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News on Rod Beaton (includes update from Maria Beaton)

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Smasher_Sloan, Sep 11, 2009.

  1. Smasher_Sloan

    Smasher_Sloan Active Member

    Some of you may be aware that Rod Beaton of USA Today has been ill for some time. I'm sorry to pass along this news, which was sent out by the BBWAA:

    <i>"I have some sad news to share on Rod Beaton. I spoke with Maria, Rod's wife, and she said he's terminally ill with Lewy body dementia and Parkinson's disease. He's in a nursing home and is wheelchair-bound.

    Rod wears a pacemaker, but his brain is gradually dying, and Maria thinks it might be a matter of months before he passes. He's already undergone three brain surgeries in a span of 18 months, and his body can't take much more."</i>

    I'm sure some people on the hockey beat know Rod from his days of covering the NHL, too. He's always been a friend to everyone, and it's just devastating to get this report.

    I hope you'll keep Rod and his family in your thoughts.
  2. Colton

    Colton Active Member

    Re: Sad news on Rod Beaton

    Sad, sad, news. Best wishes to Rod, Maria and his family.
  3. Simon_Cowbell

    Simon_Cowbell Active Member

    Re: Sad news on Rod Beaton

    How old is he?

    That's awful.
  4. sportsguydave

    sportsguydave Active Member

    Re: Sad news on Rod Beaton

    Amen. He and his family are in my thoughts.
  5. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    Re: Sad news on Rod Beaton

    A great man, a hell of a guy. I always enjoyed hanging out with him. Dang it all.
  6. BYH

    BYH Active Member

    Re: Sad news on Rod Beaton

    Jesus that's awful. Piggybacking on Cowbell, I wonder how old he is too...certainly seemed younger than someone who would have to go thru something like this.

    I remember, in the days before the Internet cornered the market on fantasy baseball reportage, he used to self-publish a really comprehensive book every spring. Was really good stuff. Hope he and his family find peace in whatever time he has left.
  7. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    Re: Sad news on Rod Beaton

    Aw, shit. Rod is good people and, man, did he love the game.
  8. Elliotte Friedman

    Elliotte Friedman Moderator Staff Member

    Re: Sad news on Rod Beaton

    That's terrible news. Rod was very nice to me when I was starting out, and he sure didn't have to be.

    He did a weekly radio hit on PrimeTime Sports here in Toronto for years, as a baseball insider. PTS is a huge radio (now simulcasted TV) show, and his segment was very popular. Unfortunately, they had to drop him, because he was difficult to understand. They didn't want to do it, but had little choice.
  9. jeff.pearlman

    jeff.pearlman Member

    Re: Sad news on Rod Beaton

    Holy, how terrible. Rod is one of the nicest people I ever met covering sports, as well as a fellow Delaware Blue Hen. Just the worst sort of news. A wonderful man.
  10. Smasher_Sloan

    Smasher_Sloan Active Member

    Re: Sad news on Rod Beaton

    I believe Rod is 57. He and his wife have two sons in college.
  11. Re: Sad news on Rod Beaton

    I hung out with Rod quite frequently covering baseball in the 1980s and early '90s. What a great guy, with a wonderful sense of humor and a deep love of baseball. There was a time, prior to the advent of the internet, when he was one of the most prominent figures in baseball writing as USA Today's lead man. Everybody knew and respected Rod -- players, managers, executives. It's been sad watching his health deteriorate over the years, and this news is just devastating.

    I also distinctly remember an incident in which Rod stood up to Barry Bonds in a manner that made him a hero among fellow sportswriters. I did a little Googling and found this 1996 article on the incident by Henry Schulman. This is the Rod Beaton I'm going to remember:

    PITTSBURGH - Barry Bonds might be on to something. Fight
    with a sportswriter, hit a home run.
    Before Tuesday night's game in St. Louis, he launched into
    an obscenity-laced tirade against Bay Area writers whose
    only crime was waiting in the clubhouse to talk to manager
    Dusty Baker, and then he hit the game-winning home run.
    On Wednesday, no screaming, no home run.
    Then on Thursday, after he engaged USA Today reporter Rod
    Beaton in a confrontation that led to some minor shoving,
    Bonds hit his 15th homer.
    There is no truth to the rumor that the Giants have invited
    Hannah Storm to sit next to Bonds in the dugout and ask him
    about his divorce.
    If all of this sounds light-hearted, that's OK, because
    Bonds said he was only joking when he approached Beaton
    before the Giants lost to the Cardinals, 16-8.
    The ensuing conflict led to an eight-minute meeting
    between Bonds and Beaton after the game, and a public
    statement of protest by USA Today. The newspaper also said
    it wouldn't file an official grievance and considers the
    matter closed.
    "He never acknowledged it was over the line pushing me,
    and he never apologized for it," Beaton said. "I don't
    want this to become a festering thing, but I want him to
    know that players can't push writers. That's going too
    The incident occurred in the Giants clubhouse about 70
    minutes before Thursday's game. Beaton was waiting to
    interview Robby Thompson, who was chatting with four
    members of the NHL's Detroit Red Wings who were visiting
    the clubhouse. The writer was still permitted to be in the
    clubhouse, which isn't closed until 45 minutes before
    game time.
    Beaton said Bonds walked by and said, "Don't be hanging
    around our house." Two minutes later, Beaton said, Bonds
    came by again and hollered at Thompson to let him know that
    Beaton was waiting, to which Beaton replied, "Barry,
    you're not my social director."
    That's when things escalated, with Bonds putting his hand
    on Beaton's chest as if to push him away. Beaton said he
    hit Bonds' arm to move it away, but Bonds started pushing
    him again. That's when pitching coach Dick Pole came by
    and gently moved Bonds away, telling him not to touch
    "It was no big deal," Bonds said. "It was just a
    miscommunication. We get our butts kicked and that's what
    you want to talk about? It was a big, huge joke, and he
    (Beaton) got whacked out."
    Beaton conceded "it was not an Albert Belle kind of
    thing. It never got vicious."
    Baker said he didn't plan to talk to Bonds nor discuss the
    "I'm not going to answer for something I wasn't involved
    in," Baker said. "When you turn 21 years old you answer
    for your own actions."
    Bob Rose, the Giants' director of public relations, said,
    "The Giants certainly don't condone this action. It
    clearly does not epitomize the relationship our players
    have with the media." <
  12. Smasher_Sloan

    Smasher_Sloan Active Member

    Re: Sad news on Rod Beaton

    If any of Rod's friends would like to send notes or cards:

    Rod Beaton
    c/o Emeritus of Arlington
    3821 Wilson Blvd. Room 213
    Arlington, VA 22203
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