Thursday, April 09, 2009

Zen Dayley: Angels pitcher, agent die in crash

Nick Adenhart rates more than a bullet point.

The Los Angeles Angels right-hander died in a hit-and-run collision last night, one of three young people killed by an apparent drunk driver. The others, who are bound to get less attention, were a young woman named Courtney Stewart and a young man named Henry Pearson, who as it turned out is a childhood friend of Matt Clapp from Sharapova's Thigh, who wrote a must-read tribute.

The point is the world of sports is not good at dealing with this, not that it necessarily should since grief and overcoming pain and wrong and death is personal. Running over the franchise's history, which seems to include a disproportionate high number of people connected to the Angels who have died young, does no one any good. It doesn't dilute the troubled waters, doesn't moot the unspeakable, a 22-year-old — a teenager, practicallydead. Scott Boras broke down during the press conference, so keep that in mind next time someone complains about him.

It is senseless to evoke Donnie Moore or Lyman Bostock. It probably means the people who were connected to those earlier events have to relive it, so spare a thought for them.

A ball club, like anything else, constantly evolves, on the field, in the front office, even in the stands. At the end of the day, there's a young man's family, his teammates and the people who believed they had a connection because they knew his height, age and jersey number. It's brutal, although statistically speaking, it happens every day.

Adenhart figured to have an excellent chance at a long and productive career, as did Pearson. No doubt this will become a first point of reference with how L.A.'s season plays out, although that's of secondary concern.

(Of all the things to happen the week you finally read Douglas Coupland's The Gum Thief, where dying young is a big theme.)

Damn, the Jays
  • Ricky Romero was all right, eh? Two earnies across six innings.
  • As you probably heard, Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi is no longer making his regular post-game Wednesday radio appearances with Mike Wilner. One wonders if that was Adam Dunn fallout, some corporate edict from Rogers, although the official word is he just didn't want to do it anymore, like someone else who you're reading right now.

    For the Jays, It's also more expedient if Ricciardi is no longer so visible.

  • Sports figures can have selective memories. The FAN 590's Alan Ashby touched on his memories of his major-league debut during the Tigers-Jays game today, since it was a matchup of two debutantes, Ricky Romero and Rick Porcello (fortunately for the Jays, they got Porcello in his first start, not his 15th, not unlike a game in 2007 when they hit around some skinny San Fran right-hander named Tim Lincecum).

    Ashby said he recalled coming in for defence in a home game and making his first start at Tiger Stadium against a Detroit team that had Al Kaline, Norm Cash and Willie Horton, et al. He didn't mention that his first start came on July 4, 1973, Independence Day in the U.S.

    That's the difference between athletes and the civilian population. You would remember if something momentous in your life came on a major holiday. Alan Ashby's focus, back as a 21-year-old catcher, was calling pitches for Milt Wilcox and Tom Hilgendorf, who checked the Tigers on eight hits in a 5-2 win for the Clevelands.

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