What was initially reported as a possible suicide attempt by Mariners bullpen coach John Wetteland now appears to be a major misunderstanding that followed a family argument.
News reports from Denton, Tx. had the 43-year-old Wetteland taken to a local hospital after asking for help when police responded to a woman’s call about a man in the home discussing suicide.
That version stunned coaches and players who knew Wetteland, and the story now has completely changed.
Sources with the team say Wetteland never considered suicide Thursday, that the call to police came during a family argument and was a misunderstanding. When police arrived with paramedics, Wetteland walked out to meet them and paramedics found his blood pressure elevated.
The paramedics asked Wetteland to accompany them to a local hospital to be checked out further. He was, and was never admitted as a patient.
“It’s a huge misunderstanding that became a national story,” one coach said. “John’s fine. The family is fine”
The Mariners had no response to the initial stories, but are aware of the news and are following it closely.
Wetteland’s eccentric, intense personality helped the Mariners bullpen form a tight bond in 2009, and he mentored first-time closer Aardsma from early in spring training.
“Every guy in the bullpen would hop on a plane today and fly to Texas to see him if he asked,” Mark Lowe said. “I’m with Sean White, and we were trying on tuxedoes for his wedding on Saturday when we heard the news. The first thing I did was start praying for him.
“John’s got a family that just adores him, and friends who’d do anything for him. He’s strong, and he’ll get through this, whatever it is.”
A musician with a passion for rock music – and a collection of electric and accoustic guitars, which he often traveled with – is married with four children.