tonight. Even with Lackey not pitching particularly well (he has hit tonight!), our offense finally cracked Jimenez tonight. (Exactly what we did not do last night, for reasons passing understanding). And now, Lackey is in position to win the game. Good job, esp. by Nava! GO SOX!

hate to say it but a pretty fitting end to that game. lackey has won WAY too many games like that where he was absolutely horrible. and pap well what can u say. he continues to show he’s a to 5-7 closer in the game BUT as much as he likes to talk the fact he IS he also continues to show he will never be an elite guy like ( as much as i hate to say it ) mariano. there are not may guys who give up a 3 run jack to a .194 hitting de-steroided jason giambi to lose a game. that’s just sad. oh well as i said 3-3 on this trip would be good. at least TB lost and NYY may.

Unreal. Pap blows up another game with 2 HR. Ridiculous. GO SOX!

Take away at least half of Pap’s saves which are of the three run variety and he’s not what I would consider among the elite. The save stat is a joke to begin with, but a closer has got to be able to come in and get three outs when he’s taking over with nobody on base. Pap should have taken the long term deal when he had the chance. He and his buddy Boras are going to find the going tough after this year.

The Sox had “Bob Gibson” figured out and Paps blew another game. Even Pap’s save were nail biters. I won’t feel comfortable with one run lead going to the 9th. It’s not a sign of panic, the Sox should seriously consider Bard to be closer NOW before it is too late. Well, what do I know.

I know we can’t possibly win every game. The way the Sox lost that irks me. Two heartbreaking losses in a row. Lester pitched a gem and yet 1 clutch hit away from winning and last night Bill Hall could conceivably save the game.

Last night’s game was utterly frustrating. Papelbon blew another one and has struggled. Bard may or may not be the answer. Getting a great closer is tough in baseball and Bard has given up his games as well. Both Papelbon and Bard though have still been the most reliable arms in the pen. Take those two away and we have?
Oki?
Delcarman?
Ramirez?
.
All three have been disasters. The reality is the bullpen needs a clean house. They have terrible arms in the pen that will blow a lot of games.
Speaking of collapse, Lackey has been a walking disaster. Does Theo use an astrologer for his picks? Lackey can’t hold leads, he gives up tons of runs, and struggles all the time. Last night’s game should have been won. The fact that it didn’t get won was a revealing testament to a team with arm problems. In fairness, the fact that the Sox got through to a guy with an ERA of 1! was pretty amazing.
So ya, I’m frustrated. I’m sick of this battle of the bulge. Sox need to win a few games and make it look easy.
Dave…
OK vent over!

hang in there dave. lackey only has 4 1/2 yrs left on his deal. ha. as for pap . he will likely be here this and next year IMO. he will be hard to trade as he’s likely to make 10MM + or so next year due to arbitration. not too many teams willing/able to pay that and most that are/can already have a reliable guy. he certainly not the worst guy to have there but he ain’t the best either. can somebody tell me why cameron ever plays in place of mcdonald? all that guy does is produce. esp considering it’s obvious cameron isn’t 100%.

wssoxfan,
Well, when you put it that way, about 5 years isn’t so bad but you know we’ll dump him by next year and eat his salary for three or so more years. That’s the Theo way (LOL).
Papelbon, I agree, will be with us next year since Papelbon will milk his attitude dry. I can’t entirely blame Boras. It’s not like he forces teams to buy players at 350% past market value. (LOL).
As far as Cameron, I have NO idea. McDonald has been badly treated and completely disrespected as a player. They first dump him and then rehire him so he can sit while Cameron and Reddick do their…whatever.
I have to confess Theo baffles me. I am now convinced, he’s either talking with the dead or an astrologer to make his…decisions.

I suspect the problem with Papelbon can be found in his own words — he is a pitcher that works off “emotion and adrenaline” – which is not good, but may explain his increasing failures to save games.

Now that several years as a closer are under his belt, — regular saves are becoming more routine (emotionally) and he is just not getting the adrenaline rush he needs to be an effective closer.

I am really concerned about that — I don’t think he can succeed at normal gears — he needs to be hyped (and in mechanical control) to be effective. What happens when the post season does not get his juices going sufficiently?

DGN, I think you are EXACTLY right about Pap. I think the adrenaline and emotion has worn off for Pap to be effective for us. I think the only way he would get that back (MAYBE!!) is to pitch for another (ahem!) team. (i.e., “a new challenge”).

For those who are complaining that the Sox “need to win a few games”, I know they have have just lost 2 to the Rockies, but remember, they had just completed a 8-1 run at home and have played the best baseball in both leagues since mid May.
I know that every loss is damaging, but the RedSox just faced 2 of the best pitchers in the NL. And yes they need help in the rotation and in the pen, but in reality they have found ways to win even when the outifeld is stocked with Minor Leaguers and the only part of the roster that is deep is the disabled list. At this time I think they are doing the best that they can possibly do.
Get back on track. Onward and upward!!!

Ellen,
I agree and thankfully the killer arm of Dice-K will lead us to victory….(sorry Ellen, I couldn’t resist. Please forgive me.)

Hi folks,
Some thoughts from last night’s game. I made it down to Coors Field last night after sitting in a terrible traffic jam for nearly 2 hours. I had wanted to get to the park early and try to say hello to some of the Sox players. Instead I got there late. But that is still better than what happened in ’04 when my(then) wife and I went to see the Sox/Rocks. That day she managed to run over our cat as she pulled into the driveway. The little guy survived, but it was a scene.

Anyway, I have to say, I am impressed with Nava. He is fearless. Two RBI doubles off Jimenez!
And it was nice to see McDonald hit a home run in front of the hometown crowd. What fun that must have been for him!
Poor Reddick looked bewildered at the plate. I feel for him. He’s trying to do his best, help the team and help his future, but he looked lost. He DID throw out a runner at 2nd, however.
Lackey is a puzzle. One minute he throws batting practice, the next he mows down the opposition. Go figure!
Papelbon does not mess around when he gives up home runs; those were bombs! I could tell the second they left the bat they were gone.
Bard looked great. I was wishing he could have finished the game, I had a bad feeling when Pap was coming in from the bullpen.
All in all, it was a fun game to watch, lots of action, well played, a beautiful evening, drama,,,, all good until Pap started pitching.
Sadly, my streak, or curse if you will, is still alive. I have never seen the Sox win a game in person. In Fenway, Spring Training or Denver, they have lost every time. Dang!! I thought I was going to get a win last night! Arrrggghhh!

Arnie,

You have a delightful wit about you but seriously, its not your fault that the Sox did not win…despite what Julio Lugo told me.
Incidentally, Dice-K told me that he has a knee problem but he can’t remember what knee and that he looks forward to leaving in two or so innings so he can go on rehab again :)

Arnie,

You have a delightful wit about you but seriously, its not your fault that the Sox did not win…despite what Julio Lugo told me.
Incidentally, Dice-K told me that he has a knee problem but he can’t remember what knee and that he looks forward to leaving in two or so innings so he can go on rehab again :) Dice-K seems to like his new dominatrix…errr…therapist.

well i hope they hang on and win this game BUT what ever the record is for combined errors by **** and 3B but i’m pretty sure beltre and scutaro are on their way to shattering it. hopefully the bullpen can hold up. unlike lackey at least when dice is off he somehow USUALLY manages to keep them in the game.

Pap…Pap…Pap…SIGH!

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