Bittersweet Mother’s Day for Fiers

It was a very bittersweet Mother’s Day for Brewers right-hander Mike Fiers, who re-joined the team after being recalled from the Minor Leagues. On one hand he was back in the big leagues. On the other hand, that meant leaving his mother’s bedside in Florida, where she remains hospitalized in grave health.

“I asked my mom, what do you think?” Fiers said. “She said, ‘Yeah, get out of here. You’ve got a job.’

“I want to stay there with her as much as possible, but she understands these opportunities don’t come too often. We had Mother’s Day yesterday, so [it was comforting] just to be with her that whole day and knowing she wants me to do my job here. She would rather see me up in the big leagues than sitting with  her, even though we have great times together.”

His mother, Linda Korman has suffered for many years from lupus, an autoimmune disease. Recently, Fiers said, she began having difficulty breathing.

“It was tough for her to breathe, to walk from the bed to the couch, which is ten steps,” Fiers said. “She was out of breath.”

Doctors delivered very bad news.

“Everything — her kidneys, liver lungs — everything was shutting down,” Fiers said. “The kidneys is the biggest thing.”

The prognosis was grim.

“The doctors, early on, didn’t really have a bright side to it,” he said. “I had to definitely be there.”

So Fiers, who began the season in the Brewers’ rotation but was demoted to Triple-A Nashville after one start, began commuting between starts to Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. to be with his mother. Last week, the Brewers made it easier for Fiers by transferring him to Class A Brevard County, about two hours’ drive from home. He made one start there on Wednesday, and on his non-pitching days would work out at the ballpark in the morning before driving down to be with his mom.

“I have to thank them, for sure,” Fiers said.

He was with Linda on Saturday before Brewers assistant GM Gord Ash called offering a promotion to the Majors.

Mom didn’t hesitate. Go, she said.

After the last two days, good days, Fiers said, he decided to go. He rose at 5 a.m. ET on Sunday and spent about 45 minutes with his mother in the hospital before leaving for the airport and a flight to Cincinnati.

“I did see improvement in the last two days,” Fiers said. “She’s been in there for two weeks now, and the last two days were very, very, very, good, in the sense of her interacting a little bit more and just having more energy, not just sitting there. It was tough for a while to go in there and see her in that position.”

He was badly needed by the Brewers, who got only four innings from starter Yovani Gallardo on Friday and three innings from Hiram Burgos on Saturday.

“There’s definitely a lot going on,” Fiers said. “It’s tough. The game of baseball is a lot and you try to make it as simple as possible. Then you’ve got things outside that kind of makes it a little tougher. The only thing I can do is make it as simple as possible. Just think about the game out there and just try to help this team win. I’m trying to stay mentally strong.”

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Follow me on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy

 

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