Tragedy Brings About Turbulent Times for Angels

John McCloryAnalyst IApril 10, 2009

In a previous article I remarked that it had been a quiet couple months on the L.A. sports scene.

But this isn't what I wanted. This isn't what anyone wanted.

You know the news by now: Angels pitcher and up-and-comer Nick Adenhart was killed early Thursday in a hit-and-run accident.

Sometimes the proper adjectives don't exist to truly describe a devastating situation, and this is one of those moments.

Disheartening, deplorable and depressing.

Sure, all of the above apply.

Adenhart's bright future was just underway. His season debut featured six scoreless innings against the rival Oakland A's.

Similarly, the Angels were just beginning their season with some new faces in the crowd.

Adenhart was one of them.

So what now? Where do Adenhart's family and friends go from here? What does the organization he represented do next?

Recovering from a tragic occurrence isn't like a collision at homeplate—you don't just get up and dust yourself off.

It's not that simple. It never is.

Couple this with the recent death of an Angels fan on opening day and you're left with a muddled pile of tragedy.

Brian Powers, of Buena Park, died the day before Adenhart in a post-game brawl at Angel Stadium.

Powers was struck from behind, fell and hit his head on a concrete slab.

Both Adenhart and Powers are dead too young, and both men were taken senselessly by assailants who may never be able to explain their reckless actions.

This is the world we live in, and these are two extreme doses of reality.

In this tragic mess, let's not forget the two others that accompanied Adenhart. Henry Nigel Pearson and Courtney Frances Stewart were both pronounced dead at the scene.

It's easy to focus on the recognizable name that Angels fans are so used to seeing. Unfortunately, there were other victims of this malicious act that won't get around-the-clock news coverage.

This is how the 2009 season begins for the Angels and their fans. And this is a time to ask, Why do bad things happen to good people?

Both men now have loved ones that will never be the same and will never forget.

Disheartening, deplorable and depressing.

Thursday's game was postponed for obvious reasons. The Angels season will resume Friday against the Boston Red Sox.

Friday's game won't be a game as much as a memorial. And a memorial is a constant search for words.

The words never come.


John is the L.A. Sports Examiner.  His work can be found here.