This is just going to be kind of rambling and bullet pointed. For longer looks at the life, career, and death of Nick Adenhart, try the Rev, or Shane Demmit. They've both done far better than I could.
- I can't really explain how this hit me, although I suppose it was probably the same for most of you. I actually found out from a friend via email, who's initial message was simply "Holy Crap, Nick Adenhart!" Not having heard the news, I responded with my take on his performance from the night before. He then said "You must not have heard the news..." From that point on, the next three hours were just kind of an unproductive blur, and I can only say that fortunately I had some real work to do to pull me out of it. I'm still shocked, stunned, and I don't know how I'll react when the game starts tonight.
- I don't want to get too philosophical, but it's weird the way we treat "celebrity" deaths like these. Obviously Nick was the newsmaker, and his death is going to dominate all aspects of this story. But two other people died in that accident, and their deaths are just as tragic. So is the death of Brian Powers, the fan who died from the result of a sucker punch to the back of the head on opening night. Also, here's a tribute to Henry Pearson, a former CSUF catcher who also died in the wreck, written by his best friend (via Deadspin).
- These sort of freak occurrences always lead to discussions of fate and circumstance. If Lackey and Santana hadn't come down with soreness in the arms, Nick Adenhart probably would have been in Salt Lake to start the season. You can play that game forever, but it never gets you anywhere. I'm not particularly religious, but I can see why people find their faith important at a time like this. It's not pleasant to believe there was no reason for what happened. But life's a crazy game, I guess.
- There's lots of talk about why we treat drunk drivers so leniently. On the one hand, you wouldn't let someone get liquored up, then let them walk around with a rocket launcher or something, but when a drunk gets behind the wheel, he's essentially piloting a very large weapon. Maybe the reason drunk drivers have the opportunity to be repeat offenders is because so many people have done it. Judges, lawyers, legislators, etc. I would venture to guess that the vast majority of people I know have been behind the wheel when they shouldn't have been, myself included. There but for the grace of God go I, I suppose. And how can we really be tough on people who have made the same "mistakes" that we've all made? I'm not arguing for leniency in the slightest, I'm just trying to get to the root.
- That said, Gallo should face the stiffest charges allowable. He's a repeat offender, and his actions have taken three lives. In some sense, it's hard to understand the mindset. I'm not patting myself on the back, but in the few times I've driven when I shouldn't have driven, my recollection is that I was HIGHLY sensitive to traffic laws. Not a mile over the speed limit. Stop for an extra second at stop signs, just to make sure. I was so afraid of getting pulled over that I probably felt I was being conspicuous in my attention to traffic laws. Any cop with a lick of common sense would have to figure that someone trying so hard to stay within the rules has to be guilty of something. That doesn't make it right, of course, and if a small child had darted in front of me, my dulled reactions would have put both of us in a world of trouble. Then again, there aren't a lot of kids running around at 3:00 am, but that's neither here nor there. I can't imagine the arrogance of getting behind the wheel while drunk and actually speeding and flirting with red lights.
- There will probably never be a good time to ask this, but honestly, what do the Angels do now? Who takes that slot in the rotation?
- I think the last time I felt like this was 1991 when word leaked that Magic was retiring due to having contracted HIV. Just an out of left field punch in the gut that leaves you speechless for hours.