Hancock, Kile and Crews

The sad story of Josh Hancock’s crash Saturday night conjured the inevitable comparisons to Darryl Kile’s death at the Westin Hotel in Chicago in June, 2002. It also reminded me of an item which appeared in Jon Weisman’s Dodger Thoughts last week, a link to an L.A. Times story about the family of Tim Crews, who died along with a Cleveland Indians teammate during a spring training boating accident 14 years ago. The piece, written by Bill Plaschke, is quite good and quite sad. The gist of it is that for all of the teammates and all of the baseball officials who gathered around the family at the time of Crews’ death, none have kept in touch or helped keep the Crews children connected to a game that their father loved and played for six Major League seasons. (Crews was a Dodger from 1987 through ’92. He signed with the Indians as a free agent in January of ’93, dying before he ever actually played in Cleveland, thus the story’s relevance to the L.A. Times.) As for Josh Hancock’s team, the Cardinals, it seems unlikely they will be able to regain their focus anytime soon. On the other hand, the same seemed true of the ’02 team which had to deal with the loss of Kile, a veteran who was, by all accounts, a beloved teammate and part of the emotional center of the squad, not to mention a major contributor on the field. At the time of Kile's death, the Cardinals stood at 40-31, two games ahead of Cincinnati. Over the rest of the year, they went 57-34, finishing first in the NL Central and winning their Division Series against Arizona, before they were beaten in the NLCS by Dusty Baker’s Giants.

Comments

That LA Times story is worth the read. Thanks Nut.

Call me cold hearted but what would the company you work for do for your family if you had tragically passed? I'm pretty sure that my company would close for the day and that would be about it. My boss wouldn't contact my widow. And my entire industry wouldn't send her invitations to things. When a tragedy happens like this, you need to rely on your friends and family for help, cause in the end, they are the only ones who truly care about you. And just cause you work with someone, doesn't make them your friend or your family.

I feel very bad for the Crews family but I don't understand why the Dodger's owe them anything. I really don't.

baseball isnt selling insurance or flipping burgers.

you travel/live with these people for 200+ days a year. if your family isnt close you dont see them much. the team concept on the mlb level is damn similar socially to a highschool team that may only play 1/4th the games, but the social connection and familiarity are there cuz they spend so much time together in the school as well as a shared activity where they're going for a common outcome.

the team concept kinda compounds a social situation where even if you never speak to the person you see them interact with others, including people you know.

everyone's gonna deal with it on their team with differing levels of severity...its just not in the same league as someone who works for the cubs front office dying or similar, though.

btw, tonite's game not on EI...wtf... :(

crunch, no freaking way. these guys flip teams as soon as they become free agents. And don't delude yourself, all baseball does is sell burgers or insurance. We just like the product more and are willing to spend a lot more on it. And actually watch them do it. It's all just a product. these guys bang each others wives and destroy their personal property. They are not friends they are co-workers.

some are...some arent...

its not even close to an absolute. not every athlete acts like jeff kent and barry bonds.

the act of mourning or even being affected by another's death doesnt have to link directly to your personal investment in them.

btw...this is a 7-day a week job...most people who get time off, unless its 2-3+ days...dont even go anywhere. they might fly their family in or get to see their family during home stretches if they (and the people they want to meet) can.

Crunch:
btw, tonite’s game not on EI…wtf… :

Is it an alternate ESPN game?

Re: This post, whose going to get a hold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch to explain why "No Hancock, No Kile, No Crew" would not be an appropriate article? I would, but...

In lighter news, Cubs play Pirates tonight at PNC, and I have a free upper deck ticket. Dang, forgot to designate a time/place to meet up with J_A_G from chatroom, who is driving over from Ohio. Oh well, I can just look for someone wearing a Cubs hat, right? NOT. Those streaming audio/video, listen for the sizeable contingent of Cubs fans here, always counted upon for substantial same-day walkup ticket sales.

I have to agree with Chad on this one Crunch. Just about every job if you look at it (full time ones at least) you spend more time with your work family than your home family.

The "business" of baseball can be compared to most jobs. I'm sure the Dodgerfs were supportive at first, but after a while "the show must go on."

Dave in Pittsburgh:

I have a free upper deck ticket.

Will they let you move down to one of the empty seats?

It's a shame the attendance numbers they bring in (or don't bring in, I should say). It's a beautiful ball park. At least on TV it is (never been there). I guess when your GM's sanity is suspect that will happen.

im not advocating the dodgers or cleveland or whoever should pay someone's way.

im pointing to the social aspect of what happens when nearly the same people are traveling aruond with each other for 200+ days...on planes, in hotels, etc....AND working together.

like it or not this creates a special social structure even if you dont directly communicate with everyone.

a sweep gets the club back to .500. What are the chances that it happens?

Crunch, you're right throughout. The emotional bonding that happens within a team and within an organization are NOT comparable to the social structure in traditional "businesses." Look at the press coverage of the Hancock story and count the number of times you hear references to "the St. Louis Cardinals family." Major League organizations aspire to this sort of identity and sometimes, not always, live up to it.

i mean hell, im not trying to paint a picture of a strong group of guys that do everything together.

on most every team you'll find people who cant even communicate with each other...you'll find cliques...you'll find guys like jeff kent who could care less who they work with as long as they're performing well and getting a check...

oops...premature send...continuing...

still, you'll find most people put into a situation like mlb players are in will accumulate to the people they are around for so much time.

accumulate = acclimate...haha sigh, spellcheck.

The accident in reference is the one where a bunch of ballplayers went out and got extremely liquored up and crashed into a pier, right? Not really a boating "accident" per se. It's not like they were on a Clemente mission of mercy anywhere.

And the Dodgers--this guy's former team-- or MLB in general owe the family what, exactly?

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