Runnells family impacted by water issues in Toledo

DETROIT -- Only about 60 miles of Interstate 75 separate Toledo, Ohio, from Detroit, but for the Runnells family, it feels like another country this weekend.

The wife and daughter of Tom Runnells, the Rockies' bench coach, spent Colorado's three-game series in Detroit with Tom. The timing worked out as their hometown of Toledo is in the midst of a water crisis that caused Ohio Governor John Kasich to declare a state of emergency.

Chrys Runnells, Tom's wife, retired in February from her job as the lead anchor for the CBS affiliate in Toledo. Tom said that she stocked up on bottled water this weekend in Detroit, "loading up her truck in case people need some help."

Runnells is very familiar with the Tigers, having spent 11 years in the organization. Earlier in his career, he was hired by current Detroit president/general manager Dave Dombrowski as the manager of the Expos.

"I've got a soft spot in my heart for the [Detroit] organization. There are a lot of people here that I have a strong connection with," Runnells said before Sunday's game. "I'm very happy for their success, though not necessarily at our expense for the three days. It's always nice to come back here."

Runnells worked with Tigers utility man Don Kelly during his time as Detroit's Minor League hitting instructor.

Matt Slovin is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.