As the Phillies have an off day today, I thought I would have nothing to write/rant about.
I was wrong.
Last night, Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart was killed in an automobile accident. After watching the video report on the website of the local ABC affiliate, I am not only saddened, but infuriated.
As the car in which Adenhart was a passenger was proceeding through an intersection, it was broadsided by a minivan which ran a red light. The driver fled the scene, but was later apprehended.
Now here’s the part that really makes me mad. Not only was the suspect driving while intoxicated, he has a prior DUI and was driving with a suspended license!!
I hope he gets the fullest punishment the law allows! I am thinking very nasty, nasty thoughts about this guy right now!
Adenhart was just 22. Earlier in the evening, he made his season debut for the Angels and pitched 6 shutout innings. He had to have been feeling pretty good. A few hours later he is dead. All of baseball is today mourning the loss of a promising young pitcher.
My deepest sympathies go out to the Adenhart family. R.I.P., Nick.
To the driver of that minivan, you get no sympathy at all for what you’ve done. R.I.H. (rot in h*ll), scumbag!
(photo from foxsports.com)
After taking in two games at beautiful Pacific Bell Park (now known as AT&T Park), on July 22, 2000 we ventured across the Bay Bridge to Oakland and the home of the A’s, Network Associates Coliseum.
The exterior of this stadium would have to rank as one of the most unappealing I have seen. Once we got inside, I thought it wasn’t so bad. At least it had real grass! Keep in mind that at this time, the Phils were still playing on the nasty artificial surface of Veterans Stadium, so any stadium with real grass was a step up in my book.
The view from inside the stadium is, unfortunately, non-existent. This is because in 1996, after the Raiders moved back to Oakland, a large monolithic seating area was constructed in the outfield. This structure has been dubbed “Mount Davis”, after Raiders owner Al Davis.
Prior to this, trees and in the distance, mountains, were actually visible beyond the outfield, as seen in this picture I scanned from the book Take Me Out To The Ballpark, by Josh Leventhal:
(photo credit: Michael Zagaris)
[fun fact: the book is shaped like a ballfield, which is really cool, but makes it hard to put on a shelf]
On this day, the A’s were playing the Anaheim Angels, who had not yet changed their name to the much more long-winded Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. On the mound for the Angels was Brian Cooper, and making his major league debut for the A’s was Barry Zito.
Zito would hold the Angels to one run through five innings, giving up two hits and striking out six, but also walking six. Two of the walks and three of the strikeouts came in the top of the fifth – the Angels walked, singled, and walked to load the bases with nobody out. With the heart of the order due up next, it looked like trouble for Zito. No problem! He struck out Mo Vaughn, Tim Salmon, and Garrett Anderson to escape unscathed.
Ben Grieve hit a grand slam for the A’s, and Miguel Tejada also homered, as the A’s went on to win, 10-3. Troy Glaus went deep for the Angels. Zito got the win (his first), and Cooper the loss.
Here’s another photo from the game, though I’ve never been able to figure out which A’s player that is sliding back into first (he was safe):
As is typical of corporately named stadiums, this one changed names as well, to McAfee Coliseum, though it now seems to go by the name Oakland-Alameda County Colisuem (at least it does on the A’s website). Well, if that’s the case, then there will be no confusion as to where it is!
After this trip, our quest would go on another hiatus, for the birth of child number two. When next we resume, we’ll visit SkyDome in Toronto (though I think this one has changed its name too – aargh!).
(all photos mine except where noted)
Or, the Ultimate Show of Fan Support
Well, now I have seen everything. While drinking my morning coffee and scanning the local news section of the Philadelphia Inquirer (I do occasionally read sections other than Sports), I came across a column explaining how you can now be sent to your eternal rest in the ultimate team-supporting style. Sports logo coffins!
You can read the full article here, if you’re so inclined. The article includes a photo gallery of Phillies logoed urns that are also available, as well as options for fans of other sports, or even Star Trek. OK, an urn I can understand – it will be out in the open, on display, to be seen. But the coffin? After the funeral, no one sees it! It will get buried in the ground, or stuck in a vault. I can think of some better things for me or my loved ones to spend several thousand dollars on.
Phormer Phillie Update
Bobby Abreu has signed a one year, $5 million deal with the Angels. From 1998-2006, Bobby was the Phillies right-fielder before being traded to the Yankees. I always felt he was a bit of an enigma during his tenure here – he put up some good numbers and the fans respected his talent, but he didn’t seem to be a fan favorite in the same way as Pat Burrell or Jim Thome (at the time). Maybe because he was rather quiet, or because of his aversion to the right-field wall. I swear it had an anti-Abreu force field around it! Bobby, I wish you well this season as an Angel!
So not only TGIF, but the final entry for players sharing names with days of the week. Earlier this week I wrote about Billy Sunday and Rick Monday. There were no players named Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday in the major leagues (and there won’t be a Saturday either).
There was, however, Skipper Friday, given name Grier William Friday. Skipper had the classic “cup of coffee” in 1923, appearing in a mere seven games for the Washington Senators. But wait! There is also a Brian Friday, who has played in the Pirates minor-league system the past two years. So maybe we will eventually have another big-league Friday to blog about.
‘Til tomorrow, happy blogging!
(coffin photo April Saul, Philadelphia Inquirer; Abreu photo mine)