Groundhog Day is upon us. Those who have followed my blog since its inception or those familiar with some inside jokes of baseball understand this reference. A quip in the business is that every day is “Groundhog Day,” referencing that every day is pretty much the same. The only things that matter are if we are home or away and if it is a day or night game. Unfortunately, this day is not like the others.
This Minor League Opening Day, in what is supposed to be full of excitement and optimism does not have that feel. The Angels’ 22-year old rookie right-hander, Nick Adenhart, was killed by a drunk driver last night. This tragedy has cast a dark shadow over baseball, especially the Angels and its affiliates. While I did not, personally, know Nick, many of my teammates did an either spoke with him or played with him just weeks prior during Big League camp and spring training. Despite this, whether I knew him or not is irrelevant; it still pains me that he is gone and will not have a chance to live the dream he had finally achieved.
Despite the heartbreak, the games will continue. It is likely someone will get called up to fill the void, and it will follow down the minor league chain. We will play tonight against Inland Empire (Los Angeles Dodgers affiliate) and kick off our 2009 campaign. However, whether we win tonight by ten or lose a heartbreaker late, the outcome just is not going to have the same meaning. Our family lost a brother today and Nick will be sorely missed.