I GET IT, BUT NOT REALLY
I am not a prude. I am not a tea drinker. I enjoy a cold beer, a nice glass of wine or occasionally, a martini (dry with olives). Granted, I don’t drink nearly as much as I did when I was a younger man, but that’s not my point. I understand that alcohol has its’ place in our rituals and celebrations. A toast to the new baby, the bride and groom, a new job, happy times, better times…whatever the case may be, we can find a reason to drink to it. Ordinarily, I’m all for it. Celebrate the wild card, let off steam and recognize a job well done. In recent days, something was brought to my attention that just hasn’t sat well. The Los Angeles Angels endured a long hard season and currently are battling the Yankees for a World Series berth. Early this season, Nick Adenhart, a promising young pitcher in the organization was tragically killed in an alcohol-related, hit and run car accident. The horror came just hours after Adenhart had worked six shutout innings against Oakland. The driver of another car ran a red light and Adenhart and two others were killed. All season, the Halos brought his jersey with them on the road and hung it up in the dugout. An angel on the shoulder of the Angels, if you will. If it served as a motivator, or at least as a constant reminder of their fallen comrade, that’s great. God forbid, if it had happened to one of our guys, I know he would have been remembered. These guys are tight. Where the Angels went desparately wrong in my mind, was after clinching a postseason berth for the sixth time in 8 years, according to an Associatred Press article of September 29, 2009- “ About ten minutes into the clubhouse celebration, the players grabbed Adenharts’ #34 jersey and gave it a joyous group dousing in champagne.and beer.” I’m sure the intention was good, but even symbolically, this is wrong on so many levels. It was beer and champagne or some other alcoholic beverage that lead to his death. There have been whispers, that Adenharts’ girl friend, who was driving the vehicle that was hit, had allegedly been drinking, as well. It doen’t matter. They’re gone and apparently, not forgotten. This is clearly one case of “the hair of the dog” that should not have occurred. Although I am sure there were good intentions, it had to re-open wounds that his family has been nursing for months and will continue to care for forever. There are ways to celebrate a fallen compatriot. Right ways and wrong ways.