I’m a fan of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. I like the way they play, I love the way their manager manages, and I think they go about the business of baseball with class and dignity.
And while I appreciate their honoring the memory of fallen teammate Nick Adenhart after they captured the American League West title, I have to question the way they tried to do so.
Like the Cardinals in 2002, after the tragic death of Darryl Kile, the Angels kept Adenhart with them following his death in a drunk driving accident in April. The Angels took Adenhart’s number 34 jersey with them to every game, home and road, and kept his locker intact. Jered Weaver would honor his fallen teammate before every start by placing his forehead on Adenhart’s photo on the left field wall at Angels stadium. The feelings toward his memory are genuine and pure.
On Monday night, after winning the AL West, Angels players soaked Adenhart’s jersey with beer and champagne.
That’s right, the guy that died as a result of drunk driving, had his jersey soaked by alcohol.
Then the Angels left the locker room and jogged out to left field, to Adenhart’s picture, so they could celebrate with him.
And what did they do? They popped champagne corks and beer bottles, splattering his picture and his number.
Are you kidding me? Nobody thought about the tragic irony of that celebration? I love honoring their fallen teammate; I love that they win for his memory and for his family. I love that the team is motivated for him. But he died BECAUSE OF ALCOHOL!!! Don’t involve what killed him in your celebration!
Next time, if they win the division series at home, when Angels players celebrate, I hope they leave either beer and champagne…or Adenhart…out of it.