Results tagged ‘ Josh Hancock ’

Ch-ch-changes

WhiteoutTurn and face the strain….ch-ch-changes…

So your reclusive blogger returns and will hope to document the off-season better than she documented the season.  Maybe this season is best left undocumented?

I didn’t pay very close attention to the Cards in the 2nd half of the season as I was dealing with a lot of heavy stuff.  So I don’t have a lot of insights to share on the Cardinals’ collapse.  It just seemed like a cursed season from Tony’s DUI to Carpenter’s injury to Hancock’s shocking death to all the other injuries to Mulder’s inauspicious return and on and on.  It’s amazing we hung in the race as long as we did, and, obviously, that’s only due to the overall weakness of our division (and the Cubbies sure went out of the playoffs with a whimper…). 

Now I’m upset about Walt Jocketty’s firing and worried that Tony will leave, too.  I feel both of them brought a lot of success to this franchise and, lest we forget, a World Series championship just a year ago.  Sure, there are times I’ve questioned them – and times when Tony’s overthinking infuriates me – but I’d rather have LaGenius managing this club than anyone else I can think of (unless, Whitey, can we coax you away from fishing?).  Maybe if Tony goes and the Yankees lose and Steinbrenner has to make good on his evil promise, we can hire Joe Torre back?  That wouldn’t be bad. 

Oh, I did have some fun this summer even without baseball.  Check out my pics from Burning Man.

Denial: It Aint Just a River in Egypt

Today’s news that Dean Hancock, Josh Hancock’s father, is pursuing a civil wrongful death suit struck me as sad, ridiculous, and all-too-typical for today.  The parties to blame according to Dean are the bartender and manager (Mike’s daughter Patricia) at Mike Shannon’s for serving him when he was visibly drunk, the tow truck driver and tow company for the tow truck’s failure to provide adequate warning (huh? its flashers were on), and the poor driver whose crash into the median provided the impetus for the tow truck’s arrival. 

Out of all these defendants, the only one with a tiny shred of culpability is Shannon’s, if in fact, Hancock was visibly drunk and they continued to serve him. Still, they offered to call him a cab and were waved off when he said he was walking.  Is it the responsibility of the bartender to escort the patron back to the hotel?  That seems a bit much to ask. 

This complete refusal to accept personal responsibility really taints the tragedy and must make some of the Cardinals want to rip those 32 patches off their jerseys.  Let’s review the facts of this death: Josh’s blood alcohol level was almost twice the legal level, he was talking on his cell phone, driving 68 in a 55 mph zone, and had marijuana and a pipe in the car. About the only thing he could have added to that list of driving offenses would have been eating Taco Bell and putting on lipstick.  How Dean Hancock can ignore all those factors and see his son as an innocent victim in this is beyond me, and it’s even worse that some lawyers who don’t have the excuse that they are grieving and looking for answers are putting this case forward.

Game Haiku – 05/04/07 – Cards 3, Astros 2

Pujols, bullpen drive
victory. Final score pays
tribute to Hancock.

The Inevitable Truth

Police announced this morning that Josh Hancock was legally drunk with a 0.157 blood alcohol level, nearly twice the legal limit.  He was also talking on his cell phone at the time of the accident.  Disappointing news, but nobody is going to be surprised by it.  This doesn’t diminish the tragedy to me, but I do hope that his example will remain in the heads of sports fans as they contemplate whether to drive home after several frosty Buschs at the ballpark.  Perhaps additional tragedies can be averted.

Post-Dispatch story

Paying Respects

Today was a hard day for the Cardinals as they headed to Tupelo for Josh Hancock’s memorial service. The only Cardinal to speak at the service was Randy Flores, who lightened the mood by recalling Josh’s pranks before declaring, "Everyday I was reminded of his heart."  The Cardinals did not speak to the media. 

Click here for the Post-Dispatch coverage.

Click here to read the Hancock family’s statement.

Read Bill McClellan’s column, suggesting that if alcohol is involved, Josh’s death may at least prevent future deaths if sports fans think twice about drinking and driving.

Second Stage of Grieving: Anger

Well, the rumors are swirling now about whether Josh was intoxicated when he had his fatal crash.  The team is angry and not wanting to answer questions.  I don’t blame them. I believe he is innocent until proven otherwise, but things are not looking good.

The Post-Dispatch today reported that Josh had another car accident in Sauget Thursday at 5:30am, but the police did not think he had been drinking.  He then was late to Thursday’s game.  The Post also quotes a couple in Shannon’s who supposedly overheard Josh tell ESPN reporter Dave Campbell that he was late because he was hungover and that Tony fined him for showing up late and being hungover.  Tony does not comment on this and says he wants to talk about baseball.  Dave Campbell denies that Josh made those comments.  Pat Shannon says she offered to call Josh a taxi on Saturday night but he told her he was only going to walk to a hotel a few blocks away.  Yes, evidence is mounting, but there’s still a lot of "he said, she said".

Bernie Miklasz reports that Tony warned the players the media will try to exploit this tragedy, and it’s beginning to look that way. Obviously, the truth will come out and we can deal with it then, and I don’t want to add fuel to the fire but I thought it important to mention these developments. 

KMOX has a very dim and distant security camera view of the actual accident. I won’t post that link because I think that is really going too far, and you can’t see anything anyway. 

Here’s hoping the Cards are less fuzzy tonight, although I totally understand if they aren’t.

Game Haiku – 04/30/07 – Brewers 7, Cards 1

Hancockjersey

Cards play with heavy
hearts, ponder Hancock’s jersey
draped on bullpen fence

Tributes to Josh

Cardinal messageboards have been flooded with messages of condolence, many from fans of other teams, even NL Central rivals. It’s moving to see how team rivalries are set aside as times like this.  Case in point is this moving video tribute to Josh – created by a Cubs fan. 

There’s also a good essay by Larry on Viva El Birdos called "On Perspective."  It’s hard to find words at times like this, but Larry’s essay really hits the important points and gives us something to ponder. I don’t know how our team will manage to pull it together to play tonight.  One day of grieving doesn’t seem enough to me.   

Josh Hancock, 1978-2007

JoshhancockAs I left the LA Times Festival of Books this afternoon, I called a friend in St. Louis who told me that Josh Hancock had died in a car accident early this morning.  Like all of Cardinal Nation, I am stunned and saddened.  It is hard to accept tragic news like this once, much less twice in 5 years. 

Josh had only been with the Cardinals since last season, but he had established himself as a reliable member of the bullpen and a friend to many on the team.  He contributed to last year’s championship team, appearing in 3 postseason games.  If there is any consolation, it comes in knowing that he did win a World Series ring in his brief 29 years of life, something many players never experience. 

My sincere condolences go out to the Hancock family and the Cardinals family.

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