Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Have a heart, Rod Carew. Literally.

Rod Carew during the pregame festivities at the
2014 All-Star Game at Target Field.
The news Monday that Rod Carew is in need of a heart transplant was a bit of a thunderbolt, especially to Twins fans of my age. For a good chunk of the 1970s, Rod Carew was the focal point of the Twins -- perennial All-Star, perennial batting champion.

Steve Rusdin of Sports Illustrated broke the news.

One aspect of Carew's situation that seems to be getting misinterperted in the Twin Cities reports I've seen: According to Rushin, Carew is not actually on the transplant list. He's not healthy enough yet after surviving a major heart attack in September. He's on an artificial heart of sorts, an LVAD -- Left Ventricular Assist Device -- while he waits to get on the list and then for a matching donor.

The salient paragraph in Rusdin's piece about Sir Rodney's future:

Some patients keep the LVAD permanently when transplantation is not an option. At 70, Carew is near the age border for a transplant, though age standards are considerably more liberal in the western United States, where waiting lists are shorter. “I don’t know if I’m going to be bionic or what,” says Carew, who is concentrating now on becoming healthy enough to quality for the transplant list.
Carew is aiming to be at spring training, although he has been told that if he does go to a training camp this spring it will be the Angels (who train in Arizona), not the Twins. He's under contract with both organizations, and both renewed their deals with the Hall of Famer after his health crisis began, a nice gesture by the two teams he played for.

We all die sooner or later. I'd prefer to see Carew hang around a few years more.

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