It’s a sad time here at Uni Watch, as bench coach Phil Hecken’s father, who’d been in declining health for some time, passed away yesterday.
I regret that I never got a chance to meet Phil’s dad. When Phil and I became friends after he started working for me a few years ago, he would often say that the two of us plus our two fathers — all four of us big Mets fans — should go to a ballgame together at Shea. Unfortunately, my own father fell ill soon after that, and then Phil’s dad began having medical issues of his own, so it never happened.
When my Pop died two summers ago, it was after a two-month period of repeated hospitalizations, medical procedures, and so on. Those two months were extremely difficult and stressful, but I’m sure it was nothing compared to what Phil and his family have been going through, because his father was sick for quite some time. Phil doesn’t like to let on, but I’m pretty sure this has been weighing very heavily on him for most of the time he’s been involved with Uni Watch. (Despite this, he’s never let the situation affect his work here on the site. When his father recently took a turn for the worse, I suggested that I should reschedule my summer break, to take some pressure off of him, but he wouldn’t hear of it.)
We’ll be closed today out of respect to Phil and his family. All my deepest condolences go to them. I hope they — and Phil’s father, of course — can finally get some peace after their long ordeal. R.I.P. — Paul