If you're reading this site, you're probably a baseball nerd. Use whatever word you like if "nerd" offends you -- wonk, nut, lover. But if you're here, it's probably because baseball is one of your main passions. As such, you're probably here because baseball is one of the things that you use to forget about the real world. That's one of the reasons that the word "steroids" has been used on the front page just 22 times in over four years, and only about four times in a serious manner. Steroid use is all about ethics and society and blah blah blah. I deal with ethics and society and blah blah blah every day. When I watch baseball or read about it, I want to watch baseball or read about it. Keep real life out of it.
Yesterday was a tough day to do that, though. I can't add anything to the Nick Adenhart story that Halos Heaven didn't already cover in their moving tribute. I never saw Adenhart pitch, and I was only tangentially aware of him as a prospect. The only thing I could think was, "Dang, how would I feel if that were (Giants prospect or young family member)?", but that's just a selfish reaction to a horrible event. And when I was all amped up on anger, ready to go on an anti-drunk-driving screed, well, Halos Heaven did it better than I could have hoped to, probably because their anger is tangible. That isn't to suggest that mine is false or manufactured, but it's obviously a different kind of anger.
And while we were trying to process how one broken human being can affect the lives of so many through malicious indifference, we're reminded that awful things happen just by chance. If you had some sort of master actuary table for baseball events, you might know that .0002% or so of all pitches thrown will result in a pitcher getting hit in the head with a line drive, but that doesn't diminish any of the horror. If Joe Martinez gripped the ball a half-seam to the left, or if Mike Cameron choked up on his bat 1/19th of a millimeter more, or if the umpire had to rustle around two seconds more for a baseball to put in play, maybe things would have been different. Maybe better...or maybe much, much worse.
The only thing that the Adenhart and Martinez situations share is a reminder that there are an infinite number of external forces beyond our control. And if I think about it too long, I'm crippled with fear. I usually use baseball to escape from that omnipresent-yet-repressed fear. That doesn't work too well today, so there's nothing for me to write. I can't do poignant, and I can't do pointless, which would include almost anything baseball-related.
Best wishes to the Adenhart family, and best wishes to everyone in the Angels organization. Best wishes to Joe Martinez on a speedy recovery, both physically and mentally.