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CNN Live Event/Special

Cardinals GM Talks About Death of Darryl Kile

Aired June 22, 2002 - 17:17   ET


KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: ...Kile. Let's listen in.

WALT JOCKETTY, CARDINALS GENERAL MANAGER: one point we decided we better call hotel security, which we did. Security then had to notify -- or get the help of engineering to get into the room, as it was locked from the inside. And when they entered the room they found that Darryl Kile had passed away in his bed.

And there was no sign of foul play. Cause of death at this time is undetermined. And obviously it's a very tragic event for the Cardinals, for his family, and for all of baseball.

This is a very difficult time. We've been in contact with his wife, Lynne (ph). We're trying to get her up here. She was in San Diego. And it's just -- it's very tough. I want to especially thank the Chicago Cubs, Fox television, major league baseball, Chicago police, and everyone else that was very helpful in this difficult time today.

And it's going to be a difficult time for our team, obviously a tough grieving period, but we'll work through it.

QUESTION: Walt, who is the correct person in the Cardinals (UNINTELLIGIBLE)?

JOCKETTY: I don't know the answer to that. I don't know whether Joe Walsh (ph)...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know he had dinner with his brother, who was in town last night.

JOCKETTY: His brother -- his brother Danny is in town.

QUESTION: Walt, what time approximately was it when you all started to make the calls to his room?

JOCKETTY: Do you know that, Joe (ph)? I would guess it was probably -- it was before noon, obviously. I got out here, and I think at about 12:30 p.m. Barry Weinberg (ph) informed me, or a little after 12:00 p.m., informed me that there was a problem and we needed to go back to the hotel. So probably -- I'm sure it was before that, probably before 11:00 p.m. when we started calling.

QUESTION: Walt, have you had a chance to talk to your team, and how are they doing?

JOCKETTY: I have not. I left the ballpark at 12:30 p.m., quarter of 1:00 p.m., whatever it was, to go back to the hotel. And we're going to gather here in a little while and have a meeting and I'm sure -- so I wasn't here when the team was told.

QUESTION: You said that you'd spoken with his wife. How is she doing?

JOCKETTY: Not very well, obviously. She's a -- this is a -- three small children, and it's very tragic.

QUESTION: Walt, did he have any kind of medical condition?

JOCKETTY: I -- no, I don't think so. None that we know of.

QUESTION: Walt, how did you go about informing Tony LaRussa?

JOCKETTY: He was on the field at the time, had made a call to someone on his cell phone, and asked him -- I started to talk to him but we couldn't communicate, so I had him come into the office and -- his office, and I talked to him in his office at that point.

Obviously he didn't want to go on with the game, none of us wanted to go on with the game. So with the cooperation of Andy MacVeil (ph) of the Chicago Cubs and Major League Baseball, and Fox -- a lot of people to -- that had to cooperate with this, were able to postpone the game.


JOCKETTY: No, I haven't had a chance to talk to anybody yet.


JOCKETTY: Well, actually, she had contacted Robin Vears (ph), David Vears (ph) wife, and -- because she's here in town. And she was -- they're close friends. And she just said she hadn't been able to -- so Robin had it, had the numbers.


JOCKETTY: Yeah, she was out there, her father was out there, I think. Yeah.

QUESTION: Who was present when you went into the room?

JOCKETTY: Who was present? Just hotel security and Chicago police, I believe. Right? Yeah.

QUESTION: Were there any -- did it look like there was (UNINTELLIGIBLE) activities?

JOCKETTY: No, no. It looked like he was asleep in bed.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) JOCKETTY: Boy, that's going to be difficult. Well, he's -- obviously he was a great competitor, a great leader in our club. You know, I personally have gotten to know him the last couple of years since we acquired him from (ph) Colorado.

He was one of the players that I've grown close to over the years because of his -- just his ability to be a leader of the club, a guy you can go to to ask questions about the players and about the team and so forth.

Great father. I mean, if you could see he and his wife, they were very, much in love. That was -- it's going to be tough.

QUESTION: What made him a leader? What made him a very good leader?

JOCKETTY: Well, I think his competitiveness. I mean, he was a guy that loved to compete, loved to win. And he demonstrated that on the field. He was a guy that worked in the clubhouse. I think he's been very instrumental in the development of Matt Morris, as a peer, to help develop him into the great pitcher that he is today. I think you just see the work that he did with a lot of the young guys, the other pitchers on the staff. He was very close to them, and, you know, was a good friend to them.

QUESTION: Will it be tough to play tomorrow?

JOCKETTY: I think so. I think it's going to be tough to play for a while. But you know, we'll have to deal with that.

QUESTION: Walt, could you possibly put into words at all the numbness that the Cardinals organization and the people of St. Louis probably feel at this point?

JOCKETTY: Well, this has been a -- you know, it's been a very difficult week with the loss of Jack Buck and now the loss of Darryl Kile. There's going to be a real, a real tough mourning period for the Cardinal organization, for the fans of St. Louis, the citizens of St. Louis. I think it's just -- but we have got -- you know, we all have a job to do, and we've got to be strong and try to battle through this and find a way to go on, because I'm sure Darryl would definitely want us to go on and compete and try to win our division.

QUESTION: Who's going to be involved in the decision (UNINTELLIGIBLE)?

JOCKETTY: I couldn't answer that. I'm sure myself, and Andy McVeil (ph) and Major League Baseball and ESPN.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Any other questions for Walt?

QUESTION: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) planning to go on as scheduled?

JOCKETTY: As of right now, I think it is. Right? Yeah.

UNIDNTIFIED FEMALE: Anything for Walt? OK. This concludes the interview today.

JOCKETTY: Thank you.

PHILLIPS: A difficult, very difficult news conference for St. Louis Cardinals GM Walt Jocketty as he has to talk about the death of his player, all-star pitcher Darryl Kile, confirming the fact that he did pass away in his bed. No sign of foul play. They've been talking with his wife Lynne (ph). He's a father of three children. Darryl Kile, dead at the age of 33. We'll continue to follow that story.