But ain’t much that we can do
Except pour brew throughout the crew to make sure we all remember you
And believe me it hurts
To see the boy you broke bread with six feet in the dirt
” Geto Boys, “Six Feet Deep”
“The increasingly ritualized practice of baseball teams spraying and/or consuming bubbly after every postseason achievement has gotten as stale as the carpeting in the Yankees’ plush new clubhouse after Sunday’s deluge,” opined Newsday’s Neil Best in the wake of the Yankees’ clinching the AL East title. A morning later, after the Angels had captured the AL West crown with a boozy salute to drunk-driving victim Nick Adenhart (above), the O.C. Register’s Jeff Miller took a curious approach, both amplifying Best’s remarks (“these volume-10, mosh-pit, brain-cell holocausts have run their course. Baseball doesn™t need any more swim goggles, not this early in the achievement process”) while hailing the tribute to Adenhart as “an act of inclusion, a blind and unadulterated embrace of a lost teammate.”
If you thought they were disrespecting him in their revelry, you didn™t see any of the Angels who approached his locker late Monday night “ music still pounding and suds still exploding “ and bowed their heads in prayer.
You know, Adenhart even appears in some photos of the clinching party. When a group of Angels returned to the field after the game, they headed toward the warning track in center.
Once there, they pounded their fists on the No. 34 insignia and emptied even more beers over Adenhart™s likeness that has been on that wall since his death.
Then they did something really cool. They stopped, turned around and posed, arms wrapped around shoulders, championship ballcaps askew, untucked T-shirts dripping, hair mopping and smiled for the cameras.
Hovering just above the raucous group, visible, if just barely in some frames, was the face of Nick Adenhart, the forever Angel.
Now that™s a team picture.
The sentiment’s noble enough, I just hope all of those guys took cabs home.