Baseball is a small niche sport in Australia, meaning most of the players who participate are all connected to each other in some way or another.
When tragedy struck that small, tight-knit community earlier this week, players like the Albuquerque Isotopes’ Peter Moylan all came together in a common cause.
The death of Australian player Christopher Lane, shot to death in Oklahoma by three teenagers, has galvanized Moylan and others in support of Lane’s family.
“As far as a direct impact I never met the guy (because) I’ve been over here for eight years,” Moylan said. “He was just at the start of his career. But a number of my very, very close friends were players that he played with in Australia. So as far as that he impacted my friends, my family and people back in Australia.
“It’s just a tragic, tragic story. He was super intelligent, super hard-working and (became) a victim of a senseless crime.”
Moylan tweeted out a link Monday to raise money for Lane’s family to cover the costs of transporting his body home and holding a funeral. The response, needless to say, has been overwhelming.
“The goal was to raise $15,000 and it’s already above $80,000,” Moylan said. “People all over the world chipped in. (CNN’s) Piers Morgan even tweeted something about it.”
Moylan said he will be helping out after the baseball season ends.
“I will be contributing in my own way,” Moylan said. “My best man at my wedding and I was best man at his wedding, he was the coach for (Lane) of the club he played on in Australia. I’ll get as involved as I can.”
While some Australian government officials have sharply criticized the gun laws in America and urged Australians not to come to this country, Moylan said he does not hold the entirety of the country responsible.
“I’ve spent seven years over here and it’s been some of the best times of my life,” Moylan said. “I can’t hate on the U.S. as a whole.”
Figuring out Fife
Stephen Fife’s last start left plenty of observers wondering if he had re-injured his shoulder for the third time this season.
Fife threw just eight of 32 pitches for strikes, walking five batters and being charged with six runs in one-third of an inning in a 6-2 loss to Oklahoma City on Monday.
“Yeah, he is (healthy),” manager Lorenzo Bundy said. “That was one of my questions. It just looked so un-Fife like.”
Bundy compared Fife’s outing to a start he made at Oklahoma City last year, where he gave up eight walks in 4.2 innings.
“That’s what it looked like, like that start,” Bundy said. “He of course righted the ship for the rest of the season.”
Fife, who is 1-4 with a 6.11 ERA in eight games (six starts) for the Isotopes this season, will remain in the rotation. He will face former Isotope Aaron Laffey on Saturday.
“Now we’re going to keep him on his day,” Bundy said. “We’re going to jump him in front of (Matt) Palmer in the rotation. We’re going to get him back out there sooner, get him back on the bump for five innings, 75 to 80 pitches.”