Doug Mientkiewicz remembers the support he got from folks in Pittsburgh last season, when his wife Jodi battled a life-threatening heart ailment.
“I had people pull me over in my car and say, ‘If there’s anything I can do to help, let me know.’ That means a lot,” Mientkiewicz said before tonight’s Pirates-Dodgers game. “It has nothing to do with baseball. We enjoyed our year there. I hope for the fans’ sake that franchise gets back to where it should be. I’m looking forward to seeing some people when I get back.”
Mientkiewicz was not in the lineup tonight. He came off the 60-day DL Sept. 2 after recovering from shoulder surgery and is primarily a pinch-hitter for the division-leading Dodgers.
Mientkiewicz told me he’d hoped to re-sign with the Pirates this year.
“I had pretty much agreed to go back to Pittsburgh. At the last second, things kind of fell through.”
Management instead opted to bring aboard Eric Hinske — who flopped, sulked and eventually was shipped to the Yankees.
“I had my heart (set) on going back (to Pittsburgh),” Mientkiewicz said. “I felt an attachment to the city, to the people there, to the front office and the core guys who were there. I think the world of Eric and it’s a shame it didn’t work out for him there. I felt like with what I was dealt last year, I did the best I could. Up until Jodi had her heart problem, I was at .300. The power wasn’t where I wanted it to be. But I kind of (gave up on) that to be as productive as I could be. I feel like I did my job.”
· Pirates fans will get a chance to show their appreciation Sept. 25, when Mientkiewicz and the Dodgers visit PNC Park. Trib readers will get a chance to find out a bit more of what Mientkiewicz had to say in Wednesday’s edition of the paper.