Once Again, The Dodgers Have Re-Signed Andrew Toles, Who Hasn't Played Baseball Since 2018, So He Can Get Health Insurance And Support For His Mental Health Struggles
I've blogged this story twice in the last 2 years and I'm going to make it 3 years in a row now because I think it is that good and needs to be known. Here is the one from 2021 and here is the one from last year, but I will go over it again for you. Andrew Toles hasn't played baseball since 2018, September 30th, 2018 to be exact, but that hasn't stopped the Dodgers from tendering him a contract the past few years. Here is what I wrote back in 2021....
"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.
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."
It's obviously a very sad situation with Toles, an all-world athlete who has some serious issues he is dealing with. The Dodgers have seemingly been there every step of the way to help him get whatever help he needs which is a very commendable thing for them to do. And they don't do it for attention, they do it because they actually care about their players as people and not numbers on a spreadsheet. I'm sure there are other teams who would have turned their back and basically said "he doesn't wear our jersey so we aren't worried about him", but the Dodgers did the opposite and it needs to be applauded. It is sick that this is what has to happen for a guy to get help for mental issues. I can't help think of Delonte West and what he has gone through publicly. Mark Cuban has been trying to assist him too, and he needs to be thanked as well.
But this story with Toles hits me different and I'm not sure why. I can't get over what a great move this is by Los Angeles. We hear all the time about how teams penny pinch and they want to take like 4 french fries out of your chicken tenders basket so they can save like $1.4 million a year on fries or stuff, but this is the opposite. A team openly paying a guy who will never see a baseball diamond again around $700,000 so he can try and get the help he needs. And yes, I know it's the Dodgers and they piss money, but it's still a great gesture. With sports being such a cutthroat business I think it's really great to see the Dodgers not only do this one time, but keeping it going until Toles is able to get back on his feet. I haven't seen any update on Andrew or where he is but I hope that the help that Los Angeles has provided to him is helping and he is doing okay. It's a terribly sad story that I really hope has a good ending. Hopefully we see Toles soon, I'd love to see him doing well and throwing out a first pitch at a Dodgers game or something like that. Once again, hat tip and a firm handshake to the Dodgers for going above and beyond for Toles.