A’s Hope Opener: Well, last night was certainly a disappointment (the A’s lost 5-4) but the game was overshadowed by the pregame ceremonies memorializing the four slain Oakland police officers gunned down a couple of weeks ago. I had a tear in my eye as four OPD officers, each representing one of the families of the slain cops, placed police caps and baseballs on the pitcher’s mound to stand sentinel as the audience lowered their heads for a moment of silence. Nick Adenhart was also honored–a mention that was appropriately brief so as not to detract from the local tribute. The jet fighters’ fly-over and fireworks, the latter choreographed with the rockets red glare and the bombs bursting in air, capped off the moving tribute.
Chavy’s Back: It is great to see Eric Chavez making gold glove plays at third base like the Chavy of old and to have his bat back in the lineup. He’s such a classy guy and had every right to complain during the two plus years he was playing hurt or sidelined, but he never joined the pity party. Hat’s off to you, Eric.
Bobby Bobbles: Crosby just booted a routine play at third base (Chavez is getting the day off, and there’s no TV so I am listening on the radio). I want Jack Hannahan back, lousy bat and all. He is a proven utility infielder. Bobby is anything but, and keeps demonstrating it on the field. It’s his $5+ million salary that’s keeping him in the majors, not his bat, and certainly not his fielding at any position other than shortstop. Please, can I have Jack back, Billy?
A’s Lose Again to the Mariners: The game’s now over. Let’s hope that the A’s can salvage a win tomorrow after blowing another one. The A’s had the lead or were tied for most of the game. Jack Cust’s homer in the fifth was a bright spot–the A’s first homer of the season–making it 5-3, A’s. But the M’s went ahead for good in a disastrous eighth inning off Santiago Casilla and Brad Ziegler, giving Casilla the loss.
Maybe the collective thinking about where the Mariners will wind up at the end of the season could be wrong–last place in the AL West, according to Baseball America and others. The M’s can flat out hit. However, the A’s young pitching staff is showing rookie nerves, which will disappear in the coming weeks, so I guess we can’t be too concerned yet. An A’s win tomorrow would sure be good for the guys’ (and the fans’) morale.
I had intended to jump up and down and crow about how the A’s hung tough and pulled out a victory in the ninth inning against the Angels last night. But I went to the A’s website to get some statistics on the game and read the article about the tragic death of Nick Adenhart, the Angels’ starting pitcher last night.
Nick pitched six innings of scoreless ball and was in line for the win when he left the game after reaching his pitch count. But after the game, everything went tragically wrong for him, his family and the Angels. He and three friends were driving through Fullerton, CA around midnight. A minivan ran a red light and plowed into their car killing Adenhart and two others and injuring the fourth occupant of the car.
To compound the tragedy, the driver of the minivan jumped out and took off on foot, fleeing the scene. How can someone do that? Fortunately, he was apprehended nearby and taken into custody. A passenger in the minivan was also injured.
For baseball fans the loss is great, his family’s loss so much greater. Such a young life to be snuffed out so needlessly. He was one of the Angel’s rising stars and by all accounts a terrific person. We saw last night that he was becoming a fine pitcher, and he didn’t deserve this fate. All of baseball mourns his death today. The Angels rescheduled tonights game to honor him and allow his family to grieve in private.
The A’s released this statement today:
“We are deeply saddened to learn of the tragic death of Nick Adenhart and others involved in this morning’s accident. Our hearts and prayers go out to their families, as well as the entire Los Angeles Angels organization. As he demonstrated only last night, Nick was a very gifted pitcher with a promising future. For that future to be cut short is not only a loss for the Angels but for all of Major League Baseball.”
We mourn the loss of Nick Adenhart and the grief his family is feeling at this time.