Skip to content

Must-click link: “A brother’s passage”

Apr 6, 2013, 1:34 PM EDT

Max Scherzer Getty Getty Images

Robert Sanchez has written a powerful story for ESPN The Magazine about Tigers pitcher Max Scherzer and his family. Scherzer’s younger brother, Alex, took his own life last summer following a battle with depression.

The story goes into heartbreaking detail about Alex’s death and how Max went ahead with his scheduled start against the Pirates, just days after his brother’s passing.

Max wanted to finish the outing emphatically, to leave no doubt about his resolve and give his parents one last burst of light, before everything went black again. He got a sign for a slider, low, and nodded his head. McCutchen swung at the pitch and missed.

McCutchen might chase something now, Max thought. He waited on the sign for another slider. The pitch broke inward then cut back and dropped sharply. McCutchen swung through it. Strike three.

Max took a breath and walked off the mound, his head down and his glove arched high on his left hip. From their seats, his parents held back tears. Max saw his teammates waiting for him at the edge of the dugout. They engulfed him. Hugs. Pats on the back. Handshakes.

Max nodded his appreciation, but had to get past the crowd. He walked through the dugout and into the field crew’s room near the clubhouse. Here, no one could see him. In the quiet shadows, he began to sob.

It’s not an easy read, so I can’t even imagine the weight of having to write it, but Sanchez treats the subject with grace and respect. A truly touching story about a bond between brothers and family.

Latest Posts
  1. And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

    Aug 3, 2015, 5:00 AM EDT

    Screen Shot 2015-08-02 at 11.47.24 PM AP

    Lots of walkoffs, lots of guys throwing at other guys and, oh yeah, the Mets are in first place.

  2. Kyle Lohse in danger of losing his spot in the Brewers’ rotation

    Aug 2, 2015, 11:05 PM EDT

    Kyle Lohse Kyle Lohse

    Kyle Lohse may have lost his spot in the Brewers’ rotation as his struggles continued on Sunday against the Cubs.

  3. Video: Adeiny Hechavarria clubs a walk-off three-run home run for the Marlins

    Aug 2, 2015, 10:15 PM EDT

    Adeiny Hechavarria Getty Images

    Adeiny Hechavarria prevented the Marlins from getting swept by the Padres on Sunday.

  4. Lucas Duda will homer off of you, and your brother, too

    Aug 2, 2015, 9:25 PM EDT

    Lucas Duda Lucas Duda

    Lucas Duda has no respect for familial ties.

  5. Henry Owens will make his major league debut on Tuesday at Yankee Stadium

    Aug 2, 2015, 8:35 PM EDT

    Henry Owens Henry Owens

    Red Sox pitching prospect Henry Owens will debut at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday. No pressure, kid.

  6. Dan Haren will “probably” retire after the season

    Aug 2, 2015, 7:45 PM EDT

    Dan Haren Dan Haren

    Dan Haren sounds pretty set on retiring after the season, but left open the possibility he’d pitch beyond 2015.

  7. Jose Bautista says he “lost a lot of respect for [Ned Yost] today”

    Aug 2, 2015, 6:55 PM EDT

    Jose Bautista Jose Bautista

    It’s safe to say the Royals and Blue Jays won’t be getting dinner with each other anytime soon.

  8. Brandon Morrow to get a second opinion on his ailing right shoulder

    Aug 2, 2015, 6:02 PM EDT

    Brandon Morrow Brandon Morrow

    Brandon Morrow will get a second opinion on his right shoulder, as his injury woes persist.

  9. A.J. Burnett’s career may be over

    Aug 2, 2015, 5:15 PM EDT

    A.J. Burnett A.J. Burnett

    A.J. Burnett is prepared to pitch through an elbow injury if necessary.

  10. The benches cleared in Toronto, too

    Aug 2, 2015, 4:27 PM EDT

    Josh Donaldson Josh Donaldson

    The Blue Jays and Royals weren’t very friendly to each other on Sunday.

  11. The Reds’ and Pirates’ benches cleared after Brandon Phillips was hit with a pitch

    Aug 2, 2015, 3:56 PM EDT

    Brandon Phillips Brandon Phillips

    Cincinnati hosted one of two benches-clearing incidents in baseball on Sunday.

  12. The Cubs are considering Chase Utley

    Aug 2, 2015, 3:35 PM EDT

    Chase Utley Chase Utley

    Injured Phillies second baseman Chase Utley is a potential August acquisition consideration for the Cubs.

  13. Brad Ausmus says he’ll “probably” go with Alex Wilson as the Tigers’ closer

    Aug 2, 2015, 2:45 PM EDT

    Alex Wilson Alex Wilson

    Brad Ausmus has a candidate to handle save situations following the Joakim Soria trade.

  14. Giancarlo Stanton’s recovery from hamate bone surgery “definitely slower” than expected

    Aug 2, 2015, 1:55 PM EDT

    Giancarlo Stanton Giancarlo Stanton

    Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton might not return in mid-August as originally anticipated.

  15. Red Sox place Rick Porcello on the disabled list with a triceps injury

    Aug 2, 2015, 1:01 PM EDT

    Rick Porcello Getty Images

    Red Sox starter Rick Porcello heads to the disabled list with a triceps injury.

  16. Video: Jorge Soler robbed Khris Davis of a home run

    Aug 2, 2015, 9:30 AM EDT

    Nice catch

    Note: that is not his hand or glove.

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. C. Gomez (5436)
  2. C. Hamels (4885)
  3. T. Tulowitzki (4748)
  4. Y. Cespedes (4068)
  5. D. Price (3461)
  1. M. Trout (3406)
  2. G. Parra (3274)
  3. J. Reyes (3230)
  4. B. Revere (3221)
  5. M. Latos (3189)