Angels Pitcher Nick Adenheart Killed

As much as sports fans like to trash other teams and all that (I participate in that a lot being an Eagles fan living in Dallas), there’s certain things that just make you want to break down and cry. The Anaheim Angels lost their best pitching prospect last night in a car crash after he pitched. Nick was born August 24, 1986, and was killed last night by a drunk driver (he wasn’t the only one killed in this accident, actually). He was their number one prospect, and probably could equate (baseball wise, not human life wise) to us losing a Matt Harrison or someone of that caliber.
According to the report I read a minute ago (from TMZ, as this news isn’t on the major sites as I write this)…

Cops say someone driving a minivan blew through a red light, causing the Mitsubishi that Adenhart was riding in to hit a light pole. Three people were killed in the crash: Nick, another man and a woman. Cops say the person driving the van fled the scene — but was later caught and charged with felony hit-and-run. The suspect is currently being treated for injuries in a local hospital. We’re told one of the other men killed in the crash was also affiliated with the Angels organization.

His final pitching performance ever was quite a good one. Six innings pitched, seven hits, three walks, and five strikeouts. But most importantly for Nick and the Angels, no runs scored. His bullpen lost the game for him, but he was stellar. It was just his fourth major league start.
As a Rangers fan, it’s sad to read this. The human cost is far greater than anything we might gain as an opposing baseball team – that shouldn’t even matter. One of God’s children was really tragically taken for a stupid friggin reason. Drunk driving.
Baseball is not important, but God is. And to that, I offer up this piece of scripture which seems (in my mind, anyway) to fit the circumstance. I don’t know Nick, nor do I know if he knows God at all, but he was given a gift by God of being able to throw a baseball. To that, I offer up 1 Peter 1: 17-21:

Since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear. For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.

And my own prayer:
Our Father in Heaven, I lift up your son Nick, who was tragically taken from us. Only you know why these things happen, I cannot begin to comprehend it. Whatever it is, may his death serve a good that will in time be known to us. I do not know this man, but you do, and since I trust you, I trust that you will comfort and help through the pain his family at this time. I pray that anger not enter into their families reactions, as anger is not of you, it is of the devil, and has no place in the thoughts of a righteous man. Lord, raise up Nick, and keep his family in your arms at this time. In your son’s name I pray, Amen.

For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to men in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit. (1 Peter 4:6)


UPDATE: The Angels site “Halo’s Heaven” has a lively commentary from not just Angels fans, but other team fans too. You can read that here. Also, someone there came up with another good piece of scripture I didn’t think of: Romans 12: 9-10

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.

UPDATE 2: There’s an official story about it on the Angels site now. Go there and read the details.

George W. Bush

Saw a link the day before Barack Obama was inagurated as President about the baseball history of George W. Bush. I forgot to post it, but I wanted to get it out there so people might see it.
It shows a lot of first pitch pictures of Dubya, and it reminded me. He never threw one out as President for the Texas Rangers. He may yet do that, but as a sitting president, I’m still kind of surprised he never did it for the team he used to own. Heck, Dick “I’ll shoot you in the face” Cheney did – I was there.
That issue aside, this article is a nice look back and some of the baseball related things of the 43rd President of the United States.

Bob Costas joins MLB Network

In a move I really like, Bob Costas has joined the regular group of on-air talent over at MLB Network. This is a really cool thing, as I like Costas a lot. He hosted the first thing ever aired on MLB Network, a replay of the Don Larsen perfect game. He’s also in there as the channel is running Ken Burns’ Baseball.
However, this new deal will be original programming. The first thing he’s doing today is interviewing Joe Torre about his book, it will air in Thursday.
This is a guy I’d like to see become commissioner when Selig eventually retires (or even before!). I doubt the owners would go for that. They’ll probably put someone like George W. Bush in there.
There’s a story about this over at bizofbaseball.com – check it out.

The Angels are vulnerable?

Saw an article on ESPN by Jayson Stark. In it he talks about the A’s additions this off season (pretty much Giambi & Matt Holliday). It should definitely help their offense.
However, the teaser for this article on the ESPN site has this text:

The A’s added both Jason Giambi and Matt Holliday, hoping to not only improve an offense that was 27th in runs but also close the gap on the vulnerable Angels in the AL West.

Vulnerable? The loss of Frankie Rodriguez is a big one for sure, but I don’t see them as “vulnerable”. Do you?

“My MLB” on MLB Site

Saw something tonight on the MLB website which appears to be some sort of personal portal page concept they’re putting together. It’s called “My MLB”. It’s a page which you can customize with information about yourself, and about your favorite team. I went and customized mine a bit, you can see it this screen capture I took below.

I’m guessing MLB will eventually offer this as a “Home Page” on mlb.com. Each season since MLBAM took over control of all the sites, they have a refresh and/or upgrade of the site features right before the season starts. I’m guessing this is going to be part of 2009’s refresh. Don’t have any info to back that up, but it seems like a logical move.
I found this when I commented on a news story, and when I read the comment, I saw my profile name was clickable, so I clicked it, and found the page. Given the way to see this isn’t overtly in your face, my guess is that it’s not ready for a full blown test. I did find a way in this way. The link here will go to an account for you, the link in the thumbnail above goes to my profile page.
You appear to be able to add friends here, but I can find no mechanism to do so. If you know of a way to add friends here, please let me know. Something else that’s interesting is a section in your profile for your favorite teams (for me, Rangers, Phillies, & Pirates), and your least favorite teams (Yankees, Mets, Red Sox). The least favorite show up on your profile as “Rivals”, although they’re defined as “least favorite” in the edit profile screen. You can also pick your favorite active players, too. That shows up on a lower part of the profile page, which you can see here.

If you have a blog at mlblogs.com, stories from that show up here, too. I experimented with one back in 2006, and I stopped using it ages ago, but it shows up here. Wish there was a way to get rid of that. Next three games for your favorite team is here, it has some good potential. We’ll have to see how it plays out.
Tonight is the first time I’ve seen this feature; has anyone else spent any time poking around with it? I would like to know how to add friends there.

Big Unit Just Says No Again

Looks like Randy Johnson won’t be coming to Texas again. For the second time, he turned down Texas, this time to take a job with the San Francisco Giants. I really thought it could have worked here from a mentor standpoint and a #4 or 5 spot.
I guess he wanted to subject the world to more of his batting attempts, staying in the NL.

The Phillies win the World Series!

Yeah, I was pretty excited about it, being a Phillies fan, too. Probably would have jumped up and down, if it wasn’t for this leg brace I’m in. :)
They don’t call him the Flyin Hawaiian for nothing..

There goes Mr. Nice Guy

Saw a report this morning that Joba Chamberlin was arrested for DUI, and open alcohol in his car. A lot of what made this guy special was his “nice guy” attitude. Well, there goes that feeling. DUI pretty much destroys any goodwill one might build up.
LINCOLN, Neb. — New York Yankees pitcher Joba Chamberlain was arrested for allegedly driving under the influence, speeding and having an open container of alcohol in his vehicle.
Nebraska State Patrol spokeswoman Deborah Collins said Chamberlain was stopped for speeding on U.S. 77 near his hometown of Lincoln at about 1 a.m. Saturday.
Collins said Chamberlain was taken to the Cornhusker Place Detox in Lincoln, which she said is the normal protocol.
Chamberlain was lodged at the center on charges of driving under the influence, having an open container of alcohol and speeding.
Collins said the county attorney likely would file formal charges Monday.
An e-mail sent to Chamberlain’s agent Saturday was not immediately returned.

Philly in the World Series

My Phillies are going to the World Series! I’ve been doing this Rangers since since December of 1998, so you know I follow the Rangers, but I grew up in Philly. So it’s pretty cool my “other” (or original) team is going to the World Series. I got my HDTV at the right time! :)
However, I won’t be watching Game 1 next Wednesday – I’ll be in a hospital bed. I’m having surgery to remove a bone cyst in my left leg next Wednesday morning. I’ll probably be too drugged up to be able to watch the game, unfortunately.
Nobody tell me what happens. :)