Updated: Bard's friend found unharmed


Updated: Bard's friend found unharmed

By Maureen Mullen

Sunday update:

DETROIT -- Daniel Bard's childhood friend Matt Hill, whose disappearance last week prompted the Red Sox reliever to ask Saturday for public help in finding him, is "alive and unharmed," according to a Facebook page that was set up to aid the search.

The cryptic postings Sunday morning, however, shed little light into the incident.

"Matt Hill has been found and is alive. We do not have many more details to share at this time," was the first post, which went on the site at approximately 8:30 a.m. A bit later, a second post read: "We need to clarify. We confirm Matt has been found and is alive and unharmed. He also left on his own will. We don't have any answers. We praise God he is alive, but ask you continue to pray."

A total of 10,004 "liked" the page on Facebook, many of them presumably responding to Bard's public plea.

The original story:

DETROIT Daniel Bard usually talks to or texts with his childhood friend Matt Hill every couple of weeks. The Red Sox reliever keeps in touch with Hill as much as he does with any of the guys he grew up with.

Bard and Hill, an Indians fan, exchanged texts Monday before the start of the Sox' three-game series in Cleveland. Hill, a groomsman in Bards wedding, gave Bard some good-natured flak.

That was the last time Bard heard from Hill.

Hill, the director for Campus Outreach at George Washington University, has been missing since Tuesday morning in Washington, D.C. He was last dropping off a student he mentors and no one has seen or heard from him since. Hills debit card was charged at a gas station around 11:30.

It would be very unlike Hill to simply disappear, Bard said.

Extremely out of character, Bard said. Hes one of the most positive, outgoing, happy people Ive ever met and Im not just saying that. I think anyone whos met him would say that. He loves his job, loves the people he works with. Hes not married, nothing tying him down, nothing to run from. So thats why this all seems so strange. Hes a clean-cut guy, one of my best friends growing up, never done a drug in his life. So, were 99 percent sure that something external was involved.

And thats what makes the situation so difficult for Bard.

Its not easy, Bard said. I think the toughest day was Thursday, the day I found out about it, because it just kind of hit as a shock and now its become kind of a . . . mystery were all trying to figure out. Theres so few clues that weve seen. So we're just trying to figure out. Im trying to figure out myself. Guys on the team have been great, supportive, talking to me about it.

I havent considered leaving the team or anything, but at the same time I dont think I can go two minutes without thinking about it. But Ive done as much as I can to help, including trying to get you guys the media involved a little bit. Theyre trying to keep some things close to the chest as far as the investigation goes, but I . . . think you can spread his name and his story and his car information out and I think we need to get that information out as much as possible.

There has been some misinformation given out, one being that Hills car has been found. It has not.

Here is the basic information. A Facebook page has been set up to share information at: http:www.facebook.comfindmatthill

Matt Hill:
Last Seen Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Near Verizon Center, Washington DC, around 10:30 am

Last seen driving a
1996 Black Honda Civic LX
Car missing too

Please contact with any information you might have:

Family Contact: Holger Hill 704-839-9699
DC Metro Office Contact: RW Kennedy- 202-715-7300 (precinct number)
Detective McClam: 202-730-1903
Missing Persons Case 073-157
Detective in Montgomery County: Rod Stevens

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen

NLCS: Cubs eliminate Dodgers, reach Series for first time since 1945


NLCS: Cubs eliminate Dodgers, reach Series for first time since 1945

CHICAGO -- Cursed by a Billy Goat, bedeviled by Bartman and crushed by decades of disappointment, the Chicago Cubs are at long last headed back to the World Series.

Kyle Hendricks outpitched Clayton KershawAnthony Rizzo and Willson Contreras homered early and the Cubs won their first pennant since 1945, beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-0 Saturday night in Game 6 of the NL Championship Series.

The drought ended when closer Aroldis Chapman got Yasiel Puig to ground into a double play, setting off a wild celebration inside Wrigley Field, outside the ballpark and all over the city.

Seeking their first crown since 1908, manager Joe Maddon's team opens the World Series at Cleveland on Tuesday night. The Indians haven't won it all since 1948 - Cleveland and Cubs have the two longest title waits in the majors.

"This city deserves it so much," Rizzo said. "We got four more big ones to go, but we're going to enjoy this. We're going to the World Series. I can't even believe that."

All-everything Javier Baez and pitcher Jon Lester shared the NLCS MVP. Baez hit .318, drove in five runs and made several sharp plays at second base. Lester, a former World Series champion in Boston, was 1-0 with a 1.38 ERA in two starts against the Dodgers.

Deemed World Series favorites since opening day, the Cubs topped the majors with 103 wins to win the NL Central, then beat the Giants and Dodgers in the playoffs.

The Cubs overcame a 2-1 deficit against the Dodgers and won their 17th pennant. They had not earned a World Series trip since winning a doubleheader opener 4-3 at Pittsburgh on Sept. 29, 1945, to clinch the pennant on the next-to-last day of the season.

The eternal "wait till next year" is over. No more dwelling on a history of failure - the future is now.

"We're too young. We don't care about it," star slugger Kris Bryant said. "We don't look into it. This is a new team, this is a completely different time of our lives. We're enjoying it and our work's just getting started."

Hendricks pitched two-hit ball for 7 1/3 innings. Chapman took over and closed with hitless relief, then threw both arms in the air as he was mobbed by teammates and coaches.

The crowd joined in, chanting and serenading their team.

"Chicago!" shouted popular backup catcher David Ross.

The Cubs shook off back-to-back shutout losses earlier in this series by pounding the Dodgers for 23 runs to win the final three games.

And they were in no way overwhelmed by the moment on Saturday, putting aside previous frustration.

In 1945, the Billy Goat Curse supposedly began when a tavern owner wasn't allowed to bring his goat to Wrigley. In 2003, the Cubs lost the final three games of the NLCS to Florida, punctuated with a Game 6 defeat when fan Steve Bartman deflected a foul ball.

Even as recently as 2012, the Cubs lost 101 times.

This time, no such ill luck.

Bryant had an RBI single and scored in a two-run first. Dexter Fowler added two hits, drove in a run and scored one.

Contreras led off the fourth with a homer. Rizzo continued his resurgence with a solo drive in the fifth.

That was plenty for Hendricks, the major league ERA leader.

Hendricks left to a standing ovation after Josh Reddick singled with one out in the eighth. The only other hit Hendricks allowed was a single by Andrew Toles on the game's first pitch.

Kershaw, dominant in Game 2 shutout, gave up five runs and seven hits before being lifted for a pinch hitter in the sixth. He fell to 4-7 in the postseason.

The Dodgers haven't been to the World Series since winning in 1988.

Pitching on five days' rest, the three-time NL Cy Young Award winner threw 30 pitches in the first. Fowler led off with a double, and Bryant's single had the crowd shaking the 102-year-old ballpark.

They had more to cheer when left fielder Andrew Toles dropped Rizzo's fly, putting runners on second and third, and Ben Zobrist made it 2-0 a sacrifice fly.

The Cubs added a run in the second when Addison Russell doubled to deep left and scored on a two-out single by Fowler.


Maddon benched slumping right fielder Jason Heyward in favor of Albert Almora Jr.

"Kershaw's pitching, so I wanted to get one more right-handed bat in the lineup, and also with Albert I don't feel like we're losing anything on defense," Maddon said. "I know Jason's a Gold Glover, but I think Albert, given an opportunity to play often enough would be considered a Gold Glove-caliber outfielder, too."

Heyward was 2 for 28 in the playoffs - 1 for 16 in the NLCS.


Kerry Wood, wearing a Ron Santo jersey, threw out the first pitch and actor Jim Belushi delivered the "Play Ball!" call before the game. Pearl Jam front man Eddie Vedder and actor John Cusack were also in attendance. And Bulls great Scottie Pippen led the seventh-inning stretch.