There's been a death in spring training

What’s worse is that his wife is at least seven months pregnant. RIP, Steve, and my condolences to your family.

How very sad. 23 years old. He had his whole life in front of him.

My sincere sympathy to his family and friends.

What a loss. :frowning:

Read it on CNN earlier on. God, what a tragedy. 23… and almost a father. So sad.

Anyone have any info on cause of death? All that was available this morning was that AP story, which seems to imply that it wasn’t as simple as it looked. The story at is a little more thorough:

So, again, it sounds like they’re attributing it to heat and dehydration, but I’ve never heard of a problem like that taking off and getting that much worse after hospitalization.

I’ve got nothing but sympathy for Bechler. I just hope this doesn’t turn into another training scandal. From all indications at this point it looks like this guy was in fine shape and wasn’t even worked that hard. I sure do feel for his wife and the rest of his family. And his teammates.

According to the current version of the ESPN story, Belcher may have been taking a supplement containing ephidrine. I hope this didn’t contribute to his death, but it is possible.

Overall, I also really hope this doesn’t turn into a scandal too. It does look like this could have happened to anyone with a physically demanding job, not just necessarily a pro athlete.

My first thought up on noticing the thread title: “Again?” Then, as I read the thread… I feel nothing but sympathy for Bechler’s wife, the rest of his family, and teammates. Hopefully, this doesn’t turn into a scandal, either.


According to reports I’ve heard, the temperature was only 81 degrees, so I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that something else was a factor.

And it wasn’t a particularly demanding workout, and they were barely halfway through, and nobody else was feeling ill effects at all. Based on the AP story I was guessing some strange genetic thing or an irregular heartbeat or something like that, but he evidently passed his physical just fine, and then the ESPN story reported that team doctors are still attributing it to the heat. So far it just doesn’t seem to add up.

ESPN story, Tuesday Feb 18th. Some new developments; looks like Bechler had a bottle of ephedrine (diet pills) in his locker, which teammates initially hid from the authorities. Suddenly Bechler has been “battling” his weight problem for years (he was 6’2" 239), and Hargrove characterized his conditioning as “not good.”

Evidently ephedrine, a popular diet supplement, has been linked to heat stroke and heat exhaustion, and has been banned by the NFL and the NCAA for just that reason.

My impression: MLB’s concerned that it’ll come under fire for not having banned the supplement that may have led to Bechler’s death, and are backpedaling to try to make it look like the kid was out of shape. I could be wrong. But at any rate it looks like the scandal here is going to fall on MLB’s substance policy, not its training practices.