Uni-Watch.com does not like P.J. Walters' "AFW" gesture
Many people may have noticed during last night’s game that Twins starter P.J. Walters etched the initials “AFW” into the back of the mound. In his two previous starts, Walters also placed these letters on the back of the mound. The initials are those of the daughter who passed away after just 52 short days - an unimaginably devastating loss, no doubt.
I assume for most viewers, this gesture of memorial for the daughter he and his wife lost seems appropriate. As a pitcher, Walters will approach the mound from the back and see his daughter’s initials and be reminded of her. However, at Uni-Watch.com, the proprietor and several commenters have found this practice to be inappropriate.
First opinion is from a commenter named “Phil”:
In response, Paul Lukas, the blog’s owner, writes:
“You have to feel sorry for anyone who’s lost a child, but that is a “Look at me” move if there ever was one.
Wear a shirt under your jersey, write her initials on your cleat, ****, get a tattoo … but for the love of Christ, keep the mound clear of that.
And this seems like a total ratchet move too. If someone else loses a kid, or their wife, or their mom or their sister, or their childhood friend … what’s to stop them from expressing a similar sentiment? You’re gonna have all kinds of mound graffiti.
Nay, there are other and more appropriate ways to mourn someone than defacing the bump. …
First game back after her death, as a one-off? OK, I’m down with that. Three (at least) games approximately two years after her passing? No.”
Personally, I do not think there is a statute of limitations to how long a person should grieve a loss of a family member – particularly one’s own child. Having the good fortune of not losing anyone close to me, I cannot fully speak towards the topic but I would assume the pain lingers on day six hundred as it does on day two.
“I’m with Phil on this one. I’d be more okay with it if the initials were on the side of the mound, where the TV cameras couldn’t pick them up — then it wouldn’t have as much of a “Look at me” factor. As it is, it’s the mound equivalent of some guy who stands behind a TV correspondent and waves because hey, he’s on TV!”
Secondly, in response to the “grandstanding” comment, it would appear (although Seth Stohs or a Rochester correspondent would have to confirm) that Walters has performed this act prior to coming to the majors when cameras were around. As I said above, most pitchers climb the mound from the back (or at least circle behind it frequently) and the position of the initials would give Walters the best view.
To summarize my sentiments on the issue, I direct you to Clarence Swamptown’s tweet in reply to the article:
Amen, brother and shame on Uni-watch.com.
“Those who critique how a man chooses to mourn the loss of his baby daughter are a special kind of *******.”