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The Dodgers Re-Signed Andrew Toles, Who Hasn't Played Since 2018, So He Can Have Health Insurance And Get Help For His Mental Health

This is a move the Dodgers should be praised for. Outfielder Andrew Toles hasn't played in a Major League game since 2018 but the Dodgers re-signed him strictly so he could have health insurance and have access to therapists and other outlets to get help for his mental health issues. I blogged about it when it originally happened last year, it's a horribly sad story that hopefully has a happy ending. The Dodgers are doing everything they can to make that a reality. I'll put part of last years blog below so you can catch up on the story...

"In March of 2019 the Dodgers placed him on the restricted list after stepping away from the team and in June of 2020 he was arrested for sleeping behind an airport terminal. You look at the picture above and you can see that he is a lost soul. A guy who once had a bright baseball career was spiraling out of control and needed help. This is a guy who in 2016 went from A Ball to the starting left fielder for the Dodgers in the playoffs. He tore his ACL in 2017 and missed some of 2018 too. Spring Training 2019 he never showed up. He arrived to camp on April but left a few weeks later for personal reasons. In the past he was open about his struggles with depression and anxiety and was also diagnosed with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. According to this USA TodayArticle, Toles has been in and out of 20 mental health facilities since 2019 alone. He's had multiple run ins with police as well. He was arrested in Hong Kong and spent over a month in jail after losing his passport and stealing food from a gas station. It's obvious he needs help and good for the Dodgers for stepping up. 

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This latest move is such an amazing gesture, a lot of teams would have cut bait after he ditched camp and said "not our problem", voided his deal and move do. The Dodgers seem to know this goes beyond the diamond and it's about getting a person their life back. It's very similar to the Mark Cuban and Delonte West story as well, teams treating these guys like people who need help, and not numbers on a spread sheet. And it's not like the Dodgers were doing this for good publicity, they don't pat themselves on the back for it, they do it to help someone out who needs it. Hard not to at root for the Dodgers after a move like this. I wish nothing but the best for Andrew Toles going forward."

The demons that Toles has battled is something nothing should go through, and again, all the credit in the world to the Dodgers for continuing to make sure he gets the help he needs. Now I don't think he'll earn he $700,000 because that is the pay he'd receive if he played in a big league game, which he won't do. But for him to have access to therapists and other things like that, it's an awesome move. I wrote it last year but this isn't a "look at what we're doing" story by the Dodgers, they're doing it because it's the right thing to do to help out a friend. 

I was actually thinking about this story a few weeks back and had wondered what ever happened with it, now we know that he'll continue to have the keys to help himself in his situation. Some other organizations would have told him to get lost when he left camp, they'd have said he disrespected the logo and uniform and never offered a helping hand, the Dodgers did the opposite and offered a helping hand to a man who desperately needed it and honestly may have saved his life. We see these athletes and think it's all rainbows and butterflies because they play a sport for a job and make a ton of money, sometimes that isn't the case. We've see it proved before that money doesn't equal happiness. Hopefully Toles will continue to utilize the help the Dodgers have provided him and he can get back on the right path to living a normal life. Would love to read an update in a few months saying he's doing better than ever. And again, all the credit to the Dodgers for doing this, says a lot about their organization.