SEATTLE -- Three hours before Tuesday's game against the Mariners, a group of Padres relievers as well as bullpen catchers Griffin Benedict and Justin Hatcher and starting catcher Nick Hundley huddled for a quick video shoot to wish bullpen coach Darrel Akerfelds a happy 50th birthday. Akerfelds hasn't been with the team since mid-April as he continues to battle pancreatic cancer. The video was to be shown during Tuesday's FOX Sports San Diego broadcast. "It's a miracle we did it in one take," Hundley joked.
But it was clear to those who took part in the video shoot that Akerfelds is still on their minds. "It's great to do anything you can for a guy like that," Hundley said. "If we can bring even one smile to his face, then it's worth it." The Padres are certain Akerfelds will be watching Tuesday. As Black said, "He watches every pitch. He's still with us." Last month, the team named Jimmy Jones as bullpen assistant to aid Hatcher and Benedict.