Royals, Fox made right call in honoring Edinson Volquez family's wishes

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It has become impossible to tell the story of the 2015 Royals without involving death as a major theme. That’s the heartbreaking truth, the lopsided dose of unwelcome life perspective, that this team has had to deal with this season. Third baseman Mike Moustakas lost his mother in August. Pitcher Chris Young lost his father about a month ago.  And Edinson Volquez lost his father, Daniel, yesterday, shortly before he started Game 1 of the World Series, a game the Royals won, 5-4, in 14 innings.WORLD SERIES 2015: Best moments of Game 1 | Great photos | Spector: Mets well-equipped to come back “We have two families,” Jeremy Guthrie, the veteran right-hander who has been a leader in the Royals’ tight-knit clubhouse the past couple years, said in a subdued Kansas City clubhouse after the victory. “You have your immediate family and you have this baseball family, and they both are very important and they are both are things that we keep close to our hearts. We develop these strong relationships.”The Volquez family told Royals GM Dayton Moore the awful news about an hour before the game. There’s been a national discussion about whether the Royals should or should not have told Volquez — because the news broke on Twitter a few minutes before the game — but that makes no sense. “You just want to honor the family’s wishes,” manager Ned Yost said, “and they requested, ‘Don’t tell Eddie. Let him go out and pitch Game 1 of the World Series.’ ”That’s it. End of discussion. The family’s request is the only thing that matters.The Royals did the right thing. And so did Fox, by the way, by electing not to report the news on the broadcast. What if Volquez had ducked back into the clubhouse for a moment between innings and seen the news on TV? Can you imagine finding out your father died in that manner? It wasn’t worth the risk. Not even remotely.So Yost watched his starting pitcher in a way he’s never watched a starting pitcher. “You see Eddie out there, just competing his butt off, and you just keep thinking about what’s coming next,” he said. “The news is coming next. It’s just hard.” Volquez was pulled after six innings, with the Royals trailing, 3-1. He allowed six hits and one walk, and he struck out three."When I told him he was done," Yost said, "I almost said, ‘You need to go call your wife.’ But I didn’t. I just told him he was done."It wasn't Yost's place. When Volquez was done with his outing, his wife, Roandry, broke the news in Yost's office.The awful news slowly made its way through the rest of the team throughout the course of the game. MORE: Top five jaw-dropping moments of Game 1 | Mets' 10 best postseason memoriesYoung, with the memory of the loss of his father way too fresh on his mind, was told soon after Yost found out. The right-hander had to be ready in case Volquez somehow heard the news, and Young might have had to start Game 1. Guthrie, who isn’t on the World Series roster, found out on Twitter in the first inning of the game. “There was no conversation in the dugout,” Guthrie told SN. “I don’t think anybody in the dugout knew. Even when I told (Yordano) Ventura late in the game, he was shocked. I don’t know how many people knew. I would say a couple, myself and maybe others who weren’t in the game and had a chance to see what was going on.”Reliever Danny Duffy took over for Volquez to start the seventh inning. After he retired both hitters he faced and was lifted for Kelvin Herrera, he went back into the clubhouse, where he saw Volquez. “I didn’t know,” Duffy said. “I said, ‘Great job,’ and he looked really down. I didn’t know what had happened, and he told me. You just give the guy a hug and you just tell him, ‘If there’s anything you can do, you’ll do it. Just call.’ He knows that everyone in this clubhouse has his back. It’s just terrible, terrible news.”Volquez left the stadium to be with his family shortly afte

r talking with Duffy. Alex Gordon, whose ninth-inning home run sent the game to extra innings, found out right before the end of the game, as the Royals were putting together the rally that would win Game 1. “I was standing next to Ned,” Gordon said, “and he told me, he said, Let's win this game for Volquez, and explained what happened.”The rest of the team found out after the game. “We do a little postgame celebration after a win here, and the boys all found out right before the celebration happened,” said Hosmer, who drove in the winning run with his 14th-inning sacrifice fly. “You want to be there for him, for your teammate, but he’s got to be there for his family right now. You wish you could be there to do anything he wanted you to do, or help him out, but he needs to be with his family right now.”And his baseball family will be waiting. “Whenever Volquez decides to come back,” Duffy said, “whenever he’s comfortable — he needs to be with his family right now — but when he comes back, everyone in here will be ready for a hug. “He just needs to know that we’ll be here in the shadows, waiting for him to get back, and whatever he needs, we’ve got him.”