When I made my customary lazy, relaxed visit to MLB.com to check out the game stories this morning, I was shocked and saddened to find out that a 22-year-old guy (whose last significant public experience was to shut out my favorite AL team for 6 innings last night) died in a car accident, from which the driver at fault tried to run away. Then I learned some dude in Anaheim got killed in a fight at Angel Stadium opening day after getting punched in the back of the head and falling onto concrete steps. And tonight, after a Giant pitched a ball to the Brewers’ Mike Cameron, Cameron hit it directly back at the pitcher’s head, striking it and making it bleed profusely. Apparently, the Giants’ player is okay. [2021 update: He’s better than okay!]
All this during the first week of the season.
Baseball is supposed to be fun — an escape from everyday life. But once in a while, like anything else we humans do (whether pointlessly or not), it reminds us that we shouldn’t take life for granted. We shouldn’t assume the next week, the next day, or even the next moment are going to come. It didn’t for Nick Adenhart. It won’t for Brian Powers. Joe Martinez, thankfully, gets another shot.
And now I will go to the A’s home opener at the Oakland/Alameda County Coliseum on Friday with far different emotions than I would have expected just 24 hours ago.
Sure, I’ll get caught up in the game, and I’ll enjoy myself. But I won’t be able to avoid heavy thoughts before that first pitch.