FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Red Sox family sustained another tragic loss Wednesday morning when news spread that Romell Jordan, 23, younger brother of catcher Blake Swihart, passed away.
No details were immediately available, with the Swihart family asking that its privacy be respected at this time.
“It hurts, it’s tough, it’s something that I know it’s part of this because it’s life,” said Red Sox manager Alex Cora. “I said it last week — it’s not about what happens on the field. It’s the other stuff that happens and we’re going to have some great days and then we’re going to have some tough days but at the end, we do care about each other. We turn the page on whatever happens on the field and we’re very close. We’re very close. That’s a special group in there. They’re very special. They’re very close and they spend time together and yeah, we’ll be OK, we know that. It puts everything in perspective again. It’s just a game. Yeah, it’s a tough day. It’s a tough day.”
Cora said after the Red Sox’ 7-6 loss to Baltimore that Swihart is still in town and that he will play today if he feels like he wants to.
“He feels that being around his teammates right now is good for him, he feels like whenever he has to go, he’ll go, but not right now,” said Cora. “He’s here with his wife and around the guys so he feels like, ‘why not?’ Whatever he wants to do. I told him, ‘Dude, whatever you want to do tomorrow. If you want to play, you play. If you don’t want to play...’ He kind of like said, ‘My brother would probably love me to show up and play’ so he might DH tomorrow. It would be like, we’ll see how it goes. We’ll see.”
For once, Cora said he was not into his job at all.
“Can’t wait to go home, the whole day, ‘I’ve just got to go home,’” said Cora. “Everybody. That’s the first time I’ve felt it, there was no energy in that dugout. We just showed up today. I’m not complaining because I was the same way. I just told Dave (Dombrowski), we’ve got to go home and get some rest. It was a tough one.”
Mookie Betts was as somber as Cora and everyone else.
“He’s like a brother to me, Blake has been with me since the first day we stepped into the Red Sox’ organization, so I’m there for him, I’m praying for him — it’s a tough time to get through,” said Betts.
“He’s been here. We’re family here, we’re kind of doing what we can to make him feel as comfortable as he can. Obviously it’s tough. It’s going to take him. As a unit here, we’re doing what we can to make sure he’s OK.”
Cora’s reference to what happened “last week” was when long-time Red Sox writer Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe died suddenly here at camp.
“We went through Nick, and now we’re going through this — it’s not easy,” said Cora. “Honestly. Just start thinking the same things I said last week, same feelings today. Same feelings.”
Jordan was adopted by the Swihart family when he was 17. He played football at University of New Mexico from 2014-2017.
Prior to the Red Sox making the announcement that the club was dealing with a “family emergency,” pitcher David Price tweeted, “Through triumph, tragedy, and heartbreak this team/organization sticks together!!”