LOS ANGELES -- Heart patient Kenley Jansen received a pep talk Sunday morning from heart patient Tom Lasorda.
"It's amazing to have a legendary person pick you up," said the Dodgers closer, sidelined for the second time in as many seasons with an irregular heartbeat. "It's motivating."
And instructive. Lasorda, forced to retire as manager after suffering a 1996 heart attack, had a pacemaker installed two years ago for a similar irregular heartbeat (which he showed Jansen during his clubhouse visit). Lasorda also suffered a second heart attack at this year's First-Year Player Draft in June.
"He's been through this. He told me not to worry about it. Worrying doesn't make it better. And when the good Lord calls you up, you don't have time to pack. Just don't be scared and live your life.
"It's just frustrating for me because I want to help the guys. But the doctor said I might have had this from birth and it just came out. I just have to listen to Tommy. He motivates me so I don't feel down for myself."
Jansen will see a heart specialist Tuesday to determine whether treatment will allow him to return to the mound this season. He's currently on blood thinners and is not allowed to work out with the club because, if he were accidentally hit by a ball, he could be more seriously injured because of the medication.