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Oakland Athletics: Stephen Piscotty absent after mother’s death

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Stephen Piscotty during his days at Stanford.

OAKLAND — Oakland Athletics outfielder Stephen Piscotty is absent today at the Oakland Coliseum after the death of his mother, Gretchen, on Sunday night.

The Stanford product and Pleasanton, Calif. native was by his mother’s side on Sunday night, as she passed from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

“As an organization, certainly the players, we have heavy hearts for him,”said manager Bob Melvin, who spoke with Piscotty late on Sunday night, and texted with him on Monday. “We know what he’s been going through, and he’s been going through it for quite a while now. We really feel bad for him. He’s really close with his mom.”

In three seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals, Piscotty hit .276 with 38 home runs and 163 RBIs. Last April, he signed a six-year, $33.75 million extension, but in December, Gretchen, 55, was diagnosed with ALS, and he requested a trade to be closer to her. The Cardinals obliged.

On Monday, St. Louis’s president of operations John Mezeliak released a statement.

“From the moment we drafted and signed Stephen, he and his family became a part of the Cardinal family,” Mozeliak said. “We were saddened to hear of the passing of Gretchen and want to let Stephen and his family know that we pass on our heartfelt condolences.”

Oakland president of baseball operations Billy Beane, too, released an official statement of condolence.

“The Athletics organization extends its deepest condolences to the Piscotty family on the loss of Gretchen,” Beane said. “She was a devoted wife and mother, whose legacy will live on through her husband, Mike, and their sons Stephen, Austin and Nick.”

Piscotty, 27, is batting .243 in 115 at-bats for the A’s this season, with two home runs and 13 RBIs. He went 0-for-11 against the Baltimore Orioles over the weekend.

“I don’t know if it’s easier or harder to go through it on an everyday basis,” Melvin said of Piscotty playing at home this season. “I know he was happy about coming here, so I think, for the most part, he wanted to be around and be a part of what was going on at the time, and certainly her last days.”

There was no official word on a possible bereavement leave for Piscotty, according to club officials. He will go on leave “at some point,” Melvin said, likely after this homestand.

“We’ll probably end up seeing him tomorrow,” Melvin said. “We all feel bad about what he’s been through, and about what he’s going through right now. Tough situation, but he’s a tough guy, too.

“There’s real life, and then there’s what we do, which is basically the entertainment business. That’s a real-life situation, that we all feel bad for him.”

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