Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The reality post

Before the gamethread goes up tonight, I think we need one of those "Baseball players are people, too," posts. Nyjer Morgan is with the team in St. Louis tonight because Doug Mientkiewicz is in Pittsburgh with his recovering wife, who had a pacemaker installed in her heart yesterday. She's doing well, which is great news. Hopefully her recovery will be a quick one.

The rest of the team is in St. Louis where they got the news of John Challis's death this afternoon. That's sobering news for anybody who listened to the inspirational teen talk in the past few months, but it's hit the Pirate clubhouse pretty hard. As you may remember, Challis visited with the team in June and met everyone in the clubhouse before one of the Yankees games. Adam LaRoche developed a pretty close connection with Challis, keeping in touch with him well after the visit. He had this to say:

"It's depressing, man. It makes you realize how short life is and how unfair it can be. I think what's cool is that, even with what he had, he chose to make the best of it and touch a lot of lives that he wouldn't have if this hadn't happened to him. He got the bad end of the deal, but he touched a lot of people. For sure, he touched the 25 people in here."
It's frustrating to watch baseball players, who get paid sums of money most of us will never see, struggle and it's easy for us to take it personally. That makes it easy to overlook the fact that Adam LaRoche is really a class act, whether he hits well in April or not. I'm not suggesting that ignore his flaws as a player (if we did that for everyone, I'd have nothing to talk about on this blog); I just think it might not be a bad idea to stop calling him "LaDouche."