“Tragedy & Terrible Stories”
The pall over the Miami Marlins and Kansas City Royals camps is like a low cloud cover that just will not go away.
It was late last September when Marlins pitching sensation, and favorite son, Jose Fernandez lost his life in a middle of the night boat crash on a Miami Beach jetty.
It was just last month when Royals phenom Yordano Ventura died in a violent rollover crash on a back road in the middle of the night just outside Santo Domingo.
Fernandez beloved in Miami, not just for his big strikeout outings, but his personality, his charity work, his ability to come back from elbow ligament transplant surgery.
Yordano was the spirt and the fire of the KC pitching staff, that wound up going to back-to-back World Series.
Devastating losses to both ballclubs.
Equally devastating now, the post-mortems on the players.
Marlins players are stunned, and the burden of sorrow is even heavier today.
Fernandez had a blood alcohol count of (.147), nearly twice the legal limit. He had cocaine and stimulants in his system also.
No one really knows if he was at the controls of his high priced speed boat, going at more than 70mph, when it ran over a jetty at a harbor entrance, killing the pitcher and 2-friends instantly.
Fernandez had asked Marlins teammates that afternoon to join him on his late night cruise, the one that took his life at 3am.
Yordano, a free spirit party boy, died on a dirt road out in the country in the middle of the night.
Police refuse to release the toxicology report as to whether he was drunk or had substances in his system, when he was ejected and killed instantly when he hit the pavement.
The family wants the remaining 20M owed on his baseball contract.
But now terrible reports of intrigue in his personal life. Money, despair over a one year broken marriage, a miscarriage, a lawsuit by the woman’s former husband, and threats on his life by Latin underworld figures. Incidents in Surprise, Arizona and at his home in Kansas City.
Who knew? No one. Who knows? How can you know about player’s private lives.
What we do know is that two baseball clubhouses are devastated with the data coming out about their friend and teammate. And the Marlins and Royals are reeling because you just don’t replace talent like that.
And MLB baseball, and its security arm, is haunted by the inability to help players cope with things they get involved in off the field.
Sadly, the young talent, the money, the culture, has taken two more lives in sports. No one learns. No one can solve it.
Just another baseball stat, with far reaching implications beyond ERAs, OPS, WHIPs.