Friday, April 17, 2009

Angels and Devils

The early 2009 MLB season has been plagued with deaths. Harry Kalas passing away swept sadness over the league and fans. Upon hearing Mark Fidrych's death, there was a collective "hmm, that's too bad, that guy was awesome". But the loudest responses were those of anger geared towards Andrew Thomas Gallo, the man who crashed into and killed Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart.

Outside of the Los Angeles area and of deep baseball circles, nobody knew who the hell Adenhart was. But the outrage over his death makes you think that he was some kind of sports icon. Don't get me wrong, the whole scene was and is tragic and unfortunate. What I can't understand is, well, why anybody cares.

What seems to get everybody hot under the collar is that Gallo was drunk behind the wheel. And drunk driving is so unforgivable that Gallo's family has had to move upon receiving death threats. All you have to do is look at some of the comments from ESPN readers.

If this Family had done a better job or raising this kid....he wouldn't have grown up to be such a screw up murdering idiot.

he's a drunk scum bag

He should be the one dead

I hope he burns for this, period.

And on and on. Which is funny (though not funny ha-ha), considering this is coming from fans of a league that approved Coors Field and Busch Stadium. Where beer flows more than any other sport. You can't watch a baseball game without seeing roughly 2,000 Bud Light commercials. Many parks have beer gardens. Beer, beer, beer. Drink, drink, drink. Have a safe ride home.

Now I know, promoting drinking doesn't promote drinking and driving. I'm not saying it does. But sports is alcohol-fueled entertainment, and any crime that involves booze probably shouldn't be further demonized by sports fans of all people. Adenhart's death was horrible, and Gallo will get what's coming to him through the justice system. Just stop acting like this was a bigger tragedy than every other drunk-driving death in this country just because it hit our little world. Before that fateful night, nobody knew who Adenhart was, and it's unfortunate that his legacy will be one that is fueled by hate by the sport's own drunken fans.

Play ball.

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